Focus on Creating the Next Generation of Minority Business Enterprises
Indianapolis, IN, February 11, 2015 – The Mid-States Minority Supplier Development Council (Mid-States MSDC) is honoring the
legacy of the late entrepreneur, William G. Mays by renaming a program focused on providing young aspiring minority entrepreneurs with
the tools and knowledge they need to start and run successful businesses. The program was launched in 2013 through a partnership with the Mid-States MSDC, the Ken Thorpe Foundation and YoungBiz USA.
Mays was the Chairman and CEO of Mays Chemical Company, headquartered in Indianapolis. He started the company in 1980 and grew it to be one of the largest and most successful minority businesses in Indiana and the country. In addition to running Mays Chemical and several other businesses that included radio and television stations, golf courses, newspapers and commercial and residential real estate, Mr. Mays helped countless others to realize their dreams and start businesses – especially young people.
“Bill helped to shape the minority business landscape in Indiana and across this country,” said Carolyn E. Mosby, President of the Mid-States MSDC. “Renaming this program after Bill is appropriate because it allows his legacy of helping others to live on.”
The two partnering organization’s leaders were also young mentees of Mays. Ken Thorpe got his first business loan from Mays and partnered with him in several ventures.
“Bill was more than a mentor, his generosity and leadership has touched the lives of the entire community. I have never met a greater man,” said Thorpe.
Kenneth Allen, Chief Operating Officer for YoungBiz USA began as an entrepreneur at the young age of 12 and recalls the impact of Bill.
“The world has Bill Gates but here in Indiana we had Bill Mays. He was, in fact, the embodiment of true entrepreneurship. His legacy to raise and train the next generation of entrepreneurs will continue through the MBE Entrepreneur Challenge and we are part to be part of this program”.
While there are several programs that have been launched over the past few years that provide guidance, training and even funding to young entrepreneurs, the MBE Entrepreneur Challenge is different in that it focuses on young minorities.
“Most minority businesses are first generation owned. There has to be a focus on the next generation of minority business owners – ensuring that there is a succession of young minority entrepreneurs to start and even run businesses currently owned by minorities,” said Mosby. “We are helping to create a pipeline.”
William G. Mays passed away in December 2014 after a short illness. A formal announcement of the new program – the William G. Mays MBE Entrepreneur Challenge will be made during the Mid-States MSDC’s Business Opportunity Fair Corporate Luncheon on April 9, 2015 at the JW Marriott Hotel in downtown Indianapolis. A special presentation will also be made to the Mays family.
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ABOUT THE MID-STATES MSDC
Mid-States MSDC is one of 24 regional affiliates of the National Minority Supplier Development Council with more than 1,700 corporate members and nearly 12,000 certified minority business enterprises (MBEs) nationwide. Our primary mission is to promote and cultivate successful minority enterprises within the Central Illinois, Indiana and Eastern Missouri business communities. The Mid-States MSDC serves as an advocate for the economic well-being and growth of certified MBEs, while also providing a direct connection for corporations who are committed to purchasing products and services from Mid-States MSDC-certified MBEs.
ABOUT THE KEN THORPE FOUNDATION
The Ken Thorpe Foundation supports, encourages, and challenges underserved youth to move their lives forward through educational, professional, and mentoring opportunities. www.kenthorpefoundation.org
ABOUT YOUNGBIZ USA
YoungBiz USA is a financial and business education company for youths, young adults and educators. We are committed to delivering game-changing training, providing effective e-learning tools and providing published content that turns classrooms into real life entrepreneurial experiences. www.youngbiz.com
ABOUT WILLIAM G. MAYS
For more information on William G. Mays visit http://www.thehistorymakers.com/biography/william-g-mays-39 or http://www.mayschem.com/leadership.aspx.