Shark Tank star, Fubu founder and business mogul Daymond John has a message for the country.
Young men and women should be building businesses right now.
“I think like all of us we are out there watching the world crumble and a lot of civil unrest. And instead of seeing these young men and women burning down businesses they should be building businesses,” John said on Yahoo Finance’s The First Trade.
To that end, John is putting his money and legendary hustle to work to help new businesses sprout amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
John has created Black Entrepreneurs Day to be held on Oct. 24 at 7 p.m. EST. It will be a live streamed event on John’s Facebook page that spotlights Black businesses. Conversations will be between John and star friends Shaquille O’Neal (a Papa John’s board member), Gabrielle Union, Jamie Foxx, Robert Johnson, L.L. Cool J (who will at Yahoo Finance’s All Markets Summit later this month). And Chance the Rapper and Questlove will perform live.
As part of the virtual gathering, John will assist in picking seven Black entrepreneurs each of which will get a $25,000 grant funded by the event’s sponsors: Chase for Business, The General Insurance, PepsiCo, Cisco Webex, Intuit’s Quickbooks, Robinhood and Yappa.
The event comes on the heels of John teaming up with home improvement chain Lowe’s to identify minority-owned businesses with products that could be sold at the retailer’s stores. John will help prep the business owners for pitches to Lowe’s executives, including CEO Marvin Ellison.
John says efforts like these — and more — are needed as the reality is government stimulus hasn’t done much to truly help minority-owned businesses during the pandemic.
“It did not help, very little,” John said of the first round of fiscal stimulus. “44% of Black entrepreneurs, the companies, will shutter and be done, period, against 17% of non-Black, meaning white. I’m not sure if it’s the fact that they don’t have great relationships with bankers or they were overlooked or it’s very hard, especially for Black farmers, but this stimulus package, we need it now. I don’t care if you’re Black, white or indifferent. We pay our taxes, now. This is a situation that we know will go away and should not play politics. Politics will be played next year and the next hundred thousand of years. People need it now, and this is the bridge we need.”