Detroit-based Ally Financial is launching Moguls in the Making — a competition designed to increase diversity of thought in the workplace, and find the best and brightest young entrepreneurs across the country — together with Detroit native, entertainer, and entrepreneur Big Sean, and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.
Moguls in the Making is aimed at empowering young entrepreneurs and giving them a platform to bring their dreams to life. A 2017 study by CB Insights found that while 13 percent of the American population is black, only 1 percent of venture capital-backed start-ups have black founders.
Alison Summerville, a spokeswoman for Ally Financial, says the banking firm is passionate about supporting economic mobility and helping underserved communities gain tools to enhance their career opportunities, and financial trajectory. This competition aims to help prepare bright and talented black students to become future entrepreneurs.
“Ally is committed to diversity, and inclusion, and aiding economic mobility through programs that provide all individuals greater access to services, education, and resources they can use to help improve their economic circumstances, and enrich their lives,” Summerville says, “What excites me about this competition is the fact that we’re giving all these students an opportunity to interact with us, to receive mentoring, and to pull out their creative spirits, potentially spring boarding them to a future as an entrepreneur that can help uplift others.”
Big Sean, the founder of the Sean Anderson Foundation, says he is dedicated to improving the education, health, safety, and well-being of school aged youth and their families. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund is the nation’s largest organization exclusively representing the black college community.
“I really feel like one of my life purposes is to inspire,” Big Sean says. “Moguls in the Making is all about making the next generation of moguls, finding that hustler spirit and hunger that exists in our youth and bringing that forward. I’m excited to find these great young minds and give them a platform and an opportunity to further build their futures.”
One of the Sean Anderson Foundation’s initiatives is Mogul Prep which aims to provide students educational programming to help them navigate the entertainment industry. The shared values and goals between the Sean Anderson Foundation, Mogul Prep, TMCF, and Ally inspired the Moguls in the Making program.
Through TMCF, the trio will identify standout entrepreneurs-in-the-making from publicly supported historically black colleges and universities around the country. Those students will represent their school in teams to compete for the top prize during a weekend-long challenge in Detroit in March. Students will devise and pitch a business plan to a panel of judges including Ally executives and Big Sean. The top two teams will receive prizes.