A dime to a dollar. That's the gap between the median net worth of an African American versus a white American. 1 in 5 black families have zero or negative net worth--twice the rate of white families. 98-to-2. Today in America, African American entrepreneurs access less than 2% of venture capital. The MEI champions minority entrepreneurs because we believe the only solution to closing this gap is creating an MEI marketplace that provides equal resources & opportunity.
To tackle both of these problems, the Minority Entrepreneurship Institute (MEI) closes the economic and educational gap for minority entrepreneurs. They deliver this result through an annual pitch competition, consulting services, and a growing national portfolio of deals under management.
PITCH COMPETITION 2021
On July 9, 2021, MEI and Commonwealth will host the third annual MEI Pitch Competition and Showcase in Tampa, Florida. If you are interested in getting involved in the Tampa showcase. Apply now to compete for a prize pool of $200,000+ in capital!
2021 Minority Business Week
On June 14-18, 2021, InnoPower and Recorder Media Group hosted their third annual conference and Minority Business Week. This event featured entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, educators, investors, workforce development organizations, and community advocates convening to identify frameworks and action guidelines on how innovation initiatives can accelerate economic development and wealth generation for MVPs (Most Vulnerable Populations) in Indiana and Sub-Saharan Africa.
2020 Minority Entrepreneurship Institute
On November 11 &12, 2020, MEI held its inaugural Educational Summit. The event featured sessions about marketing from Charlotte Jones, business operations from Jewel Burks Solomon, perspectives of the life of a minority entrepreneur from Naithan Jones, and much more.
Please click the buttons for more information and watch the Summit’s promo videos below!
PITCH COMPETITION 2020
On July 10, 2020, Commonwealth co-hosted the MEI Texas Showcase featuring:
- $600,000 in impact investing capital
- 147 minority entrepreneurs competed from 42 Texas cities
- 30+ companies qualified for the MEI Texas Marketplace totaling over $13 million in deal flow
Please click the buttons for more information.
Meet the Winners
PITCH COMPETITION 2019
Fort Wayne, Indiana
On July 12, 2019 MEI and Commonwealth held a pitch competition in Fort Wayne, showcasing some of Indiana’s brightest minority entrepreneurs
- $195,000 in investment capital
- 4 sharks, including Jaylon Smith, Mark Music, Jane DeHaven, and Gary Brackett
- 60 applicants
- 50+ families of minority youth & parents attended
Please click the buttons to learn more.
Meet the Winners
NFL Inspire Change
Jaylon Smith works to provide funding, mentorship and strategic planning for minorities in his vision for the Minority Entrepreneurship Institute (MEI).
NFLPA Pitch Day 2021
Jaylon Smith and MEI is honored at the 5th annual NFLA Pitch Day. Watch Jaylon announce the winner of the Pitch Day.