It was an Olympic Day for young entrepreneurs and future leaders in San Diego, in which a lot of gold was earned. Yesterday at the Youth Entrepreneur Summit in San Diego, Yadari Enterprises President & CEO Tara Lynn Gray facilitated the summit with Earvin “Magic” Johnson. Johnson is a retired Los Angeles Laker and Olympic Gold Medalist with the first “Dream Team”. Since his retirement, Johnson has transitioned from basketball star status to one of the country’s most prominent business people in the last decade. His training taught him discipline, focus, and determination – all characteristics he was able to transfer from one career to the next.
The youth heard positive words and learned some of the ins and outs of creating a business from Johnson and other seasoned entrepreneurs. Johnson imparted wisdom that he has gained from being in the business world. He kept it real and down to earth as he touched on a myriad of topics including exit strategy, cash flow, and the importance of disciple in following and maintaining your dream, as well was doing the work necessary to achieve your dream.
Patrice Baker, founder of Patrice Baker Enterprise and author of “Life Ain’t Nice, Get Over It”, delivered the first presentation of the event. The speaker and trainer told summit attendees about the importance of bouncing back after falling down. After all, one must overcome failure before achieving success. San Diego Urban League Project Manager Fred L. Moore also spoke to the youth. His message was simple. He believes that if we as a people survive and prevail, it will be because we have taught our children well.
Events like the Youth Entrepreneur Summit are an avenue in which we can achieve this. Ms. Gray also believes that building a solid foundation for our future leaders is important. For ten years, Gray has been working with the California Black Chamber of Commerce Foundation and eight of those years she has participated in the summit. The annual summit is aimed at creating the next generation of entrepreneurs by connecting them with seasoned business leadership. Youth ages 14-25 hear from dynamic speakers, participate in a business plan competition, and network with each other before lunch. The 2012 Youth Summit was more specifically geared toward providing insight and exposure to the 3 Ps – People, Profit, and Planet, as well as plant the seeds for innovation and economic development on the part of young entrepreneurs.
With the basics of business planning fresh in their brains, youth spent about an hour creating a business plan for their chance to use their newly learned knowledge. Coaches Fred Moore, Patrice Baker, Ken Ashford, Al Darnell, Jr., Nasara Gargonnu, Erica Noble, and Marne Foster assisted them. Each team was assisted by Johnson who was the floating coach for the competition. The competition was judged by Linda Wright, Edwin Lombard, and Mr. Woolridge. The winning group received brand new Android tablets that were donated by Chevron. This was their gold for the afternoon. The session ran from 8am-12:30pm. During the luncheon, which started directly after the the business plan competition, scholarship recipients were awarded $1,000 each. More gold!