We had the good fortune of connecting with Kwame Egerton II & Ackeem Kipp and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kwame Egerton II, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
The Black Currency started after the murder of George Floyd, Ahmad Aubrey, and Breona Taylor. The Co Founders wanted to shift focus from protest to financial empowerment of diverse communities. The idea is to create the next generation of diverse Millionaires. Racism and unconscious bias are mindsets passed down from individuals parents, perpetuated and inscribed into one’s brain by the media, and are thought processes many have lived with too long to change. The idea behind The Black Currency is to control what you can control. Wealth and financial empowerment will put minorities in the driver’s seat and allow them to have the financial freedom and influence to shape their present and future.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The Black Currency is a financial literacy and emotional intelligence platform. We started as an Instagram page teaching followers how to budget, invest in the stock market, real estate, crypto currency, etc. We also believe you can’t build financial independence without having emotional intelligence. Therefore, we’ve touched on topics like how your upbringing affects your personal finances as an adult as well as focus on uplifting each other as entrepreneurs through building community. Instagram is just the beginning for us, we have so many more initiatives, products, and platforms we’re excited to roll out to our supporters throughout 2021.
What sets us apart from others is that we aim to teach financial literacy topics in a way that’s digestible, understandable, and relatable. We got to where we are today business wise through hard work and sacrifice. Managing both career and entrepreneurship is a difficult thing since time is a finite resource. We’ve been able to overcome challenges by building a strong team, learning how to manage and delegate task as needed, and letting our mission our empowering the next generation of diverse millionaires drive our purpose each and every day.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If our best friend was visiting LA of New York we could definitely show them the best time ever.
In LA, we would go to Tu Madre Tacos for the crispy shrimp bowl as soon as they got off the plane. We would go back inside to get settled and then head back out for a hike on Runyon Canyon to burn off some of the calories. Next we would go to Erewhon cafe to grab some fresh juices and back home to relax in the Jacuzzi and unwind. Lastly we would head to Alta West Adams for dinner, one of our favorite black owned restaurants in the city. We would end the night at EP & LP for drinks on a rooftop.
In New York, the first stop we’re making is to Ali’s Roti shop for a fresh chicken roti. We love being able to get back to our Caribbean roots. Next we’ll go to La’s Lap for drinks and end the night with friends on a brownstone rooftop in the bedstuy neighborhood of Brooklyn laughing, dancing, and playing games like Uno or Connect Four.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love, and encouragement of others. One group that we want to dedicate our shoutout to is our families. Without their upbringing, guidance, empathy, and understanding we would not have been able to grow our platform to what it is today.
Another organization or institution we would like to shoutout is Syracuse University. Ackeem and Kwame met on the first day of Freshman year at SU. They met over an intense game of 3 on 3 at Archbold Gymnasium. Ackeem scored a basket and Kwame answered back with a basket of his own. It didn’t even matter who won the game, after that point the two grew a friendship over the next 10 years that eventually turned into a thriving business.
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