2020 Grants Challenge

Financial education and planning for urban LA

This grant will help grow and solidify the launch of BlueReef. As a new start-up, we face many challenges in terms of technology, education platforms, HR and overhead, which has become increasingly difficult in the new COVID-19 financial environment. Our goal is to reach as many small business owners and households in need of financial guidance, with a focus on the Hispanic community and beyond. Our focus is on short-term action as our financial lives have recently changed with the loss of jobs, savings, etc., as well as long term planning.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Pilot project or new program

What is the need you’re responding to?

Hispanics account for nearly 16% of the U.S. population which is approximately 52 million people. In the US there are about 86,278 certified CFP professionals (financial planners) but less than 2%(1725 nationwide) of them are Latinos which translates into a severely underserved community in terms of financial advice. Locally, there are approximately 4.9 million Hispanic residents in LA County, that number represents almost half of the entire county's population. How many of them have access to relevant financial institutions? Who is willing to provide quality and competitive financial advice that in many cases is a privilege for certain groups?This project will help us fast-track our reach to small Hispanic business owners. We would like to give them the right tools and plan to create financial stability, manage risk and conserve any wealth and jobs created.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?​

We have 3 unique characteristics that make us believe we could make a large impact. First, between the two founding members of BlueReef, we have over 30 years of experience in financial planning for businesses and families, mortgage and credit lending, risk management, tax planning, and financial products. Secondly, we see the needs of the community as we are both Hispanic and one an East LA native. We have been around long enough to understand the needs and find areas in which we can make a bigger impact through financial education and empowerment which translates into personal and community wellbeing. Lastly, we understand the work involved in growing a small business and can relate to the needs of our audience. We believe this project is more valid now than ever before, with an ever-changing world we are experiencing financial challenges that without the right preparation could cause much pain in our communities. Education and planning is the key to long term stability.

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

Our direct impact is going to be on the population being served. Hispanics make-up half of the LA County and improving their lives, as well as anyone that would benefit from our offerings, will have a significant impact on the future of their local economy.

Financial education is a key component to get ahead in our communities, from simple knowledge on personal credit management, life insurance to protect our loved ones, a home mortgage or long term investments these are all important areas that are part of our daily lives We’ve have seen over the years how though the right planning wealth and safety is created, and this is exactly what we would like to replicate at a larger scale with the help of technology.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

Although our project has medium to long term benefits, the short term metrics of success are going to be measured in terms of:

1) Number educational financial seminars and webinars throughout LA

2) Educational content downloaded from our website

3) The number of financial plans created per year. These plans include advice on wealth protection, emergency savings, investments, lending, insurance and in some cases tax planning

4) Yearly follow up to make sure plans is in place and in full execution

For us, success is to see businesses and families thrive and grow even in tough times like the one we are living now.

Which of the CREATE metrics will your submission impact?​

Income inequality

Minority- and women-owned businesses

Access to banks and financial institutions

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?​

Access to the LA2050 community

Host public events or gatherings

Communications support

Strategy assistance and implementation