Venus Williams, Spike Lee set for Black Entrepreneurs Day
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Venus Williams, Spike Lee, Tracee Ellis Ross, Shaquille O’Neal and Killer Mike are among those set to participate in a celebration of African American business success and opportunity.
Black Entrepreneurs Day, founded and organized by “Shark Tank” panelist and FUBU chief executive Daymond John, will be held Oct. 27 at New York City’s Apollo Theater and streamed live on Johnson’s Facebook page and BlackEntrepreneursDay.com.
In a statement, John said his goal for the third annual gathering remains to “inspire, educate, learn from and celebrate those that are hustling, pushing forward, pursuing their dreams and, in many cases, thriving.”
Beginning at 7 p.m. EDT, the night will include John’s one-on-one discussions with celebrity and business guests; panels on topics including building generational wealth and elevating creativity and access, and a “pitch competition” for nascent entrepreneurs. Rapper Big Sean will close the Chase-presented event with a live performance.
Black business owners and entrepreneurs can apply for $25,000 grants from the NAACP Powershift Entrepreneur Grant program created by John, with the event website open for applications through 11:59 p.m. EDT Wednesday, Oct. 12. More than $500,000 in grants has been given, according to organizers.
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“Black Entrepreneurs Day provides an invaluable resource to a community that is historically overlooked when it comes to resources and funding. It is truly economic inclusion for us, by us,” NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said in a statement.
John, one of the original stars of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” founded the global lifestyle brand FUBU and is a motivational speaker and author.