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Jaylon Smith launches minority entrepreneurship program

Jaylon Smith

Dallas Cowboys star linebacker and Ft. Wayne native Jaylon Smith has announced the launch of a new program to provide purpose and social impact for emerging minority entrepreneurs.

The Jaylon Smith Minority Entrepreneurship Institute (MEI) is intended to connect impact investors to quality and meaningful minority owned investment opportunities, ultimately creating an MEI marketplace. Through investing in people and ideas in his home state, Indiana (and eventually others across the nation), Smith is dedicating resources, time and energy to help give minority entrepreneurs an opportunity that might not have existed otherwise.

Smith has collaborated with Sagamore Institute and National Christian Foundation, which provides entrepreneurs with a place to come with their ideas and business plans, as well as investors who are looking to help change their community through impact-investments.

“I’m proud to announce that MEI will inspire hope, provide capital, and actively support minority entrepreneurs,” Smith said in a statement. “I’m focusing on minority entrepreneurship to close the economic and educational gap for minorities. I’m committed to passing along the education, mentorship, and opportunities others have provided me to minority communities.”

The MEI, supported by the National Christian Foundation and Sagamore Institute, will host a venture pitch competition on July 12 to make impact investments in companies revitalizing the community. The Jaylon Smith MEI Inaugural Indiana Showcase will be held at Parkview Field Suite Level Lounge on July 12. This event will include notable entrepreneurs and investors and will evaluate Indiana’s emerging minority entrepreneurs in front of an invitation-only audience of 100 minority families. Some of the areas that The Jaylon Smith MEI will address for minority entrepreneurs:

• Financial Funding

• Strategic Planning

• Professional Resources

• Business Mentorship

Winners of The Jaylon Smith MEI Indiana Showcase will receive various levels of commitment based on their placement (1st-3rd):

• Year one goal of investing a total of $300k into our winning minority entrepreneurs

• 5 entrepreneur contestants, 3 winners

• Indiana Advisory Committee

• Corporate Partners

• Business Advisors

• EOS System Implementation

• Capital Investments

• Equity partnership with Jaylon Smith

For more information on how to enter, donate or invest, visit www.jaylonsmith.com/mei.

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