Shark Tank’s Daymond John talks about the evolution of FUBU, the importance of small black businesses
The coronavirus pandemic has devastated businesses large and small. In March 2020, stock prices fell for seemingly stable companies, and small businesses were forced to shut down for what was supposed to be two weeks. While it affects us all, a year later, black businesses are still feeling the heavy impact.
According to to a report According to the New York Federal Reserve, black-owned businesses were more than twice as likely to close as their white counterparts. Nearly half of small black businesses had been wiped out by the end of April 2020 as the pandemic disproportionately ravaged minority communities. Shark aquarium‘s John daymond partnered with Chase for Business on a virtual summit which was a mix of inspiration and networking. The businessman spoke with leGrio regarding the event, his advice to black businesses, corporations and consumers, and the evolution of FUBU.
John shares that he partnered with Chase for Business because “they wanted to educate small businesses, minority businesses, black businesses, and businesses of color on how to be successful, some of the obstacles, the nests. -hens to avoid, and all the help they get now. ”The company recently announced a $ 30 billion commitment to advance racial equity.
According to a Associated press analysis Among low-interest government loans, many minority business owners had more difficulty than their white counterparts in finding banks and lenders who would agree to their request. The analysis further found that white business owners were able to get loans earlier in the process, while minority business owners only accepted loans in the last few weeks of the month. program.
Still, John encourages black business owners to keep trying and look for other financing besides P3s. He shares the story of a young entrepreneur in whom he invested via Shark Tank. “After I invested in him, he left and raised another half a million dollars for pitch competitions. He never stopped. This is what black businesses and every business owner should be doing. Especially now, ”he explains.
However, it is not just up to business owners, there is a responsibility on businesses, consumers and communities. John encourages business leaders to take two specific steps: conduct internal discussions with their employees and pay attention to where you are looking for talent.
“Ask them [employees] what programs or things they think should be done in-house so that when you come up with programs and things that you want to do outside, it comes from within, ”he says. Also, when looking for talent in your organization, look for HBCUs and smaller universities, in addition to the Top 10 Schools.
Neglecting to have a diverse group of employees only hurts the business. In the late 90s, The Gap launched an ad featuring LL Cool J. John shares, “The Gap spent $ 30 million to run a FUBU ad basically because he said to us by us on the low… in a Gap ad. Now, if The Gap had people who looked like LL or me, this mistake would never have happened. But they had no one in there to pull out what was going on. So it’s not just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do.
“For Us By Us” grew from an idea in John’s basement with friends to a mark of over $ 300 million and became a movement. It is a slogan recognizable by all and used by many groups. John explains, “It has become popular because of our success and because of the movement, it has become an easy word to launch. People get it. People say, “This is for us by us from my community” or “This is for us by us products”, and I’m proud of it. “
John thanks the small businesses and entrepreneurs who helped propel the business to what it is today. John reveals, “Department stores that would tell me crazy things like, ‘Well there are four African American men on the hang tag and they look like a gang so we don’t want shootings and robberies there. display in our stores. ”
He adds sarcastically, “I’ve never seen anyone get into a shootout because you have the last pair of 32s on the rack.” Instead of focusing on big box retailers, they turned to small businesses. He remembers: “You were looking for something new, this entrepreneur told you everything and told you the whole story of FUBU. They also let us know when we hadn’t done anything or done something too weird. They were like, ‘Hey that don’t work.‘They have become our greatest ambassadors.
It was the small businesses and their growth that served as a case study for large retailers, convincing them to wear the brand they previously ignored.
Small black-owned businesses that close their doors don’t just affect our economy, they decimate our communities. John points out that “owners of small businesses belonging to a minority [are] not just business owners, their mentors in the community. He extends, “They are also raising other people in the community. These people are the first step for others to be successful [that] may not have these resources.
John first discovered entrepreneurship when he was 10 years old while working in a candy store that a veteran African-American had owned for 20 years. He recalls, “This man knew the fundamentals of business. He knew inflation, he knew the competition, the technological changes. He taught me this stuff to end up being a sure guy Shark aquarium named Daymond John who will hopefully inspire other young children.
With purchasing power exceeding $ 1 trillion a year, it is imperative that black consumers speak with their money. Buying black isn’t something that only happens in February, it’s a year-long, lifelong commitment to keeping the black dollar in the black community. Share black marks on your personal platforms and also with your non-black friends. Be an ambassador for your favorite black brands and help market and advertise these entrepreneurs.
To quote Jay Z“Entrepreneur,” says John: “For every Gucci, support two FUBUs. If you really want to support each other, support each other. For black businesses and people, he emphasizes the importance of not giving up. “Whether you’re an intrapreneur or an entrepreneur, go for it. I just think you keep trying. You keep taking that photo, and sooner or later people will see the value of who you are.
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