Daymond John, Shark Group CEO, is launching Black Entrepreneurs Day, a day to celebrate and foster Black businesses. The live streamed event will be on 20 different platforms and include notable icons like Shaquille O’Neal, Chance The Rapper, Gabrielle Union, Jamie Foxx, LL Cool J, Questlove, and many more. He joins Yahoo Finance's Alexis Christoforous and Brian Sozzi to discuss that and a $25,000 grant opportunity for Black business owners.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: "Shark Tank" investor and entrepreneur Daymond John is teaming up with Chase for Business to kick off the first-ever Black Entrepreneurs Day. On October 24, business leaders and celebrities, including Shaquille O'Neal, Chance The Rapper, LL Cool J, the list goes on, are going to join this event. It's going to be livestream for free across 20 different platforms.
And Daymond John is here with us now. Daymond, good to see you on the show again. You are calling this a big block party online. You got quite the lineup. But tell us what inspired this day. Why are you doing this?
DAYMOND JOHN: Well, I think like all of us, you know, we're out there watching the world crumble and a lot of civil unrest. And instead of seeing these young men and women burning down businesses, they should be building businesses. And no better time than when everybody's at home, and they're looking for hope to call out to my friends, and I call out to my friend, like, corporate friends, like, you know, Chase for Business.
And I call to my friends, like you said, LL Cool J, Shaquille O'Neal, Jamie Fox, Gabrielle Union, and I said, let's show some people some inspiration and show them how they can do things. But you know what, let's not talk. Let's put some money up. So I have seven grants of $25,000 apiece, so seven people will win $25,000.
And unlike being on "Shark Tank," I don't want 99% of your company or a royalty. It's all yours. And let's educate people. And I can't tell you, the phone just has not stopped ringing from all my corporate buddies out there and people saying, how can I help, or, you know, what can I give to you to make this even stronger? And as well as you supporting me and letting me put this bull horn on it to get people some information to get some money.
BRIAN SOZZI: Daymond, did the-- did the last stimulus plan help the Black entrepreneur community? And the fact that we still have no stimulus, how is that impacting the community right now?
DAYMOND JOHN: Yeah, it did not-- it did not help, very little. You know, 44% of Black entrepreneurs, the companies will shutter and be done, period, you know, against 17% of non-Black, meaning white. You know, I'm not sure if it's the fact that they don't have great relationship with bankers, or they were overlooked, or it's very hard, especially Black farmers.
This stimulus package, we need it now. I don't care if you're Black, white, or indifferent, we need it now. We pay our taxes now. And this is a situation that we know will go away, and we should not play politic. Politics are going to played next year and for the next 100,000 years. But people need it now, and this is the bridge we need.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Daymond, look, we know you came from humble beginnings. You've talked about it, overcoming lots of obstacles, including being diagnosed with dyslexia later in life. You went on to build a $6 billion fashion empire. What do you hope entrepreneurs, not just Black entrepreneurs, but entrepreneurs, period, can learn from Black Entrepreneurs Day and from your personal experience?
DAYMOND JOHN: That this is the best time to do it while you have the time on your hand, while you feel, like, you know what, I invested in somebody else's dream, and guess what? Because they may not have made the right decisions or were ready for this day that it's going to happen again, and I need to empower myself. I need to take small steps. I need to educate myself.
I need to use my Rolodex and go out and find people I can collaborate with. Because I can't guarantee that I'm going to have money, but I can guarantee that I have these resources at hand. And I can learn from people in business that they're suffering now and finding other ways. You know, when you are going to talk to us and Robert Johnson, you're going to see what we're doing now too. Things aren't rosy for me every day all day, but I'm going to figure it out, just like you sitting at home on the couch.
BRIAN SOZZI: And to that point, Daymond, we have been-- we've been working at home for months, not just us, it's America at large. It's the globe. How do you inspire your workforce? When you can't necessarily see a co-worker, you can't talk to them as much as you would, how do you keep them inspired and motivated?
DAYMOND JOHN: They're keeping me more inspired. I realized that I hired them because they're smarter than me. And when I notice that they're working 24 hours and I'm only working 22, I say, how can I open another division with you? What else are we doing? What are we not doing that you've been wanting to do before?
And a lot of them are raising their hands, saying I have this idea. And I go, well, why didn't you tell me that before? And they go, you were too busy, moron, doing what we were doing before. You didn't listen to me. And now giving them the opportunity.
So the people at home right now, there are going to be a good percentage of the people at home in companies who are not doing well-- well, and not doing their job and the people at home who are ready to take it up another level, open their own division and be the brand manager, be the CFO, here's your chance. Do your job and somebody else's. I'm telling you, when we get out of this, the boss is going to say, when we were sinking, you were there for us.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Talk to me about the other kinds of support, you talked about those grants you're going to be awarding, but what other kind of support are you giving to entrepreneurs during this Black Entrepreneurs Day?
DAYMOND JOHN: Well, we're giving information. But of course, when you're doing these-- when we're doing these pitches and looking at these applicants, people like Chase for Business are going to be looking at these, the General Insurance, and various other fintech companies as well as Pepsi and other people. They're going to be looking at maybe this is something we should back or maybe this is something that we should implement within our company.
So we're also going to be highlighting these people on the show on the Entrepreneurs Day. And everybody, millions of people, are going to see these people's businesses, how they pitch it. It's going to be like "Shark Tank" 101 right at home on your computer, and you're going to see the winners right there. And hopefully, a lot of people are going to support these people after that.
BRIAN SOZZI: Daymond, what's the key to a winning post-pandemic business plan?
DAYMOND JOHN: You have to have a digital platform. You have to know who your customer is and be able to contact them, even if you had a retail store or not. So you can either sell them-- listen, there's only three ways to deal with any customer in the world-- acquire a new one, up-sell a current one, or make one buy more frequently.
And if you can make one buy more frequently or up-sell one, if you have their information and keep over-delivering for them, that is what you need. You need to be able to push content out and over-provide for them. And then after that, find out what more they want and create it for them, along with your brand, of course.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Daymond, tell us how you've been spending this crazy time. I mean, you know, I know the lockdowns aren't what they used to be. But when we were quarantining, what have you been doing, you know, to stay sane?
DAYMOND JOHN: Yeah, you know, I'm like everybody else. But you know, I've been waking up every day saying is this thing over, or did the aliens come down yet and start eating our left leg, right, so I'm wondering what's going on. But of course, I have a very, very diligent schedule. I step away from my family for a very specific amount of time and act like I'm going to work, even if I'm in the next room.
All right, I've been doing my homework. I've been studying a digital marketing course because I keep doing my homework, because in the new brands that I invest in, yeah, I have experts, but I want to know what's your customer acquisition course? How are you comparing to my company Bombas? How are you not?
Then after that, I'm going to study a Facebook course and an Amazon course. I'm taking care of my nutrition. And of course, I'm fighting over the remote control with my significant other eating a bunch of Cheetos and drinking Tito's wondering, you know, when is this thing going to be over with? But you know, I think-- I think we're all doing the same thing.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Glad to hear we're all in it together doing the exact same thing. So listen, Daymond John, friend of the show, always good to see you. Best of luck with Black Entrepreneurs Day.
DAYMOND JOHN: Thank you. And thank you all for supporting us, and I'll see everybody at Black Entrepreneurs Day on October 24. And please submit now up until October 12 to get that $25,000 grant. And thank you, and thank Chase for Business.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: But real quick, where do they go? What's the website?
DAYMOND JOHN: Oh. Oh my god, you're so smart. I should-- you do this for a living. Entrepreneursday.com. And apply now, and the applications end on the 12th, and $25,000 to seven different companies. Stick a seven. There you go.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: You're good at that. You're good at the catching. I like it. Best of luck. Thanks again.
DAYMOND JOHN: Thank you.