By Nicole S. Daniel
The Birmingham Times
Mobility Capital and Finance Inc. (MoCaFi), a fintech platform that helps underserved communities build wealth through better access to public, private, and social capital will host an On Our Block by MoCaFi Sponsored By Truist program Saturday, Aug. 26 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.at Birmingham Civil Rights Institute 520 16th St N, Birmingham, AL 35203.
MoCaFi is a financial services platform to help excluded communities create pathways to wealth through better access to public, private, and social capital.
On Our Block pop-ups bring mobile banking, financial coaching, and wealth education to neighborhoods traditionally excluded from economic opportunities.
A keynote panel on how to move from lease to mortgage will include Carlos Aleman, CEO, HICA; William Barnes, President & CEO, National Urban League; Kelliegh Gamble, Birmingham Housing Authority VP; Lila Hackett, Executive Director, Housing Center or Northern Alabama and Carol Clarke, Executive Director, Birmingham Neighborhood Services, who is also a Birmingham City Councilor.
“Wealth building in any community is important as you think about a place like Birmingham that has such a rich history of economic mobility, the Civil Rights movement and it’s got prominent folks is something that we need to make sure that everyone in Birmingham has the opportunity to, to move towards,” said Wole Coaxum, CEO of MoCaFi.
Owning a home is an important part of that journey, he said. “It’s important for people to reach for homeownership. It’s important for people to reach for business ownership. It’s fascinating that 70 percent of the city’s population is Black, but only 30 percent of the businesses are Black owned.”
He also stated that only 45 percent of Birmingham’s population are homeowners. To be on the right path for homeownership Coaxum recommends increasing your savings, increasing your credit score and budget your money.
The company’s Financial Services as Infrastructure platform works with government and philanthropic organizations to provide cash assistance, mobile banking, and financial programming to individuals and families. MoCaFi’s platform has already had a significant impact on underserved communities.
“We want to bring the tools and the partners that we have to the community where we can start to help people think through some of these issues and put themselves on a path for creating and retaining wealth,” he said.
According to Coaxum, MoCaFi has been able to help the city of Birmingham disperse over $14 million to 3,000 families through emergency rental assistance use during the pandemic. “We’ve been able to help them pay their past due rent and keep them current with their rent and help them out with their utilities,” he said.
Asked what sets MoCaFi apart compared to other organizations who seek to build wealth in Black communities the CEO said, “we’re doing the work and we’re in the community … Over the last three years, we have delivered almost $20 million in emergency assistance to thousands of families – keeping them in their homes and keeping the lights on.”
Coaxum said his goal is to build a company that outlasts him. “I want to demonstrate that there is a business model that is sustainable and that can create and retain wealth in our communities.”
In addition, he wants to be a role model to other individuals “to create opportunity to see what’s possible in terms of using entrepreneurship, as a way to create new paths and new frameworks and new business models to solve problems that are in our community. Whether they’re financial problems, financial services problems, or others …”
Coaxum said here’s nothing more satisfying than creating job and wealth opportunities for the people part of the MoCaFi organization.
“I started this company in this basement with an idea. Now we’ve got individuals who’ve been able to buy homes themselves, and who are having babies, because they are comfortable in terms of the future that they have ….”