James Gutierrez Fights to Improve Income Discrepancies
James Gutierrez is a well-known proponent of inclusivity that highlights income disparities. He has made it his professional career to provide platforms that help close the wealth gap in America. His belief is that companies can aid in stabilizing low-income households while lobbying the government to enact permanent changes. James Gutierrez uses automobile insurance as an example of how there are two brackets, one of which penalizes low-income people with little to no credit with higher fees. People with poor credit history also suffer when applying for loans, becoming subject to high interest rates.
Aura and Oportun, fintech companies started by Gutierrez, used innovative technology to help low-income households obtain a credit score. However, the lack of funding did not allow them to fully meet the needs of the community that they served. Other issues present include how race inequality plays a factor and how cash options are relatively few for minority families. For instance, during the same period of market recovery, black households lost 40% more wealth while white families fully recovered. Additionally, those without credit face limited choices in how they pay, leading borrowing to average around 230%.
A recent factor is how COVID-19 affected minorities both financially and health-wise. According to the EPI, the pandemic created the highest unemployment rate for black and Latinx communities in the latter half of 2020. COVID has also caused more death in minority households when compared to white households. This pushed James Gutierrez to begin developing a mobile platform to provide banking options for underserved communities.
He believes that transparency is a large step in closing the wealth gap in America. One of his ideas is rewarding companies transparent about their assets to shareholders with lower tax rates. The reporting system will measure company values and is backed by government benefits.
Learn more about James: https://www.crunchbase.com/person/james-gutierrez