Daymond John on Recruiting Kevin Hart, Tyra Banks & More for Black Entrepreneurs Day (Exclusive)
By Mona Khalifeh
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Daymond John is spearheading Black Entrepreneurs Day. The Shark Tankjudge talked to ET's Kevin Frazier about how the event is helping Black business owners and the panel of Black entrepreneurs and celebrities who are sharing their successes and failures in starting their own businesses.
"Kevin Hart is going to be on there, we have Shaquille O'Neal, Tyra Banks, Michael Strahan. So, really, really great people who are going to share their ups and downs, their failures, their successes, and being people who are of color in business," John said of the Chase Bank sponsored event which is being held in New York's Apollo Theater as well as streaming on Facebook.
John added that these celebrities not only broke the mold, but moved beyond their star power to also become business people.
"Tyra Banks isn’t just a pretty face. She understood how to dominate content. Kevin Hart ran his tours and he’s probably the number one comedian in the world. You can’t tell the same joke twice. Michael Strahan isn’t just an athlete. He’s a commentator. He’s a journalist. He shifts. We’re always finding ourselves stuck in a box. All of these people have had more doors slammed in their faces than anyone else but, they broke those molds and became business people and they’re celebrated. And they’re here to talk about their mistakes more than their success," he said of the event's highlighted celebs.
These celebs and business owners will not only be sharing their stories, but they'll be helping award grants to small business owners who've worked to keep their doors open all throughout the pandemic.
"It's the people who are going to be awarding these grants to these small businesses owners, who during the year, in these times it matters, to keep their doors open. Like, 'Here is what I've done, you should do this too,' this is what we are learning together collectively," John explained.
It's not just the celebrities, but the brands and sponsors who are giving back and placing their name to the cause in support of Black businesses.
"We have a young brand called Yappa, it's a Black-owned brand, you have Chase for business, you have Shopify, you have Johnson and Johnson, The General insurance, streaming live on Facebook, Logitech, but the important part about that is, they are proud to put their name on a marquee next to mine and say, 'We support where this is going and who we are bringing value to,' and that is what I love about it, and they are also giving away hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants, under written by the NAACP," the FUBU CEO shared.
And business owners can log on to Facebook, apply and be granted money that way.
"Log on and obviously go and apply and walk away," John said. "Last year, we gave over a quarter of million dollars away and still this year hundreds of thousands, maybe even more, I am not sure over last year, but they get to walk away with that well, that well-deserved and more importantly needed money for their business because it is a grant. We are not taking any of the business."
He continued, "That'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. 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.
Business owners have until Sept. 28. to apply for the NAACP-backed grant.
RSVP to Black Entrepreneurs Day, streaming Oct. 14 on Facebook, here.