This year marked the second annual Black Entrepreneurs Day event, hosted and created by Shark Tank star, Daymond John. The event, held live and in-person at Harlem’s Apollo Theater on October 14, was speckled with stars from Tyra Banks, to Kevin Hart, to Shaquille O’Neal. And sponsored by companies like Chase for Business, Facebook, Shopify, QuickBooks, and more.
Throughout the course of the night Daymond John gave out $250,000 in NAACP Powershift Grants, funded by the event sponsors, to small business owners across the country, including a $25,000 grant to Harlem Chocolate Factory funded by QuickBooks.
Jessica Spaulding, Founder and CEO of Harlem Chocolate Factory, plans to use her grant to reopen the doors to her chocolate shop, build up her staff, and prepare for the holiday season. She, like many small business owners, expects to bring in a big portion of her yearly revenue within these last three months of the year.
“It’s been very, very difficult running on a skeleton crew,” she said. “We want to hire some folks to help us grow.” Spaulding says they’ve been running a two or three-man show for too long, and now it’s time to expand. “But you need that capital!” she said.