With the aim of making the business world more equitable for Black entrepreneurs, Hennessy partnered with the Marcus Graham Project (MGP), a marketing and media organization, to create the “Never Stop Never Settle Society,” which will begin accepting applications on April 6.
The “Never Stop Never Settle Society” will be a comprehensive growth accelerator. Some member ventures that have the “potential to reshape the world through social impact” will be administered lump sums of $50,000. In addition, members will have access to The Gathering Spot Connect, a Black-owned digital center where they can take advantage of networking and education, and some members will receive business development resources. Also, later this year, Moët Hennessy will debut the program’s physical footprint and state-of-the-art office in its New York City headquarters. This space will have a content studio, educational programming, and business mentorship. Hennessy introduced the “Never Stop Never Settle Society” with the UNINTERRUPTED-produced “Dear Destiny” creative that was narrated by Hip Hop legend, philanthropist, and venture capitalist Nas during the 52nd NAACP Image Awards on March 27.
“The ‘Never Stop Never Settle Society’ builds on Hennessy’s long-standing commitment to Black communities and ongoing mission to champion cultural diversity by pushing the limits of potential for Black entrepreneurs,” said Jasmin Allen, senior vice president of Hennessy U.S. “We aim to expand on that legacy in the most impactful and meaningful ways by providing access to capital and resources to those demonstrating the ability to reshape Black communities through social impact.”
When creating the “Never Stop Never Settle Society” to provide Black entrepreneurs with funding, resources, and infrastructure, Hennessy and MGP looked to past models of community-built success like Tulsa’s Greenwood District. The bestselling cognac brand chose to unveil the project during the Image Awards because it was one of the first corporate sponsors of the NAACP. In addition, Nas presented the first-ever “Never Stop, Never Settle” Award to celebrate Black entrepreneurship to WNBA player-turned-owner and executive Renee Montgomery during the awards ceremony. Following that, “Dear Destiny” premiered.
In addition to introducing the “Never Stop Never Settle Society” to the world, the creative also pays tribute to the Greenwood District that was destroyed during the Tulsa race massacre, which occurred from May 31 to June 1, 1921. “Dear Destiny” also highlights the vision, ambition, and creativity of Black-American culture and features a bevy of Black entrepreneurs, including Destiny Jones, CEO of Matic Cosmetics and Nas’s daughter.
“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,” said voiceover artist and Hennessy ambassador Nas. “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. 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.’”
Executives from Moët Hennessy USA and partners, including MGP, will develop program elements, evaluate proposals, and carefully select the Black entrepreneurs whose visions deserve acceleration. In addition, they will offer leadership that will help members to evolve their 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,” said Lincoln Stephens, co-founder and CEO of Marcus Graham Project. “Access to capital resources to allow for authentic growth has traditionally been a barrier. 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.”