James Gutierrez – Social Entrepeneur

James Gutierrez is the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Aura Finances, which offers loans to people with restrained access to banking and financial services. The customers quickly access Aura’s loans through their handsets and supermarkets. The company opened its door in 2012 after seeing the business opportunity created by the existing racial variation.

James Gutierrez worked with Progreso Financiero, which was renamed Oportun, before starting Aura finances. Oportun opened in 2005 when smartphones were still not widespread. The company offered loans to people earning little or average income. They accessed the loans through outlets like minimarts, groceries, boutiques, and food stores. Oportun had widened their scope to include relationship banking services to their customers who had different jobs and had no time left.

Racism in the country had encroached the banking center, where immigrants could not easily access financial services. Covid-19 made it worse, significantly when immigrants’ businesses were affected and could not access any banks’ financial support. James Gutierrez, whose grandparents were also immigrants, was equally affected by the imbalance. Aura’s clients were small business owners who were left to either pick pay-day loans and other auto title loans depending on what was suitable for them.

Aura collects data from other financial institutions to know more about its borrower’s transaction history and decide the amount of money to lend out. James Gutierrez emphasized that while he focuses on low-to-moderate households, he also works with profit companies to succeed as they scale.

Oportun and Aura offer loans at an interest rate of 36 percent; they give incentives to customers who adhere to the payment day by providing them lower interest rates the next time they borrow. James Gutierrez said that both companies took a step of faith in people who were ignored even though they made up most businesses that heavily contributed to the countries’ economy.

Learn more about James: https://www.f6s.com/jamesgutierrez]