Vicksburg native receives $25,000 grant from ‘Shark Tank’ investor

Published: Oct. 30, 2022 at 10:58 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Recently, eight Black business owners from around the country took home a $25,000 grant and some exclusive mentorship from entrepreneur, businessman, and Shark Tank investor Daymond John during the Black Entrepreneurs Day 2022 live stream Thursday.

One of those business owners is from the Magnolia State.

Daniel Jennings, a Vicksburg native, is an entrepreneur and the owner of Tiny Cottage Concept, LLC. He specializes in building tiny modular homes for people across the country.

Jennings says the goal of his company is to build and sell tiny homes and use a portion of the money to help provide shelter for those who need it the most.

“We started building these types of homes seven years ago, and I got the idea that I really wanted to build homes for the homeless,” he stated. “I was able to tie in selling homes in order to create money to build homes and donate homes for the homeless to nonprofit organizations that will actually provide housing for the homeless in America or victims of domestic violence.”

Jennings said he first heard about the Black Entrepreneurs Day event and applied in 2020.

He didn’t win that year, but Jennings didn’t give it up and this year, he took home the big prize.

“It was amazing. I have been dreaming about winning this competition for the last two years,” Jennings said. “To actually get the email saying that I am a winner, and I would actually be talking to a Daymond John, and my business will actually be showcased across the world, I’m still floating on cloud nine. It’s an amazing feeling, and I get a chance to represent Mississippi as a black business owner.

Just 2% of businesses with employees are Black-owned, according to a report from the Alliance for Entrepreneurial Equity.

Jennings says knowing Black-owned businesses are underrepresented makes this reward very important.

“Representation means a lot, and when young African American kid sees another person creating their own business and making things happen, then that tells them what they can do. I will just tell people to never give up.”

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