Writer Speaker Wealth Builder
Charlene Fadirepo is the Founder and CEO of Guidefi, a fin-tech platform that makes it easier for women and professionals of color to find their ideal financial advisors. Charlene started Guidefi after experiencing difficulty in finding the right financial advisor for her own family. Launched in 2019, Guidefi has garnered multiple awards including First Place in the In3 Labs Pitch Competition, participation in the Duke Law Start-Up Clinic, and Washington, DC-based SeedSpot Impact Accelerator for social entrepreneurs.
Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to dispossess and to malign, but stories can also be used to empower and to humanize. Stories can break the dignity of a people, but stories can also repair that broken dignity….When we reject the single story, when we realize that there is never a single story about any place, we regain a kind of paradise.”
– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
I believe in the power of stories. I believe that stories can help people learn, feel, grow, and empathize with each other. I believe the integration of stories into financial and entrepreneurship education is an incredible way to drive long term learning for the next generation.
As financial education is my life’s work, I take the stage often to share my experiences and expertise with students, teachers, and parents. I started teaching financial education classes to elementary students as a young Associate at Citibank in my 20s. Now nearly 20 years, 2 children’s books, and one financial technology company later, I am still happily on stage and on-line sharing the importance of financial literacy, financial education, and entrepreneurship to students, teachers, and parents.
In 2013, I discovered I was pregnant with my first child, a little boy! As a former banker and veteran in the financial services industry, I was eager to teach my young son, Ayodele, how to build healthy money habits early in his childhood. However, I was deeply disappointed in the lack of children's books available on the topic. Further, financial education books specifically written with children of color in mind were non-existent.
So I decided to write a multicultural children's book designed for kids--but written for financially empowered parents like myself. Shortly after Ayo was born, I started developing the concept for my first children's book. In 2014, I published Ayo's Money Jar and used the book to start a household conversation about money among communities of color. A few years later, I published the second book in the series, called Ayo’s Had Enough. Now in 2020, 7-year-old Ayo loves to read his copies of Ayo’s Money Jar and Ayo’s Had Enough to his 18-month-old sister, Folasade.
What people say....
My granddaughter, Payton, received Ayo's Money Jar as a gift from her aunt, Gladys Clarke, yesterday. I really enjoyed reading it to her. She could have read it herself but I was so excited to see how many skills you taught! I loved the part about giving back best. It's a wonderful book and I congratulate and wish you much success. Thank you also for autographing it with words of wisdom and encouragement.
— Lois (Penny) Parker