Jotaka Eaddy has been serving as an activist for years; tackling issues surrounding government affairs, working relentlessly as the senior advisor to the president and CEO of the NAACP, and has now taken those skills into the tech industry, having recently been appointed the new vice president of Policy, Strategic Engagement, and Impact, at LendUp, a role that did not previously exist.
According to the socially responsible financial services firm, this new role was created to further the company’s commitment to social impact and advocacy for financial inclusion, a topic that Eaddy is very well-versed in. Previously, Eaddy served as LendUp’s head of Government Affairs so it was only fitting that with her range of skill sets, a customized title was crafted around her promoted position.
A press release cited that LendUp has met several very large milestones recently. The company has saved borrowers nearly $135 million in interest and fees and expects to surpass $200 million by the end of the year by providing them with financial education, resources, and tools. These savings have helped to close the gap caused by poor credit, which costs Americans roughly $250,000 more over the course of their lifetimes.
Financial Education Resources (Image: LendUp)
“We started LendUp to improve the way Americans access credit, with a mission to provide anyone with a path to better financial health. Reaching these milestones is huge—not just for us, but for our borrowers,” LendUp co-founder and CEO Sasha Orloff stated in the release. “Since Jotaka’s arrival, we’ve benefited from her knowledge and leadership, and we value her commitment to our mission. I’m thrilled to see her take on this expanded role, and I can’t wait to see all the good she does with it.”
So what will Eaddy’s new role consist of? She will work to advance policies and partnerships that improve economic opportunities for millions of Americans facing financial instability, including:
● A cross-sector partnership with the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program to address the growing problem of income volatility affecting American workers. This collaboration led to the launch of Finance Forward, a multi-city event series that for the first time brings together elected officials, businesses, community advocates, and nonprofit leaders to identify and advance actionable solutions to income volatility. The series, which is joined by several other national partners, including the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund, the Urban Institute, and Stride Health, held its inaugural event in Columbia, South Carolina, in June. Its next event is in St. Louis in November.
● Ongoing research in collaboration with the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), the centerpiece being a robust program to measure the overall financial health of LendUp customers. As a result of these efforts, LendUp was named a CFSI 2017 Financial Health Leader.
● Innovative service partnerships with nonprofits, B Corps, and financial innovators, including Balance, SpringFour and Digit, that connect LendUp borrowers with access to important educational resources, like free credit counseling, that are proven to significantly improve financial health.
Jotaka Eaddy VP of Policy, Strategic Engagement & Impact (Image: LendUp)
“We’re thrilled by the progress we’ve made to address issues related to financial inclusion, income volatility, and financial health, but we know we can do more to help our customers make sound financial decisions,” said Eaddy. “We want to see our borrowers develop the day-to-day financial habits that lead to long-term resilience and opportunity. We’re just beginning to scratch the surface of what’s possible when financial services providers and others with a common goal—improving Americans’ financial health—join forces.”
To hear more from Jotaka Eaddy about LendUp’s advancements and what her plans are in her new role, catch her Oct. 9th and 10th at the Black Enterprise TechConneXt Summit in Burlingame, California.