BY KIMBERLY WILSON
“Never stop, never settle” isn’t just a tagline, it’s a lifestyle. A lifestyle lived especially by Black entrepreneurs across the country — whether by bootstrapping million dollar businesses, providing opportunities for those within their communities, or simply turning an idea into a viable business solution.
But gone are the days when Black entrepreneurs have to try and solve every problem for themselves. Putting their money where their mouth is, Hennessy has partnered with the Marcus Graham Project to launch the Never Stop Never Settle Society, a holistic growth accelerator to ensure a more equitable landscape for Black entrepreneurship.
“Hennessy has a long-standing commitment to the Black community that dates back to the late 1800s,” says About Jasmin Allen, Senior Vice President, Hennessy US. “The Never Stop Never Settle Society is another proof point of how strong that commitment is. We also recognize that Black entrepreneurs need access to the necessary tools to be successful. They have been disproportionately impacted by COVID and have needed to exhibit a substantial degree of tenacity and resilience. Black people have shown resilience for centuries and Tulsa represented the epitome of black excellence & tenacity. Despite adversities past and present, Black entrepreneurs have portrayed the ability to transcend obstacles, and they deserve to have the tools needed to reach their dreams.”
Applications for the accelerator open on Tuesday, April 6th, and qualified applicants with early-stage ventures that have the potential to reshape the world through social impact will be awarded $50K grants. In addition to cash, those who are accepted will also receive scheduled access to Moët Hennessy’s content studio, educational programming and mentorship to help advance their startup and business projects.
To introduce the initiative, the new “Dear Destiny” creative developed by UNINTERRUPTED and narrated by hip-hop-legend Nas debuted last week at the 52nd NAACP Image Awards on BET, placing the spotlight on Black Excellence and the legacy of Black Wall Street.
“I’m excited for viewers to see Hennessy leverage our long-standing ambassador, Nas, in a different light,” says Allen. “Nas is one of the greatest recording artists of all time and has seen widespread success in the industry. But he is so much more than just a Grammy Award winning rapper. Nas is also an accomplished entrepreneur, philanthropist, and father.”
She continues, “The tenets of family, giving back to the community, and building generational wealth are at the heart of the “Never Stop Never Settle Society” and are also tenets that Nas represents and exhibits. I am happy that we can showcase him in a multidimensional way that black men are not typically portrayed in the media through “Dear Destiny”.”
Above all else, Hennessy is trying to provide more opportunities within the Black community, where resources and opportunities tend to be limited. “The most pressing goal for the Never Stop Never Settle Society this year is to make people aware that this program exists and help as many people as possible,” says Allen. “Through the society’s financial and structural resources, we want to maximize the impact and continue showcasing our support for this community.”
She makes one thing clear: “The Never Stop Never Settle Society is about empowering the Black entrepreneurial community through exposure, education, and endowment.”