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‘Shark Tank’ star Daymond John looks to spice up Black entrepreneurs for a fourth 12 months

Daymond John attends the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones at Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, California, on March 12, 2023.

Leon Bennett | Filmmagic | Getty Images

“Shark Tank” star Daymond John is looking to offer Black business owners a lift for the fourth 12 months running.

The FUBU CEO’s Black Entrepreneurs Day, billed as a celebration of Black business, will return Nov. 1. The event will feature a lineup of celebrity guests corresponding to Whoopi Goldberg and Shaquille O’Neal and insights from top Black business leaders.

Eight winners of a $25,000 entrepreneurship grant will even get the chance to seem alongside John through the event. The event will happen on the Apollo Theater in Manhattan and will even be broadcast online via livestream.

This 12 months marks the fourth 12 months of the event, which was first created partially to handle “frustration over injustice” after the murder of George Floyd in 2020. Black Entrepreneurs Day was launched later that 12 months to “rejoice” Black business owners amid a give attention to systemic racism and economic inequities.

“I remember when Rodney King happened,” John told CNBC. “I didn’t go and burn businesses — I built one.”

Early support wanes

Since 2020, Black Entrepreneurs Day has attracted big-name corporations including JPMorgan Chase‘s Chase for Business and Shopify.

As the event enters its fourth 12 months, enthusiasm amongst corporate sponsors has not matched what it was in 2020, when it launched on the heels of the Covid-19 pandemic and widespread Black Lives Matter protests pushing for racial equity.

“It was very easy [to get corporations on board] the primary 12 months,” John said. “I said, ‘Will you stand by me and say that you just are on the correct side of this discussion?'”

Many of the businesses standing behind Black Entrepreneurs Day have launched initiatives to support the Black community. Chase allocated $30 billion as a part of a racial equity commitment in 2020, which has since been used to deploy 15,000 small business loans, amongst other initiatives.

John said corporations need to point out continued support for Black businesses beyond a one-time commitment.

“If you haven’t got people in your organization that seem like those you might be serving, then you definitely’re going to chase what’s shinier on daily basis,” John said. “You might imagine that the systemic issues were solved” by the donation you gave.

John lauded brands including Chase, T-Mobile, The General Insurance and Shopify, which he said have stayed on the “right side” of the difficulty. He said the businesses don’t just hand over money, but additionally go the additional mile to speculate within the Black community.

This 12 months, Black Entrepreneurs Day will feature a star-studded guest list including Goldberg, O’Neal, Cedric the Entertainer, Anthony Anderson and Rick Ross, to debate their journey as Black entertainers and entrepreneurs.

“People need to know what they did at their lowest point and the way they got out of circumstances that lots of us have been in or are currently in,” John said.

Grants up for grabs

Black Entrepreneurs Day will partner with the NAACP to offer eight entrepreneurs $25,000 issued through the NAACP Powershift Entrepreneur Grant. Business owners who apply and win certainly one of the eight grants will give you the option to get mentorship from John and join him through the event broadcast.

The grant gets tens of hundreds of applications, even outpacing the entries submitted to “Shark Tank,” a globally recognized show, John told CNBC.

The Shopify Pitch Competition will return to this 12 months’s Black Entrepreneurs Day. Current Shopify merchants could have the prospect to pitch to a few judges live through the broadcast. Winners will likely be awarded $25,000 and mentorship from John.

Black-owned businesses were hit especially hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, and when federal assistance became available, Black business owners saw less of that cash than their white counterparts.

“When the cash was issued throughout Covid, a variety of Black farmers and African American businesses got a really small percentage of it and it took them for much longer to get it,” John said.

Paycheck Protection Program loans largely failed to achieve areas with the very best concentrations of Black-owned businesses, CNBC reported in 2020.

Several businesses have flourished with the cash and mentorship provided by the grant, John said, and a few business owners at the moment are in a position to keep their businesses open due partially to the grant funds.

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