Is there a better way to give people a hand up? Is there anything that entrepreneurs can do to marry the ideal of generating income with the moral obligation to help others? More than 38 million Americans are living in poverty. Those who grow up in poverty find many more barriers to overcome on the road to middle-class comfort than those who have been born into different circumstances. According to fintech entrepreneur James Gutierrez, there is a clear distortion of what “pulling oneself up by the bootstraps” really means, as some are sunk further into the mire than others.


James Gutierrez, Social Entrepreneur

Throughout his professional journey, James Gutierrez has remained committed to helping the community he grew up in to have access to better financial tools. He has an extensive background in creating innovative lending products to cater to the traditionally underbanked communities.

Additionally, James Gutierrez serves on multiple Boards for social justice organizations. Throughout his professional trajectory, he has been guided by unwavering principles, and a compassionate drive to help others. These innate driving forces have led James Gutierrez to professional success, all while maintaining an authenticity that’s impossible to ignore. …

James Gutierrez, Fintech Entrepreneur

James Gutierrez

CEO and Founder at Insikt Venture Capital

EDUCATION: Stanford University (Stanford, CA)

Fintech entrepreneur and inclusive lending proponent James Gutierrez has devoted his professional trajectory to providing financial opportunities to traditionally underbanked communities. As the Founder and CEO of innovative banking companies, including Insikt, Aura, and an upcoming new venture, he aims to evolve inclusive banking, focusing on the LatinX community, and underbanked consumers. He serves on various leadership Boards, including SEO, and Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

Originally published at on April 16, 2021.

James Gutierrez, Entrepreneur and Inclusive Banking Proponent

Entrepreneur and finance technology expert James Gutierrez has long believed in economic fairness. With a strong family belief in social justice and a career focused on building organizations from the ground up, fintech entrepreneur James Gutierrez recently discussed his professional and personal journey.

Gutierrez grew up in a family that worked tirelessly to support the Latino population and social justice causes. His family immigrated to the United States from Mexico and had their own struggles with hardship, economic challenges, and assimilating into the U.S. culture.

“I wanted to carry that torch and give back to the community, specifically helping to…

James Gutierrez, FinTech Entrepreneur

COVID may have pushed us past the boiling point. People have been upset about the wealth gap in America for decades, but the growing disparities between the proverbial have and have-nots have been increasingly more evident. Inclusivity proponent James Gutierrez has devoted his professional career to highlighting these disparities and creating platforms to close the wealth gap.

Currently, the US Federal Reserve reports the top 1% of Americans hold almost a third (29%) of all wealth. If you extend that group by just 9% more, the gap is even wider. The top 10% of the richest Americans make nearly double…

James Gutierrez, FinTech Entrepreneur

When most people think about financial services, they might assume that all neighborhoods and individuals in the US have relatively similar access to opportunities. Maybe the affluent neighborhoods have more financial advisors and higher credit limits at their disposal, but the general service menu remains the same. Right? Entrepreneur and inclusivity proponent James Gutierrez breaks down the various inequities that exist in the realm of financial opportunity.

According to recent data, 25% of all households either don’t have a bank account or need to look outside of their bank to fulfill their financial access needs. The pandemic has only been…

Leading fintech entrepreneur James Gutierrez announced the closure of Aura, the Community Development Financial Institution that he founded in 2012, because of the challenges of operating in the COVID-19 environmen t.

In a heartfelt open letter posted to his LinkedIn, Gutierrez shared, “While the race for inclusivity and equality surges forward with renewed promise in 2021, the last year has certainly claimed various initiatives, small businesses, and companies dedicated to fulfilling this important cause”.

Aura helped more than 350,000 customers avoid expensive payday loans and gave them the opportunity to build their credit scores. In his farewell to the company…

As the most unprecedented year to date has now come to a close, I continue to reflect on the global impact that the pandemic, recent legislation, and status quo have elicited. While the race for inclusivity and equality surges forward with renewed promise in 2021, the last year has certainly claimed various initiatives, small businesses, and companies dedicated to fulfilling this important cause. With a heavy heart, I write to inform you that Aura, a certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) and fintech innovator serving those without credit or voice, has succumbed to a similar fate that has met countless…

James Gutierrez is a social entrepreneur focused on innovative financial services technologies, and inclusion within the lending industry. Through his professional ventures, James Gutierrez has leveraged his finance tech experience to provide access to liquidity for countless previously underbanked individuals.

James Gutierrez is the Founding Partner of Insikt Ventures, a $5 million venture capital fund focused on seed and Series A investments in fintech and consumer products. In 2005, he co-founded Progreso Financiero (currently known as Oportun) to provide unsecured loans to customers with limited credit histories. As a result, Oportun has provided more than $1.5 billion in loans to…

James Gutierrez credits the SEO Global Career Program for giving him the opportunity to rise above the struggles of his LA youth to be a successful entrepreneur in California’s Silicon Valley. SEO Global (“Seizing Every Opportunity”), is an organization that provides mentorship, education, and positive peer pressure services for inner-city high school students. To give back to the community and help others achieve success as entrepreneurs, James Gutierrez is an active participant in the SEO Global community. James Gutierrez sits on the organization’s San Francisco Advisory Board.

The SEO Global program includes an annual awards dinner and the annual SEO…

James Gutierrez

James Gutierrez is a thought leader, entrepreneur, and CEO with vast experience in the evolving realm of FinTech. Additionally, he is an avid philanthropist.

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