Dallas Cowboys star Jaylon will host the second annual Minority Entrepreneurship Institute (MEI) Showcase in Dallas on July 10th.
Smith hopes to use the MEI Showcase to unite and galvanize the Dallas community that is still fighting against the COVID-19 global pandemic, according to a news release.
As many small businesses work to get back on their feet and restore their daily operations, Smith and his MEI team want to be a part of the solution.
As a successful entrepreneur himself, Smith created the MEI as a way to help minority entrepreneurs gain access to capital and mentorship to grow their businesses. The MEI Showcase is offering over $200,000 in investment capital to companies that place in the competition.
The first MEI Showcase was held in Smith’s hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
“I want to use my success as a pathway for thousands of other black and brown entrepreneurs to become successful. I call this my purpose beyond athletics,” Smith said in the news release. “The MEI has created a committee of industry experts to help guide and educate these entrepreneurs.
He said his advice for this year’s entrepreneurs pitching their business is to consider who their ideal customer is and understanding the ins and outs of the industry that they are entering. He said the best piece of advice he received was from the late Eugene Parker, his former agent, who helped him understand the principle of value over cost.
The judge and five-time MLB All-Star Torii Hunter, Goldman Sachs Dallas office head Tom Dowling and Roland Parrish, CEO and owner of Parrish Restaurants.
“It is vital that we empower our minority communities with mentorship, resources and funding,” said Parrish. “My hope is that the entrepreneurs who apply and compete in this year’s MEI will capitalize on this opportunity, as we strive to create more for them in the future.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the local, national, and global economies and Smith and his MEI team believe that resilient minority entrepreneurs are needed now more than ever to reboot the Dallas economy, the news release said.
Minority entrepreneurs throughout Texas should apply by June 1 to pitch their business plans.
For more information on how to invest, donate or apply, please visit www.meicapitalfund.org
– FWBP Staff