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  • Writer's pictureJamal Saafir

Daymond John Still Committed To Black Entrepreneurship Despite Shark Tank Dispute

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

According to a report from Atlanta Black Star, Daymond John‘s Black Entrepreneurship Day returned for its fourth annual celebration to highlight Black business and entrepreneurship on November 1st.

Since its introduction in 2020, upwards of $750,000 in business grants have been provided to up-and-coming entrepreneurs through the NAACP Powershift Entrepreneur Grant, created by John. Last year’s event attracted over 7.6 million broadcast viewers and earned two additional Webby Awards.

The occasion came just months after the “Shark Tank” investor acquired a restraining order against former contestants who publicly disparaged his business practices online due to a “nightmare” deal after working with him.

Al “Bubba” Baker and his daughter Brittani accused Daymond of misleading and misappropriating funds that were to be put toward their family business.

Daymond was granted the order upon proving that the Bakers had been violating their non-disparagement agreement from the 2019 settlement.

In an exclusive interview with Atlanta Black Star, John detailed his plans to connect and create more opportunities for Black entrepreneurs like himself.

Instead of viewing his public dispute with the owners of Bubba Q’s Boneless Baby Back Ribs as a negative, John says he’s transforming these moments into opportunities to help others understand the value of good or bad publicity.

“We try to teach at Black Entrepreneurs Day that when somebody has a customer complain or they talk crap about your stuff, that’s actually an investment because they didn’t have to tell you they didn’t like it,” he states. “And now you have at least somewhere to try to address it and fix it.”

“But more importantly, the icons are going to be talking about a lot of their failures and a lot of people are going to say, ‘Man, I’m at that point right now in my life and I might not be a failure, but I may have had a setback or everybody told me that I was going to not make it.'”

“We are going to show people, all the superstars to say, you know, this is where I come from and you can do it,” John continues.

$225,000 was given to entrepreneurs, but not in exchange for any percentage or stake in their company, which is different from the normal conditions of the Shark Tank television show. “We’re going to give away at this point, we’re going to hit the million-dollar mark.”

The FUBU creator said he wanted everyone talking about this year’s Black Entrepreneurship Day, held at the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, New York. For John it was a dream come true to return to the place he once sold items in front of.

“I grew up, you know, in the 70’s, watching Showtime at the Apollo in the 80’s, right at home. Couldn’t come out of the house. And then I started football and I stood on a corner of the Apollo with my little table selling hats,” he explains. “And then I was able and up in the late 90’s to, you know, be able to attend and buy seats there to sit in the Apollo.”

“And now this is going to be the third year where I’m booking at the Apollo for two days straight and giving away around a quarter of a million dollars to the African-American community with this day of social media.”

Speaking directly about the entrepreneurs, John added, “But I hope all of them can be powerful enough to become bigger and better than Daymond

John will ever be.”

For Black Entrepreneurship Day, John acquired sponsorships and partnerships from brands and organizations such as JPMorgan Chase & Co., Shopify, T-Mobile, Hilton, McDonald’s, Lowe’s, Meta and more.

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