Sean “P. Diddy” Combs may have just made hot news for his wealth status---being the leader of the top three minority owned businesses in New York City, but now he is making headlines for giving away some of his money.
He recently committed $100,000 to 100 Urban Entrepreneurs (100UE), a non-profit organization. He did so during a special gala the organization threw to honor Combs during Grammy Awards Week. "In support of one of our advisory board members, Music Producer Bryan-Michael Cox, 100 Urban Entrepreneurs co-sponsored the 7th Annual Bryan-Michael Cox Pre-Grammy Brunch along with SESAC. This year, Bryan elected to honor one of his heroes in business and music, Sean "Diddy" Combs," explains Lucas Riggins, Co-Founder of 100UE.
The donation came as a welcomed surprised, one that is much needed for the 100UE. "This donation in particular is very significant because in the communities where the young entrepreneurs that we fund come from, Sean “Diddy" Combs is highly revered beyond his contributions in music," says Cox. "These young entrepreneurs respect him for his business acumen, having created and developed a variety of successful brands like Sean John, Ciroc and Diddy Beats. We interviewed many of the funding recipients in our program prior to the brunch and all of them had extensive knowledge of Combs' entrepreneurial journey and unanimously credited him as one of their greatest inspirations. That alone speaks to Combs' legacy because it’s important to remember that many of these entrepreneurs in the 100UE program are at least 15 years his junior."
“With the lack of funding being one of the main reasons startups fail, the donation will have wide reaching effect”, notes Riggins. In fact, according to Illusions of Entrepreneurship: The Costly Myths that Entrepreneurs, Investors, and Policy Makers Live By <http://www.amazon.com/Illusions-Entrepreneurship-Costly-Entrepreneurs-Investors/dp/0300113315/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1199972909&sr=8-1> , startups have only a 29 percent survival rate.
“But money is not the only thing needed for young entrepreneurs,” he adds. "The funding is a major boost to these small businesses, however what we're finding is that the mentorship we provide has become the most important part of our program," he points out. "Not only are members of our team like Magnus Greaves, Lucas Riggins and Ryan Stoner working directly with these young people, the youth in the program are developing a strong networks and growing to rely on each other for direction in business. We also encourage all of the entrepreneurs in the program to make sure their business models are designed to stimulate the local economy in their communities. Simultaneously, we intentionally visit many of these communities where our funding recipients operate and try to meet with local leaders and community members to try and encourage them to support these small businesses that are developing with assistance from the 100 Urban Entrepreneurs' program. We firmly believe that these businesses will be as strong as the communities that support them."
100 Urban Entrepreneurs is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving urban youth and developing future business leaders.