Our solution at VisionPledge is to provide a sustainable digital platform for underrepresented millennial entrepreneurs and visionaries to not only crowdfund their business startups and creative projects, but to also receive entrepreneurial mentoring, training, resources, and perks on and offline to nurture these ideas and create generational wealth.
These Visionary ideas and startups will create the future as we know it.
Together we can, by helping to educate and fund young professionals who are ready to become entrepreneurs.
Thanks to everyone who made the first #takethevisionpledge event a success! Let’s continue these conversations and continue to build and nurture this community of change agents. The next generation of entrepreneurs and visionaries starts right here. Thank you 🙏 @thebcgnyc @ariellopez__xo @jamestown502 @2020shift @alexwolfco @mickeyfactz @divinethe4thletter @brittanyjosephina @eugeniashea @Microsoftny @ypgroup @columbiauniversity Please stay tuned for official event images next week! Follow us on twitter, like us on Facebook and stay tuned for our BETA launch this summer. #millennials #entrepreneurs #visionaries #creatives #startups #vision #diversity #poc #studentloans #studentloandebt #business #smallbusiness #nonprofits #nyc #tech #college #university #highered #youngprofessionals #classof2016
In 2013, VisionPledge was an idea that came about after the realization that our friends and peers, millennials age 18-34, had a desire to become entrepreneurs and create businesses, but were hindered by huge stumbling blocks including:
The Impact of Student Loan Debt on Small Business Creation: “Small business creation — a critical economic engine — is significantly hampered in areas of the country where residents carry more substantial student loan debt, according to research co-authored by Brent W. Ambrose of the Penn State Smeal College of Business.”
According to a 2016 report from the Corporation for Economic Development and the Institute for Policy Studies, if current trends persist, it would take 228 years for black families to accumulate the same amount of wealth as whites. For Latino families, it would take 84 years.
A 2014 study from Pepperdine University’s Graziado School of Business and Management found that Minority-, female- and foreign-owned companies are 22.2%, 18.7% and 17.9% less likely to successfully raise a venture round than companies run by American-born white males.
Using a sample of small business owners across the country, in a recent survey Intuit found the following:
However, after months of on and offline surveying, along with talking with our peers, the bigger problem and its causes began to emerge. The results, outlined in this campaign, led to creating a simple Do-It-Yourself (DIY) approach to raising funding for millennial businesses and creative projects: crowdfunding alongside small business education via community partnerships.
This DIY community-funding approach will become a viable funding alternative to accelerators, pitch competitions, or Venture Capital firms.
Check out the Millennial Visionaries series featuring millennials like Antoinette Minor: The Young Professionalist.
Learn more about our Community Partners, who offer complimentary online small biz mentoring programs and perks. VP’s first set of partners include the forward-thinking companies, Her Billions, Docsend, Progress Playbook, PickFu, and Womanifesting University.
Read up on how-to blogs for millennial digital marketing efforts and wealth creation.
Aishah: Hello, my name is Aishah Alassan and I’m a first-generation, Ghanaian-American born and raised in the Bronx, New York. After graduating from Temple University in 2005 with a degree in Journalism, I worked as a Music Editor at Teen magazines for 4 years before being laid off during the recession of 2009.
Following a year and a half of unemployment, I began working at a multi-dimensional performing arts center on the Upper West Side, where I enjoyed Arts Marketing for 6 years. It was during this time that I became serious about launching VisionPledge. In Sept 2016, alongside my cofounder Lisa Fennell , and Board members and team, Dodji, Omar, and Michael, we launched the platform.
As the President and Co-founder of VisionPledge, I hope to inspire, motivate and launch successful, diverse and inclusive Millennial Entrepreneurs and Visionaries, who will continue to pay it forward for those that come after us.
Lisa: Hello, I’m Lisa Fennell, Co-founder of VisionPledge. After receiving my B.A. from the University of Virginia and my J.D. from American University Washington college of law, I worked as a litigator in private practice representing clients in a wide range of civil disputes.
Currently, I spend my days as an attorney under the general counsel for the New York City Department of Education, and my nights and weekends extending my education beyond my degrees. While I find the practice of law greatly fulfilling on many levels, my professional experiences have shown me first hand that financial generational longevity is rooted in entrepreneurship, small business, and community.
As such, VisionPledge is key to closing the generational wealth gap and I’m honored to work on such a vital endeavor for myself and my community.
VisionPledge empowers and assists underrepresented millennial entrepreneurs and visionaries by investing in their vision.
VisionPledge is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and community-funding portal, where millennial entrepreneurs & visionaries can fund their Ideas through donation-based crowdfunding.
Using the power of the collective social good, VisionPledge teams with the community to offer educational tools, resources, and funding to millennials, connecting the world with millennial change agents, while working together to close the generational wealth gap.
We envision a world in which every person has a fair opportunity to pursue and bring their unique visions to life, regardless of their racial or socioeconomic backgrounds.
Interested in joining the Team?
VisionPledge is also currently seeking:
Forthcoming Community Sponsors, will sponsor different categories of visionaries, meaning everyone who creates a project to fund on VisionPledge will begin their campaign with funding courtesy of these sponsors. Inquire here.
Are you currently employed at a company that matches donations for nonprofits? Think your company would be interested in matching donations for this campaign? Please leave a comment or contact us here.
Thank you in advance for your contribution and continued support. We’ll keep you updated during the duration of our campaign.
We look forward to serving you.
#IHAVEAVISION2017 Short Film Photo Credits; Video production by Muve Music Media LLC. #TaketheVisionPledge images by Lenyon Whitaker: Images in order of appearance: Antoinette Minor, The Young Professionalist; Madi Dangerously; Mandela Gregoire; Myc Dazzle; The Cool Mag; Leslie Carrington of HolistiCitiLyfe Inc by @beyondclassicallybeautiful.