( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) “Never Stop Never Settle Society” Debuted During the 52nd NAACP Image Awards
ENSPIRE Contributor: Re’Dreyona Walker
Hennessy, the world’s best-selling cognac, has recently unveiled the “Never Stop Never Settle Society” initiative, which is a comprehensive growth accelerator co-created with the Marcus Graham Project (MGP) to ensure a more fair landscape for Black entrepreneurship. They introduced the new initiative through Hennessy’s new “Dear Destiny” creative film and campaign produced by UNINTERRUPTED and featuring hip-hop legend Nas during the 52nd NAACP Image Awards, with the film placing the spotlight on the legacy of Black Wall Street.
With respect to past models of community-built success including Tulsa’s Greenwood District, the “Never Stop Never Settle Society” was instituted to provide Black entrepreneurs with high-impact funding, resources, and infrastructure to further their journeys and ultimately transform communities.
Hennessy will accept applications starting Tuesday, April 6, awarding a number of member benefits to qualified applicants:
- Lump-sum funds in the amount of $50K will be administered to selected ventures with the potential to reshape the world through social impact
- Access to The Gathering Spot Connect, a Black-owned digital hub offering networking, education, and business development resources
- Growth opportunities at the program’s physical footprint and state-of-the-art office at Moët Hennessy’s headquarters in New York City. Debuting late 2021, the space will offer scheduled access to a content studio, along with a compelling slate of educational programming and leadership engagement for business mentorship
Moët Hennessy USA executives and partners, including the Marcus Graham Project, will co-create program elements, evaluate proposals and select the curated group of Black entrepreneurs whose visions will be accelerated. Leadership will also further aid member journeys, helping to evolve early business ventures over time.
“Some of the most powerful leaders and creators in the Black community are entrepreneurs creating jobs, rich legacies, and taking ownership of new paths. Access to capital resources to allow for authentic growth has traditionally been a barrier,” said Lincoln Stephens, Co-founder and CEO of the Marcus Graham Project (MGP) in a statement. “For over a century now, Hennessy’s participation in the Black community has transcended typical corporate action, and I’m excited to be part of this next chapter that substantively uplifts entrepreneurship as a means towards closing the wealth disparity.”
As Hennessy unveiled the program during the 52nd NAACP Image Awards, legendary recording artist, philanthropist, and venture capitalist Nas presented the first-ever “Never Stop, Never Settle” Award, a celebration of Black entrepreneurship to former WNBA player-turned-owner and executive, Renee Montgomery. The evening also kicked off a cross-platform rollout for “Dear Destiny,” Hennessy’s new creative film which references the vision, ambition, creation, and evolution of Black Wall Street from Tulsa 1921 into the year 2021.
“A narrative about family, legacy, entrepreneurship, and empowerment, Dear Destiny is a message to my daughter Destiny, and in many ways, the entire Black community. Inspired by Tulsa’s hub of cultural activity and community-built success, it pays homage to the Black creativity and wealth that thrived during this time in history,” says voiceover artist and Hennessy Ambassador, Nas. “Nearing the 100-year anniversary of the Tulsa Massacre, I believe the powerful spirit of Black Wall Street is still strong and can be revived with programs like Hennessy’s “Never Stop Never Settle Society.”
Applications for Hennessy’s “Never Stop Never Settle Society” will open on Tuesday, April 6. For additional information on eligibility and membership benefits, you may visit NeverStopNeverSettle.org.