'Mogul Minds' Literacy Program Seeks to Inspire Generation of Entrepreneurs

News & Views | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 03/06/2014 | 03:45 PM EST

Three former Morehouse College students create a financial literacy workshop to school inner-city teens on how to become the next JAY Z or Diddy.

One unique organization is hoping to rear up a generation of young entrepreneurs of color with a financial literacy program designed to introduce basic concepts to teens that they wouldn’t normally be exposed to.

Mogul Minds, founded by three friends who met on the campus of Morehouse College, offers an entrepreneurship and investing program for six weeks where teenagers 12-17 learn about things like the difference between assets and liabilities and how the stock market works. While countless teens are sitting in classrooms dreaming of becoming moguls like JAY Z or Sean “Diddy” Combs, the gentlemen of Mogul Minds - Shan Holder (22) Brandon Connor (23) and Ras Asan Olugbenga (23) - decided they wanted to actually give youth the tools to make those aspirations a reality.

“When our journey of entrepreneurship lead to the exposure and mentorship in the financial sector it became painfully apparent that this knowledge necessary to build wealth and create opportunities was scarce in our communities,” says Holder, who is the executive director of Mogul Minds. “That just didn't sit right with us so we decided to do something about it.”

The program first got legs the summer of 2013, in which Mogul Minds partnered with Morehouse’s "Project Identity" in Atlanta, which is a educational program for middle and high schoolers. There Holder, Conner and Olugbenga not only taught business and investing strategies but gave the 86 young teens a chance to pitch their own business ideas and get feedback. In the fall 2013, Mogul Minds hosted a smaller program independently, where the team says they were floored by how quickly the teens picked up and retained some of the concepts.

“For many of them they had never had anyone let them know that they are capable of building generational wealth and improving the neighborhoods they live in,” Holder told Centric. “When kids see our young Black faces in front the class teaching, their dreams suddenly become more tangible.”

On March 22, the young entrepreneurs are hosting another six-week “robust and highly interactive” program for teens in the Atlanta area, which will also be hosted on Morehouse’s campus. It is their hope that Mogul Minds will become a premiere destination for parents to send their kids, in which they plan on becoming an Atlanta Public School preferred after-school provider and being integrated in youth organizations across the city.

“Our long-term goal is to reform the modern education system and standardize financial literacy in schools. We want Mogul Minds to teach and inspire kids across the globe,” Holder said. “The Mogul Minds team wants every student to know that entrepreneurship is an option and that even if they choose a different career path they can still think like an entrepreneur and make wise decisions like an investor.”

For more information on Mogul Minds or how you can enroll your teen, visit here.

 (Photo: Tom Young/GettyImages)

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