Daymond John Helps to Give Away $250K in Grants to Black Businesses at 2nd Annual Black Entrepreneurs Day

John was joined by Black business icons, including Kevin Hart, Shaquille O’Neal, Tyra Banks, Michael Strahan and more.

Daymond John celebrated his second annual Black Entrepreneurs Day Thursday by giving away $250,000 in grants to businesses.

The event, presented by Chase for Business and held live and in-person, from Harlem’s Apollo Theater, included conversations with several Black celebrities turned businessicons including Kevin Hart, Shaquille O'NealTyra BanksMichael Strahan, Marcus Samuelsson, Rev Run and D Nice. The show, which was also streamed on the Shark Tank judge's Facebook page featured a performance from Grammy-winning artist, Khalid, for his first-ever performance at the legendary theater.

With the help of these Black business owners, John gave out $250,000 in NAACP Powershift Grants to entrepreneurs across the country, grants that were generously funded by the event’s sponsors Chase for Business, JP Morgan Wealth Management, The General, T-Mobile for Business, Salesforce, Johnson & Johnson, Shopify, Quickbooks, Klaviyo, and Logitech.

Not only did these celebs help give out these business-saving grants, they also shared their ups and downs, their failures, their successes, and as people of color who are of color in business. Banks opened up about how she's had to not only be "different" but be "better" as a Black female founder.

"One thing I preach, 'Different is better than better,' I preach that, I preach that, and it is. However, when you are even a female founder, it's not just about being different, you've gotta be better," the Dancing With the Stars host told John. "It's like as Black people, momma has taught us, you can't just do the same thing, you've gotta do better just to get this much." 

The former supermodel shared that the odds are stacked against female business owners.

"I have had friends, guy friends, go and pitch. They didn't have a deck, they don't know their numbers, they don't know nothing and then people are like, 'Hey, here's $20 million." I come in there, I've got the deck, it's polished, it's this, it's that. It's like, 'Oh you know, just come back after you have proof of concept.' 'What? My friend just came like yesterday and you gave him $20 million.' We can't just be great. We can't just be good as. We have to be 10 times better. Sad fact, but true," she explained.


Hart, who appeared virtually at the event, stressed the importance of brand building and shared stories of young comedians who are using their work to build that platform for themselves, while Strahan used the "secret weapon" of his gap in his teeth to share that his "imperfections" has helped him be more relatable in his career and business.


Last month, ahead of the event's second annual giveaway, John stressed the importance of giving out this money in the wake of a pandemic that left many businesses struggling and even closing their doors.

"It's free money to help you, maybe keep the doors open longer, maybe get your books in the right order, maybe it will order more inventory, maybe it will increase your market. So this is amazing," he shared. "I love the fact that these brands are supporting and believe in our solution, and they are also giving a lot of resources. A lot of data bases, things for people to go and learn from, so this does not mean that it came out last night, and said, 'Here you go,' they created a lot of things to help support this cause and to help support black entrepreneurs."

A recording of Thursday's live-streamed event can be found here.