When Sergio All, a black Brazilian entrepreneur in the advertising business, tried to take out a loan to upgrade his firm’s equipment many years ago, he was turned down by his bank, despite having been a client for years. The bank failed to provide an adequate reason as to why he was rejected. Indeed, the ‘no’ received by Mr. All is a recurring phenomenon across Brazil. According to a survey published in 2019, developed by Pretahub in partnership with JPMorgan and Plano CDE, one-third of black entrepreneurs in Brazil reported being turned down for loans for no reason.
However, that ‘no’ was the spark that eventually led to the creation of Conta Black, a Brazilian fintech focused on addressing financial exclusion for the segments of society historically denied access to the banking system.