Pinky Cole Hayes Surprises Savannah State University Grads With $8.75M Donation During Her Commencement Speech

Photo Credit: Riku Reels

 Pinky Cole Hayes knows what it’s like to beat the odds in business. Now, she’s laying the groundwork for future leaders to travel an easier road to success.

During her speech at Savannah State University’s 2024 commencement ceremony, the founder of Slutty Vegan and Bar Vegan surprised the graduating class with a $8.75 million donation, individual memberships for technical assistance organization Operation Hope’s One Million Black Businesses (1MBB), to free in-kind services that include:

  • Entrepreneurial Educational Resources 
  • Mentoring From 1MBB, Including One-On-One Financial Counseling
  • An Eight-Week Small Business Training Course With Business Plan Development And Credit & Money Management Courses 
  • 3-Months Free With Shopify To Build Their E-Commerce Platform For Young Entrepreneurs Ready To Start Their Businesses 

1MBB is a joint effort with Operation HOPE and Shopify to nurture a stronger Black business ecosystem by 2030.

“I am passionate about lifting up the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs of our world,” Cole Hayes says in a news release. “I know firsthand what it means to have mentorship and how someone believing in your dream can make a difference. This graduating class has experienced so much adversity. Their college years began with a global pandemic and they have had to navigate their lives through unprecedented events. Through it all, they have thrived and are ready to enter the ‘real world’ with more experience and the confidence to face life’s new challenges. I believe in these graduates, and I hope that this gift will help them as they transition into this next phase of their lives.”

Coles Hayes has achieved remarkable success in less than a decade since founding her plant-based fast casual food brand, Slutty Vegan in 2018. Although the growth may seem seamless, Cole Hayes has been transparent about the challenges she faced along her entrepreneurial journey.

As shared in her latest book, I Hope You Fail, Cole Hayes shares that she has spent her life dreaming of financial security. After a fire destroyed the New York City restaurant, she put everything into the building, and she was back to square one, working hard for someone else’s dream. Not long after, she decided to strike out on her own and the rest is history. Her latest chapter is supporting aspiring business leaders and changemakers in making their dreams a reality.

“Since I founded Operation HOPE, it was grounded in my experience as a young, Black entrepreneur seeking to reach one hand down the ladder to lift people up along with me. Entrepreneurship was the success trajectory I discovered, thanks to a banker who came to my elementary school to teach financial literacy, and taught me what an entrepreneur was. That banker changed my life,” said Operation HOPE CEO John Hope Bryant in a news release shared with ESSENCE. “Pinky Cole Hayes is a living example of what happens when a brilliant idea meets opportunity. With 1MBB, we want to offer opportunities to as many brilliant ideas as we can reach and are excited to partner with Pinky to help lift up the next generation of Black entrepreneurial excellence,” says John Hope Bryant, CEO and Founder of Operation HOPE. 

Source link

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply

Shopping cart