There’s a difference between making bank and having your hard-earned dollars work for you through financial investment.
The latter is what savvy Detroit business owner Tasha Danielle, 34, hopes to instill in the hundreds of young people she meets through her company, Financial Garden. The millennial’s six-year-old financial literacy business (for kindergarten-12th graders) is a curriculum-based program that teaches students about money smarts while “planting financial seeds” of growth for adults and parents, too, according to her website, https://financialgarden.com.
“No one talked to (students) about money,” Danielle said of her encounters with students in schools, and at her church, where she tutored math. “Whenever I would use any reference to financial literacy, or banking, I was met with a deer in headlights look. That is when I had the idea to write a curriculum. I knew there was a need.”
In her late 20s Danielle created Financial Garden’s customizable curriculum, she described as “impactful” that is designed to be taught weekly during the school year.
Financial Garden has six areas of seed planting:
- Emotions and money
- Banking basics
- Investing basics
- Debt fundamentals
The business also offers professional development opportunities for educators, and highlights “Amina’s Bracelets: A Kidpreneur Story,” written by Danielle that follows the fictitious life of Amina, 9, who is disappointed when her parents won’t purchase her a tablet. Children learn along the way how Amina’s parents help her earn money through entrepreneurship. A fun mission, “10K With Amina,” is also in the works with Financial Garden to teach 10,000 kids “kidpreneurship.” Danielle wants them to learn (by Dec. 31) how to save, invest, and budget with Amina as she starts her business. Join the challenge today: https://financialgarden.com/product/aminas-bracelets/.
Former Detroit resident Ahmya Carter, 13 of California, already has a head start. Carter’s mother purchased Danielle’s book, which inspired her and her friend to create a candy-selling business, which they will open once COVID-19 settles down.
“Me and my friend were kind of irritated because we were tired of having no money and we always wanted new things,” Carter said, adding that the book helped her find ways to make a profit. “Entrepreneurship is actually one of the greatest things you can do for yourself. Start young and grow from there.”
Danielle credits her grandmother for instilling in her long ago the importance of owing no one.
“My peers didn’t have the same money mindset as me,” she said. “They said, ‘Everyone has debt.’ My grandmother taught me about money. She taught me to refinance my goals. I knew I could pay (my student loan) debt off full throttle.”
And she did. Danielle eliminated $80,000 of debt before the age of 30. Before COVID-19, Danielle went into partnership with local school districts and libraries, teaching the value of a dollar in person — now her program is online for safety precautions.
“Everything shifted for me,” Danielle said of her business. “I don’t think anybody saw it coming. I pretty much had to re-pivot and market toward parents and figure out how to do this all online.”
The certified public accountant did just that and expanded her company, which now helps parents become more involved in educating their children with online lessons, which include games and age-appropriate activities that are about 60 minutes long. Danielle encourages others (in particular Black business owners) struggling during the pandemic to think about how they could move their business online, where it makes sense. She also encourages them to find grants and other financial resources to bolster their business. Danielle took her own advice and recently won a $15,000 business grant from Essence and Pine-Sol.
“There are a lot of business grants available for minorities and black women,” she said. “Just be aware of what’s going on.”
For more information go to https://financialgarden.com.