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‘Shark Tank’s’ Daymond John Helps Out The Little Fish Awards $750k In Grants

The event—now in its fourth year—awarded nine Black entrepreneurs NAACP Powershift Entrepreneur Grants worth $25,000.

Shark Tank co-star Daymond John hosted Black Entrepreneurs Day on Nov. 1. The event—now in its fourth year—has awarded over $750,000 in grants to support Black businesses.

The FUBU CEO hosted the annual event at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, where special guests included Whoopi Goldberg, Shaquille O’Neal, Anthony Anderson, and more. According to ABC News, nine Black entrepreneurs were awarded NAACP Powershift Entrepreneur Grants worth $25,000.

John, who received an official Black Entrepreneurs Day proclamation from New York City’s Mayor Eric Adams, spoke to ABC News about the necessity of Black Entrepreneurs Day.

“The need for resources and community support for our Black businesses remains paramount. I salute our partners who, year after year, support our mission to educate and inspire Black entrepreneurs around the globe.” Data from a CNBC report showed that in 2022, financing for Black businesses went down 45%.

Ashley Sutton, who created Hustle & Hope greeting cards with a purpose, was the Salesforce-sponsored winner of a $25,000 grant, according to the news outlet. Sutton, a full-time entrepreneur with a marketing background, told ABC News that her motivation comes from something her mother said.

“If I kept track of every ‘no’ I’ve ever gotten, I could probably fund my business. But it’s just this unwavering belief in myself. And holding on to this quote from my mom, ‘No means next.’ That keeps me going.” The entrepreneur is disrupting a $7.5 billion industry in the U.S., according to facts and figures provided by Northern Cards. Business Wire noted that the greeting card industry is projected to reach $20.66 billion globally.

Lawrence Phillips, the $25,000 grant recipient selected by Hilton, created the Green Book Global travel platform for Black travelers.

The entrepreneur, who quit his job to travel the world after experiencing burnout, told ABC News, “I really could never find a platform that would tell me, from city to city, what it would be like traveling while Black.” He added that the platform, which was inspired by The Negro Motorist Green Book, aims to “increase the confidence and reduce the anxiety of Black travelers.”

Black Entrepreneurs Day began in 2020. Each year, the event celebrates enterprise in the Black community.

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