Big Sean, a Detroit rapper and entrepreneur, and Ally Financial have partnered with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) to find the next biggest young entrepreneur. Through a competition called Moguls in the Making, an innovative program aimed at empowering young entrepreneurs and giving them a platform to bring their dreams to life, they will identify standout entrepreneurs-in-the-making from publicly supported historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) around the country. Those students will represent their schools in teams to compete for the top prize.
According to a recent study by CB Insights, in 2017 it was reported that while 13% of the American population is black, only 1% of venture capital-backed startups have black founders. Ally Financial says it is passionate about supporting economic mobility and helping underserved communities gain tools to enhance their career opportunities and financial trajectory. This competition aims to help prepare bright and talented black students to become future entrepreneurs.
“Ally is committed to diversity and inclusion and aiding economic mobility through programs that provide all individuals greater access to services, education and resources they can use to help improve their economic circumstances and enrich their lives,” said Alison Summerville, business administration executive and head of Corporate Citizenship at Ally Financial. “What excites me about this competition is the fact that we’re giving all these students an opportunity to interact with us, to receive mentoring, and to pull out their creative spirits, potentially spring boarding them to a future as an entrepreneur that can help uplift others.”
TMCF is the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the black college community. Big Sean is the founder of the Sean Anderson Foundation, which is dedicated to improving the education, health, safety, and well-being of school-aged youth and their families. One of the Sean Anderson Foundation’s initiatives is Mogul Prep, which aims to provide students educational programming to help them navigate the entertainment industry. The shared values and goals between the Sean Anderson Foundation, Mogul Prep, TMCF, and Ally inspired the Moguls in the Making program.
“I really feel like one of my life purposes is to inspire,” said Big Sean, entertainer, entrepreneur, and founder of the Sean Anderson Foundation. “Moguls in the Making is all about making the next generation of moguls, finding that hustler spirit and hunger that exists in our youth and bringing that forward. I’m excited to find these great young minds and give them a platform and an opportunity to further build their futures.”
The way the competition will unfold is Moguls in the Making students from publicly supported HBCUs selected by TMCF will have the opportunity to represent their school and compete in a weekend-long challenge in Detroit in March. Students will devise and pitch a business plan to a panel of judges including Ally executives and Big Sean. The top two teams will receive prizes.
“A key element of TMCF is securing top talent for major companies but another aspect we are proud of is identifying and developing the next generation of global innovators and entrepreneurs,” said George Spencer, executive vice president of business development, innovation and entrepreneurship at TMCF. “There is no doubt this incredible program will be the catalyst for entrepreneurial success and inspiration for the HBCU students competing in Detroit.”
For more information on Moguls in the Making, click here.