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2021 Year In Review: Charlene Fadirepo

2021 was an incredible year for me personally and professionally. It has been life-changing.

This is the year that I matured as a fintech Founder, leader, professional speaker, and industry expert. This year, I completed Plaid’s Finrise accelerator for BIPOC start-ups. The Finrise Program helped my company, Guidefi, push through our “messy middle” to successfully find our voice, our tribe, and our footing in the crowded fintech start-up ecosystem. I am grateful to Plaid’s Executive leadership team, my mentors (Paul Willliamson, and Ben Fullerton),and Finrise Program Director Nell Malone for their support and guidance throughout the 9-month program. As a result of the Program, I am a better, stronger, and more courageous leader and founder.

This year, I learned the incredible power of having the right relationships, the value of purposeful collaboration, and the importance of putting your head down to do the work. This year I also witnessed the power and beauty of collective community organizing in action while leading Bitcoin Education classes as a member of the Black Bitcoin Billionaires, a Bitcoin community on Clubhouse. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve and support this amazing community.

My top 10 wins for 2021 are as follows:

  • Completed Finrise, Plaid’s Accelerator for BIPOC start-ups, an experience that helped to refine the mission, vision, and purpose of Guidefi.

  • Drove the financial health and wellness efforts for Black and brown families via Guidefi’s financial coaching, planning, counseling, and financial healing support services.

  • Held Guidefi’s in-person Bitcoin and digital wealth meet-ups for Black women investors in the DC metro area. Launched a Cryptocurrency 101 course for women investors. Delivered thousands of hours of Bitcoin education classes via Clubhouse community organization, the Black Bitcoin Billionaires.

  • Earned national media coverage for financial inclusion, Bitcoin education, and investment work. In October 2021, I was featured in Time Magazine for my Bitcoin education efforts across the Black community. The magazine article gathered over 1 million views and has helped to start a national conversation about Bitcoin investing and saving across the Black community. In March 2021, I was featured on Good Morning America, to present a $50,000 angel investment check via Pipeline Angels to a Black women-led tech start-up, Health In Her Hue. In addition, Guidefi was featured in Forbes, Business Insider, Tech Crunch,

  • Expanded my network and built incredible relationships across the fintech, Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency entrepreneurship ecosystem. I spoke at the 2021 Black Blockchain Summit and joined the Board of CryptoConnect, a women-led cryptocurrency network organization.

  • Created and co-hosted the Bitcoin In Nigeria podcast to celebrate and amplify Nigeria innovators leading change in the Bitcoin ecosystem.

  • Wrote Sade’s Satoshis, a children’s book designed to teach parents and children about Bitcoin savings.

  • Expanded my social media influence to drive positive change across the digital wealth ecosystem: 7000+ followers on Clubhouse, 2500+ on Twitter, and achieved my first viral tweet - 1 million impressions. I was honored to be followed by Jack Dorsey, CEO of Block, this year.

  • I completed my first book sprint project. I joined a diverse team of Bitcoin experts to co-author a Bitcoin policy book called Bitcoin and the American Dream. I was excited to lead the book's discussion on using Bitcoin as a tool for social justice.

  • Honored as the Future Business Leaders of America's (FBLA) 2021 Business Person of the Year, for my work teaching DC metro high school students about financial education.

2021 has reframed my views on the meaning of success, the power of community and what is possible. But most importantly, it delivered the confirmation that my choice to become a financial justice warrior has been one of the best decisions of my life.

2021 was incredible but 2022 will be legendary.

I could not be more proud of the person I am becoming. Thank you to all who have supported my growth in 2021.

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