Louisville startup receives NAACP grant to grow kid-focused project
A Louisville business that aims to help kids become financially savvy got a big boost in their efforts Thursday as they received a $25,000 grant to grow their venture.
Courtney and Darius Pettway were awarded one of 10 NAACP Powershift Grants announced during Black Entrepreneurship Day — a joint project by business owner and motivational speaker Daymond John and the NAACP — to put towards KidVestors, a series of books, workbooks and more designed to teach youngsters about investing and personal finance.
“We didn’t even really think we were going to get it, especially since it was a nationwide competition,” Courtney Pettway said. “And so to be selected is very exciting and shocking, and we’re just so appreciative of how this is going to help us in our business.”
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The couple, who are “full-time investors,” launched the business in April. The original idea came when Darius suggested that they should write a children’s book on the subject.
“I remember telling her, ‘We should write a children’s book about our experiences. Like, if we could write a book to ourselves when we were really young, what would we write?'” he said. “And so, KidVestors was born then. And then from there, I guess we really just took off.”
Since then, they’ve launched a website to sell kid-friendly books, workbooks, teacher guides, animated courses and more to parents, guardians and educators. They’ve aimed to be fun and accessible but also instructional.
“It targets ages five and up, five to 12 to be more specific,” Courtney Pettway said, “and we teach stock investing, real estate investing, entrepreneurship and just overall money management and financial literacy.”
Courtney Pettway said their goal is to eventually work directly with schools on curriculum, and they’ve recently taken a step towards that through a partnership with the West End School, a tuition-free boarding school primarily for boys from low-income backgrounds in Louisville.
“They’re just great … We’re just looking forward to prayerfully seeing even more schools see the importance of KidVestors and being in schools nationwide,” she said.
They’ll put the $25,000 towards growing their staff so they can develop more educational products.
“We will be hiring a team — more animators, more illustrators,” Courtney Pettway said. “We didn’t want KidVestors just to be, you know, this random boring worksheet. There’s plenty of that out there. So we want to create, we are essentially creating, a cartoon of sorts. Think like “Dora the Explorer” or “Blues Clues,” but for investing and financial literacy.”
KidVestors officially received the award, sponsored by JPMorgan Wealth Management, Thursday from John, best known for his role on the investing show “Shark Tank,” during a Black Entrepreneurs Day event.
“You’ve got a customer right here, too … I’m gonna get this product as well for my little girl,” John told the Pettways via video call.
Mary Ramsey is a breaking news reporter for The Courier Journal. Reach her at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter @mcolleen1996. Support strong local journalism in our community by subscribing to The Courier Journal today.