Black business owners receive $25,000 grants to aid expansion efforts.

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Despite a gradual decline in investment opportunities for Black-owned businesses, Daymond John

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – OCTOBER 24: Daymond John visits the SiriusXM Studios on October 24, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images)

is committed to changing this narrative through his initiative, Black Entrepreneurs Day. John, the CEO of FUBU and a co-star on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” launched Black Entrepreneurs Day in 2020 as a way to celebrate innovation and entrepreneurship within the Black community. Since its inception, the event has provided over $750,000 in business grants.

John emphasized the ongoing need for resources and community support for Black businesses. He expressed his gratitude to partners who consistently support their mission to educate and inspire Black entrepreneurs worldwide.

In 2020, following the death of George Floyd, Black founders secured a record $4.3 billion in venture capital and corporate investments. However, amid increased market uncertainty, funding for Black businesses saw a 45% decline, surpassing the overall 36% decrease in venture capital funding in 2022.

During Black Entrepreneurs Day’s annual event at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, nine entrepreneurs were selected to receive $25,000 each. New York City Mayor Eric Adams presented Daymond John with an official proclamation recognizing Black Entrepreneurs Day.

The winners, representing various industries, were awarded a total of over $200,000 through the NAACP Powershift Entrepreneur Grant. Applicants were required to outline their business visions, describe the challenges they’ve encountered, and explain how they intend to use the grant funding.

One of the grant recipients, Ashley Sutton, sponsored by Salesforce, plans to revolutionize the greeting cards industry. She created Hustle & Hope in 2019, aiming to modernize this $7 billion industry by merging digital and physical experiences through QR codes that offer downloadable guides for various occasions and self-care strategies. This grant will enable Sutton to expand her team and hire an intern.

Lawrence Phillips, another Black Entrepreneurs Day recipient, revealed that burnout prompted him to take a risk and leave his lucrative consulting job to travel the world while at the peak of his career.

Source: 104.5 Wokv