Minority Entrepreneurship:
Jaylon Smith’s MEI

The Decline

A watershed 2010 report by business intelligence company CB Insights identified that only 1% of funded-startup founders were African-American. CB Insights juxtaposed this insight with the statistic that 11% of the U.S. population in 2010 was African-American.  If black and brown communities across America are going to thrive, entrepreneurship is required to beat poverty and create pathways to prosperity.

The Solution

Through his newly created Minority Entrepreneurship Institute (MEI), Jaylon Smith is advancing minority entrepreneurship through three strategies:

  • Financial Assistance
  • Strategic Planning
  • Mentorship

MEI focuses on closing the economic and education gap for minorities, and providing hope for minority communities that have the wrong image of themselves; i.e., “We’re more than just athletes and entertainers.”

Pitch Competitions

Commonwealth pitch competitions bring entrepreneurs and impact investors together to create businesses that strengthen communities.

Texas Venture Pitch Showcase 2020


Click on the Apply Now button below to complete your application to be considered to pitch your business or social enterprise at the Jaylon Smith Minority Entrepreneurship Institute Showcase competition at the Omni Frisco hotel in Texas on July 10, 2020. You can also choose to be one of the investors in the event by clicking the Invest Now button.

Apply Now Invest Now

Indiana Showcase 2019

On July 12, 2019 MEI and Commonwealth held a pitch competition in Fort Wayne. Here are some of the results:

Photos & Video

Coming Soon...

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Investment Capital Awarded

Indiana Showcase Winners


Hurry Home

Increasing Ownership of Low-Cost Homes



Holistic Training of Athletes



Safer Shopping

Minority Entrepreneurship Marketplace

The Commonwealth Marketplace profiles best practices in companies taking Minority Entrepreneurship to the next level.

Hurry Home

Increasing Ownership of Low-Cost Homes


Holistic Training of Athletes


Safer Shopping


A more convenient dining experience

Resilient Ventures

Advancing the Movement for Economic Equity

Click the links below to receive information about investing or presenting your business idea to MEI:

Invest Present