Melinda Belle: Lighting a Path to Financial Education

Updated: Jan 21

Chatting with Melinda Belle you get the sense that she is as vulnerable as she is on a mission. As Founder and Managing Director of Astrape Finance, her focus is the financial wellbeing of her small business clients for whom she offers financial management and advisory services. But that's been extended to individuals via the social movement she’s building, the Money Matters with Melinda community.

I first met Melinda several years ago when she was the shy girl standing in the back of the modern dance class I was teaching. She was soft-spoken and took instruction well and we had an opportunity to speak a few times after class so I knew that her area of interest was money and finance.

So last year when I saw a powerhouse of a lady blazing Instagram lives to regular Joannas like me, placating us to take care of our financial health, I thought, “she looks a little like that girl but it couldn’t be. I don’t remember her being so bold”. But it was. It was the same girl, now woman, and now undeniably bold and confident with that dab of vulnerability.

Melinda Belle (right) and I after our chat at Deebles Point Cafe

I became a follower of the @moneymatterswithmelinda handle on Instagram because I could tell that Melinda was genuine and passionate about having Barbadians pay attention to the way that they managed their money. She particularly tackled mindless spending, unproductive debt and building a habit of saving. I later learned that she also conceived ImageUp by Melinda and the ImageUp Summit to “Empower women to create wealth using their natural abilities".

Naturally, this little ecosystem of brands intrigued me especially because it wasn’t in the entertainment, events, or food niches but in financial services where the voice of the young is rare. I had to dig a bit and invited Melinda to be my guest on the Backstage with Bajan Brands podcast.

My favourite moments from that conversation were Melinda describing the concept of leading your money, explaining how Money Matters with Melinda came to be and hearing why she believes money matters aren’t just about money.

Listen to the full conversation here.

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