We exist to empower the socio-economic futures of Black youth.
Syclus (Sick´less) is a New York City-based social impact startup that combines money/finance, hip-hop culture, and technology in new and entertaining ways to help create the first financially successful generation of under-resourced Black youth. Syclus was created to break the cycle of poverty by empowering the pre-banked consumer segment to become productive participants in the U.S. financial system and not only achieve their money goals, but elevate their goals by helping them become role models to their peers and parents.
Syclus’ flagship product is a School Bank Program (SBP). It includes a culturally relevant financial and capital markets curriculum to teach urban high school students how to make smart money decisions and build generational wealth.
SBP’s innovative learning model includes lessons on banking, saving, setting financial goals and budgeting. The comprehensive 14-week course focuses on the use of hip-hop culture and game-based learning as powerful new strategies to make teaching and educating students about money easy, fun, and above all, effective.
A competitive differentiator of Syclus is that it employs popfy (päp-fī/), the abbreviation for popular (pop) finance (fy), a language that mixes mainstream hip-hop culture to creatively teach an entertaining brand of finance. popfy behaves as the culture of Syclus and the lifestyle brand's core aim is to engineer the convergence of innovation x design x technology in unique ways to shape the experience of how the >$830B emerging consumer segment interacts and relates to money; and by doing so, highlights the scary subject's importance today, and in the future, by seamlessly aligning it with their daily lifestyle choices.
More importantly, popfy has the uncanny ability to create an emotional connection with Black youth by fostering authentic storytelling experiences they are comfortable in and can share with their peers.
The popfy vehicle incorporates HipHodEd, a more personalized and engaging pedagogical approach to teaching and learning that focuses on the use of hip-hop culture and its elements in teaching and learning both within and outside of the traditional school setting.
For centuries, Black Americans have not been given the opportunity to build generational wealth given their lack of fair and equal access to useful financial services and education. As a result, the wealth gap in America is at an all-time high. In 2019, the typical White family had nearly eight times (8x) the net worth of the typical Black family, and by 2053, statistics show that the median income of Black families in the U.S. will fall to $0. As such, it is a must that underfunded Black youth understand and navigate the complex global financial system, including a financial institution's value proposition and how it revolutionizes the fabric of their daily lives by behaving as the center of their entire lifestyle.
Syclus exists to equip the aforementioned underfunded Black youth with the tools and skills to address the following social and economic justice issues:
High poverty rate
At 18%, the Black poverty level remains far more than double that of white Americans (7.3%); and 23% of Black people live in high-poverty neighborhoods
More than a quarter (25%) of Black children fell below the poverty line in 2019, compared to 8.3% of white children
Lack of financial literacy, which contributes to wealth and racial inequality
Currently, only 16.4% of U.S. high school students are required to take a personal finance course to graduate (4% of low-income students), highlighting that often those most in need of financial literacy, Black and Brown communities, are left behind
Large unbanked population, largely due to distrust of banks (14% vs. 2.5% of white households)
In 2020, Black households were 5.5x more likely to be unbanked than white households
Lack of Black representation within the stock market (33%)
While publicly traded stock comprises 24% of the wealth of white families, it makes up just 13% of Black wealth
Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Syclus' mission is closely aligned with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and we utilize the SDGs as a lens through which we ultimately view our impact in the world.