May 8, 2024

Slutty Vegan Founder Gifts HBCU Grads $8.75M To Boost Black Entrepreneurship

Pinky Cole Hayes

Pinky Cole Hayes, renowned for her ventures Slutty Vegan and Bar Vegan, has gifted the 2024 graduating class of Savannah State University a $8.75 million “Entrepreneurial Starter Pack.” 

The initiative is designed to equip graduates with the essential tools and resources for their entrepreneurial journeys.

The gift, which is a collaboration with Operation HOPE and One Million Black Businesses (1MBB), includes a range of resources to nurture and scale Black-owned businesses.

During her speech to the graduates, Cole Hayes, a 2023 TIME 100 Next honoree, outlined the components of the entrepreneurial package. 

Comprehensive Support For Aspiring Business Owners

Each graduate will receive a comprehensive suite of resources, including entrepreneurial educational materials, personalized mentoring from industry experts through 1MBB, and an intensive eight-week small business training course. 

This course will cover areas such as business plan development and financial management.

Additionally, the graduates will gain three months of free access to Shopify, which will provide them with a platform to launch their online businesses. 

This access is part of a broader initiative between Operation HOPEShopify, and 1MBB, which aims to support the creation and growth of one million Black-owned businesses by 2030.

“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,” said John Hope Bryant, CEO and founder of Operation HOPE.

Feature Image Credit: The Atlanta Voice

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.