Daymond John Pledges to Continue Helping Black Entrepreneurs After Being Blasted Online by Former ‘Shark Tank’ Contestants Over ‘Nightmare’ Deal

Daymond John‘s Black Entrepreneurship Day returns for its fourth annual celebration to highlight Black business and entrepreneurship.

Since its launch in 2020, over $750,000 in business grants have been offered to rising entrepreneurs through the NAACP Powershift Entrepreneur Grant, created by John. Last year’s event attracted over 7.6 million broadcast viewers and took home two additional Webby Awards.

FUBU CEO Daymond John prepares for Black Entrepreneurs Day following his public battle with two former 'Shark Tank' contestants.
FUBU CEO Daymond John prepares for Black Entrepreneurs Day following his public battle with two former ‘Shark Tank’ contestants. (Photo courtesy of Daymond John.)

The innovative occasion arrives just months after the “Shark Tank” judge secured a restraining order against former contestants who bashed his business practices online involving a “nightmare” deal after working him.

Al “Bubba” Baker and his daughter Brittani accused the celebrity investor of misleading and misappropriating funds intended for their family business. John was granted the order after providing proof that the Bakers had been violating their non-disparagement agreement from the 2019 settlement.

In an exclusive interview with Atlanta Black Star, John detailed how he plans to bridge the gap and create more opportunities for Black entrepreneurs such as himself.

Instead of viewing his public dispute with the owners of Bubba Q’s Boneless Baby Back Ribs as a loss, John says he’s using moments like these 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.”

The 54-year-old hopes those in attendance and those watching from home will be able to learn from icons like Whoopi Goldberg, Rick Ross, Shaquille O’Neal, Anthony Anderson, Cedric the Entertainer, and top Black influential business leaders how to “make enough money to create more brands.”

“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.

The plan is to give away $225,000 to entrepreneurs, not take any percentage or stake in their company. “We’re going to give away at this point, we’re going to hit the million-dollar mark.”

Watch the Full Video Here.

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

“I grew up, you know, in the ’70s, watching Showtime at the Apollo in the ’80s, 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 ’90s 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 $1 million 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 has gained sponsorships and partnerships from longtime brands and organizations such as JPMorgan Chase & Co., Shopify, T-Mobile, Hilton, McDonald’s, Lowe’s, Meta and others who have shown strong efforts to support the Black community.

Black Entreprenerus Day is available for streaming on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. EST.

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