“Whatever you choose to do in life, there is a business model behind that,” said Lynda. “It’s my job to help you find that, see it, envision it, and understand how credit and a wealthy mindset can help you get there.”
Shaun Lynda, 45, owns his own shipping company, and is a financial entrepreneur, real estate mogul, creator of the Financially Clean nonprofit, and founder of the Two Black Guys with Good Credit podcast. He said that he enjoys using his banking and finance experiences to service the community and educate adults and children about money. His business ventures have spanned the last 15 years.
“Today we’ve taught well over 10,000 kids in the city and I’ve taught at universities. I’ve done public speaking, so it’s really grown,” said Lynda about his nonprofit.
Lynda maintains that many finance mentoring programs led by predominantly white members in Black communities encourage saving and budgeting, but they neglect to teach people how to invest their earnings and accumulate wealth because they don’t believe Black people are responsible enough to manage their credit. Lynda’s workshops in schools focus on how to leverage credit, understanding good debt, and budgeting.
In some classes, Lynda was excited for the opportunity to teach both students and parents about credit and money management.
“I met a lot of young people of color that don’t have the education but want to have the know-how entrepreneur business-like mindset,” said Lynda, “but there’s certain fundamental things that they’re missing that would help them.”
Lynda was born in Canada and moved to New York for work. His family is originally from Barbados. He got his start in financing with Chase Bank as a retirement investment specialist. From there he went to American Express, when the office was headquartered at the World Trade Center. After the tragic 9/11 attacks shut down the building in 2001, Lynda struck out on his own and started investing in properties in Brooklyn.
With the residual income from real estate secured, Lynda slowly put into motion his shipping business, NicNat Direct, in 2005. The idea spawned from a supply and demand situation for stretchy jeans in the Caribbean.
“What was happening was that I was trying to figure out their needs, how I can serve them,” said Lynda about his shipping business. “I became the angel jeans man.”
After the success of his nonprofit, Lynda and his recently passed business partner, “The Great” Arlington Fitzgerald Forbes, began the entertaining and informative podcast centered around the Black community and credit.
Forbes was a 53-year-old, Black business and art gallery owner in Malibu. He unfortunately died of cancer in November 2021. Lynda said while the show was his idea, it was Forbes that formulated and brought it all together.
“We were the yin and the yang. Our best shows, in my opinion, were with him and I doing them together,” said Lynda, reminiscing about his best friend’s role on the show. “Complementing me, we argued like brothers. He was very artsy.”
As far as future plans, Lynda said he would love to take his business to a high tech level and make it really more of a global brand. He also mentioned an aspiration to get into politics down the road because of the immense support his financial literacy programs have gotten from electeds, such as then-Brooklyn Borough President/now-Mayor Eric Adams.
Ariama C. Long is a Report for America corps member and writes about culture and politics in New York City for The Amsterdam News. Your donation to match our RFA grant helps keep her writing stories like this one; please consider making a tax-deductible gift of any amount today by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/fcszwj8w