Mission: To mitigate the impact of the increase of youth poverty in Minnesota and the associated resulting adulthood deficits in BIPOC communities with culturally-resonant financial literacy education.
Vision: All barriers to access are removed for BIPOC youth in Minnesota to the technology and resources necessary to gain free financial literacy from Black Business Enterprises Fund and to develop a growth mindset that increases potential for sustainable entrepreneurial success.
To address the incredible increase of youth poverty in Minnesota, particularly in black communities, Black Business Enterprises Fund responds with Youth Education Stimulus (YES). The BBEF program offers a culturally-modified approach to financial literacy intentionally designed for black youth. In order to combat the non-traditional, structural factors that negatively affect outcomes for BIPOC youth, it is necessary to instill fundamental critical thinking skills as early as possible. Our future societal leaders, are inarguably the same young people that made Minneapolis the epicenter of America’s modern day Civil Rights Movement, are also the most impoverished group in Minnesota.
Poverty often hits BIPOC and rural communities the hardest but persistent income disparities are having debilitating effects, particularly on black people in Minnesota. As disparity studies continuously lump public assistance and earned income tax credits into averages to fudge numbers, we know that BIPOC communities are historically underserved and underrepresented. By removing barriers, both traditional and non, to gaining culturally-resonant financial literacy, Black Business Enterprises Fund (BBEF) redirects potential outcomes to prevent the longitudinal adulthood effects of youth poverty and the impact on BIPOC communities. Survivors of systemic -isms are overwhelmingly invigorated to reinvest in their own communities. In this way, BBEF’s Youth Education Stimulus is transformational. By guiding the cycle of poverty in BIPOC communities up into a spiral of enlightenment and promise where ‘Each one, teach one’ becomes a guiding principle.
A community education model is part of a culturally-resonant approach that capitalizes on the socially-consciouscharacteristics prevalent in BIPOC, particularly black, communities.
Monthly networking events promote both group-cohesiveness and one-on-one peer mentorship opportunities and supplement the financial literacy classes of the same frequency. Overall, Youth Education Stimulus is a beacon for young entrepreneurial prowess and a powerful resource to foster a fundamental fiscal intelligence.
It becomes increasingly important to quell youth poverty when Minnesota celebrates record low childhood poverty rates compared to the rest of the nation. Counties like Carver have a low childhood rate and boasts a median income that can lay the foundation for generational wealth. Minnesota has some of the nation’s most accessible public assistance programs that unfortunately lose their effectiveness if you’re black. Nationally, the fastest growing impoverished demographic are youth under the age of 18 and the number doubles for black youth according to the most recent US Census.
When BBEF designed Youth Education Stimulus, it was important to develop a multifaceted program that was both culturally responsive and addressed the heart of the problem of the rapidly increasing youth poverty rate in Minnesota. The speed of the increase is demonstratively more when you are black in Minnesota. The latest Department of Human Services statistics says just under 1 in 3 people from BIPOC communities are living in poverty. Unfortunately, this also means that their children are living in poverty and that they see poverty on a daily basis. It doesn’t take a study to know that this cycle does and will continue to repeat if not interrupted and Youth Education Stimulus is one way to answer the call. We offer free laptops to open access and guided mentorship that is a sustainable channel to gain valuable input from YES beneficiaries. Not only is Y.E.S. an anti-racism, anti-poverty movement, but we strive to provide an opportunity that gives BIPOC youth entrance into traditional white spaces and job industries.
The free workshops and programs on Credit Building and even Repair along with Small Business Development provide introductions to fiscal concepts that are actually coming to them tragically much later than their white counterparts. Statistically, the poverty rate in Minnesota for African Americans (20.7%) almost triples that of Whites (7%) according to the 2022 Minnesota Poverty Report. By providing homebuyer education to BIPOC youth, BBEF is instilling the possibility of wealth and destroying generational cycles of poverty. Basically, the BBEF Youth Education Stimulus is a survivor-led educational initiative to stimulate BIPOC to reimagine their futures and wealth potential.