Big Sean is partnering with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and financial services company, Ally, to launch a new entrepreneurship competition aimed at helping underrepresented communities achieve economic success.
The Detroit-based Moguls in the Making program is a week-long opportunity for select students at HBCUs to compete against other young entrepreneurs. Students will receive mentorship from the Ally employees to develop and present a completed business plan to a panel of judges—including Big Sean.
“We’re simply not satisfied with the fact that there are groups that lack access to the education, tools, and resources that help to build a desirable path forward – in society, business, and in life,” Ally wrote in a blog post. “We want to be part of the solution, fostering efforts that help increase opportunities for economic growth and education so that everyone has a chance to realize their dreams.”
Earlier this year, a study comparing intergenerational mobility found downward mobility was higher among Black Americans and American Indians. Using Census Bureau data and IRS tax return information, the study shows that Black Americans and American Indians from middle-class backgrounds are more likely to fall behind than their white counterparts.
“We believe so much in this idea of economic mobility,” said Andrea Brimmer, chief marketing and public relations officer at Ally in a blog post. “Anybody can write a check, but it takes a special company to do the right thing.”
There are 8 million minority-owned businesses in the U.S., according to a 2016 report by the Minority Business Development Agency. Of those, almost 2.6 million are black-owned firms.
Growth among black-owned firms outpaced that of white business owners who experienced a 6 percent decline during the same time period.
“This program is our opportunity to teach the next generation how to be smarter with their money and make a better way forward for themselves,” says Andrea.
Program participants must be enrolled in a Thurgood Marshall College Fund member-school. The competition is expected to take place in the spring.
Learn more and apply here.