Ally Financial Is Boosting Talent Diversity Through Entrepreneurial Support
Brought to you by WBR Insights
Diversity is top of the agenda for many brands these days, with companies the world over recognizing the benefits of bringing a wider range of people together to work towards a common goal.
Diversity is not just about meeting quotas or improving your corporate image. Having a variety of people from different social, religious, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds will also help your business perform better and take advantage of opportunities which may otherwise have been missed. People from different backgrounds see the world in a different way and your business can only benefit from a less homogenized workforce.
Many financial brands are putting new initiatives in place to encourage diversity in their talent pools. Ally Financial is one such company and has partnered with some big names to encourage and support entrepreneurial black college and university students.
Boasting a highly appropriate brand name for the endeavor, Ally Financial is trying to achieve this by simultaneously diversifying the workforce and tracking down the country's best and brightest entrepreneurial minds with a new development and support competition.
The program has been developed in partnership with the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and entertainer and entrepreneur, Big Sean. The TMCF is the nation's largest organization exclusively representing the black college community, and Big Sean is the founder of the Sean Anderson Foundation - dedicated to improving the education, health, safety, and well-being of school-aged youth and their families.
Recent research has revealed that only one percent of venture capital-backed startups have black founders - despite black people making up over 13 percent of the US population. This disparity is what galvanized Ally Financial into action and led them to seek out an inspirational black figurehead like Big Sean to front the endeavor. The competition was named "Moguls in the Making" and was hosted by Big Sean in April 2019.
"I really feel like one of my life purposes is to inspire," said Big Sean. "Moguls in the Making is all about making the next generation of moguls, finding that hustler spirit and hunger that exists in our youth and bringing that forward. I'm excited to find these great young minds and give them a platform and an opportunity to further build their futures."
Moguls in the Making
The competition brought together teams of five students from ten colleges in Big Sean's home city of Detroit. The Motor City has a storied history of business, manufacturing, and entrepreneurial spirit, which helped it stand out as an ideal location for Moguls in the Making.
The teams were immersed in a Shark Tank type challenge and tasked with coming up with ideas to tackle some of the biggest issues facing employment, education, and real estate issues in Detroit in 2019. To help get the creative juices flowing, the contestants were able to attend sessions with local business leaders and special mentoring seminars.
The competition was won by a team hailing from Florida A&M - Livi Grant, Keishon Smith, Nalani Kelley-Marsh, Emmanuel Dawson, and Earl Perry - each member of which received $5,000 in scholarship funding to help with their future studies, an Apple laptop computer, and, perhaps most crucially, an internship offer at Ally Financial itself.
The Moguls in the Making contest was deemed a huge success. Aside from the prizes given to the winners, it resulted in some amazing ideas which could potentially be used to help regenerate and revitalize Detroit and try and return the city to its former glory.
"Another big draw of this program for us is hopefully attracting a lot of these students who want to come here and live and start businesses and help be a part of the solution of the city going forward," said Ally's marketing chief, Andrea Brimmer. "The rebirth of the city has been amazing."
Moguls in the Making was a great way for Ally Financial to find some of the freshest thinkers from a tragically underrepresented demographic in the business world. Hopefully, we'll see more of these kinds of endeavors from other brands to help increase the number of venture capital startups founded by innovative people of diverse backgrounds.
"Ally is committed to diversity and inclusion and aiding economic mobility through programs that provide all individuals greater access to services, education and resources they can use to help improve their economic circumstances and enrich their lives," said Business Admin Executive and Head of Corporate Citizenship at Ally Financial, Alison Summerville. "What excites me about this competition is the fact that we're giving all these students an opportunity to interact with us, to receive mentoring, and to pull out their creative spirits, potentially spring boarding them to a future as an entrepreneur that can help uplift others."
Diversity and inclusivity are set to be hot topics at at HR Financial Services 2019, taking place this October at the Rancho Bernardo Inn, San Diego, CA.
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