Steve Harvey, Tyler Perry and More Deliver Messages on Financial Literacy and Wealth Creation at Invest Fest in Atlanta | New
Earn your leisure hosts and co-founders Rashad Bilal and Troy Milling returns for the second year with investment party at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta from August 5-7 and turned the weekend into an uplifting festival that promoted financial empowerment and self-motivation.
Hosted by the Financial Literacy Podcast in partnership with BET, Vibranium Network, Chase and META, the summit, which took place over two stages, featured panel discussions packed with heavy hitters, vendor stations, booths, food trucks and live performances.
Invest Fest kicked off with a VIP mixer on Friday night and included appearances from Terrence J., Kenny Burns, and T-Pain. Each day of the weekend, speakers confidently led discussions on cryptocurrency, real estate, stocks, investing, student loans, business, budgeting, culture and entertainment, all with intend to drop pennies to help the black community thrive even more.
Now y’all know BET.com was in the building all weekend, so come check out some of the highlights from the event.
Saturday August 6, 2022
It was just starting my time at investment party seeing who really cares about their business, so there was no better place to start than the vendor market. I walked into Building C’s main conference room and was surrounded by nothing but entrepreneurs, startups, creatives, self-published authors, and disruptors. I mean, the main idea of the whole weekend was to be motivated and to invest in yourself, right?
You name it: clothing lines, visual art, sunglasses, scented candles, VR experiences, juice bars, chess lessons, even sex toys. Each stall had something for everyone. The people at Joyhouse Essentials (JHE) gave me a hand massage with their Soul Glo oil topped with whipped shea butter. The guys behind Blaque Bottle poured a few glasses of their decadent Blaque chocolate, giving those on hand a chance to sample their sparkling French Chardonnay with hints of Belgian chocolate.
The food truck village was outside and adjacent to the vendors market. It was just as packed as the main lobby. You could say that people were really ’bout this life. The BET and Vibranium stages kept the conversations going with a “Black Men Ventures” pitch competition and panels covering topics including financial planning, preparing for a recession and investing in stocks. Panelists included the co-host of “Married to Real Estate” Egypt Sherrodfounder of “High Level Conversations” 19 keysand WallStreet Trapper.
Rapper Waka Flocka Flame came out to rock the crowd with his anthems “No Hands,” “Grove St. Party,” and “Hard in the Paint” ahead of the main event.
That’s when pandemonium hit the public and it all became real. Steve Harvey, which co-produced Invest Fest under its Harvey Ventures brand, delivered the keynote this afternoon. It felt more like a live interview with Bilal and Millings than a traditional keynote and the results were even better. Just before their conversation, the duo announced that there were 12,000 people in attendance, almost three times the number of spectators last year. I won’t hold you back, but there were a lot of heads in there.
The elegant host of family quarrel, with his usual candor and Uncle Steve attitude, dropped inspirational vitamins like a Dalai Lama and also added some fun stories: using the full 90 minutes of a set of comfy white sofas on stage, Harvey came up with his ideas about team building, work ethic, value of haters, minimizing social media engagement, survival of industry politics, consistency and repetition, success in before and, especially for blacks, property.
“The hardest part of being successful is getting started,” Harvey told the crowd. “Know who you are. If you allow times of adversity to destroy you, you are not available for the blessing or the lesson.
Sunday, August 7, 2022
The final day of Invest Fest began with a large number of attendees unable to get inside the building and staging what appeared to be some sort of mini revolt. Inside, however, was a day full of fireside chats that focused exclusively on women entrepreneurs, real estate, the entertainment industry, and the many challenges that come with ownership.
Billionaire filmmaker, producer and media mogul Tyler Perry, much like Harvey the night before, packed the house mid-afternoon around the BET-sponsored stage. He talked about his background and how he broke Hollywood conventions to build his empire. Towards the end of the conversation, Harvey surprised the crowd and joined Perry on stage.
Offstage, several of the day’s guest speakers and panelists spent a few moments talking with BET.com about what it takes to secure the bag and build fairness.
Real estate magnate and billionaire R. Donahue Peebles participated in a fireside chat with the president of Chick-Fil-A Dan Cathywhich was hosted by the co-founder of Invest Fest and EYL University (Earn Your Leisure’s online platform) Garland “MG” matte. Showing off her greyish-blue Santoni leather shoes, Peebles shared details of two proposed multi-billion dollar projects; the 900-foot-tall Angels Landing in Los Angeles and the 663-foot-tall Affirmation Tower in New York. He addressed systemic challenges such as access to capital that continue to prevent aspiring black entrepreneurs from reaching the next level. The president of the Peebles Corporation emphasized that it takes a village and self-sufficiency in the black community to help business owners maintain and grow their vision.
“We need to share information,” Peebles told exclusively to BET.com. “We are in it together, but we all have the same challenges and face obstacles. It’s not just one person; it’s a system we operate in, but even as unfair as it is, we can still win.
Garland also thinks there is a void that needs to be filled in what is taught about financial literacy communities of color.
“Our goal with Invest Fest was to become the premier financial literacy festival by impacting and empowering people not just locally, but around the world,” he explained. “We are taking Invest Fest on the road with the first stop in London on October 31 for Invest Fest Euro and we are planning other counties as well. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that no matter what’s happening in the world, now is the most opportune time to build wealth.
We can never forget the sister who continually maintains it. Breakfast club co-host Angela Yee joined the founder of Milano Di Rouge Milan Harris and Founder and CEO of Slutty Vegan Pinky Cole to offer a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to be successful, a black female entrepreneur on the Women in Business panel. The ladies also talked about how they’ve pivoted their brands into other areas. Yee, which also has several locations of its juice bars, juice for lifebelieves that women with secondary estrangements should never be afraid to discuss other projects they are involved in or would like to pursue.
“Sometimes as women it’s hard for us to really talk about our accomplishments because we think it’s no big deal or we downplay it,” Yee said. BET.com. “I love being in a space where we can celebrate accomplishments and talk about how we got there.”
Vibranium network co-founder Derek Ferguson dropped some knowledge about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology on a first panel on the Vibranium Stage the day before. The former COO of Combs Enterprises insisted that the new form of digital commerce combined with technology is creating a new economy that allows black owners to set prices and monetize their influence.
A suggestion that Ferguson made for entrepreneurs or those interested in blockchain technology is to make sure they keep a close eye on the current generation of innovators and influencers. “Keep a few young guns around because they know what’s going on, and they’re closer to the problem and the solution,” Ferguson said.
The final panel discussion on the BET stage on Sunday focused on the “Business of Entertainment.” Moderated by a personal finance expert ash treasury the panel included Lady Dash and DJ envy. Dash, the co-founder of Roc-a-Fella Records, has shared a trailer for his metaverse-based museum, Dash NFT Galleryand spoke at length about the wealth of projects he develops and releases under his production company, Dame Dash Studios.
With a mouth full of grilled meats and accompanied by his French bulldog, Governor, originally from Harlem, prides himself on having a formidable career in business that becomes more a labor of love than a grab for money. “I just do what inspires me,” Dash told BET.com. “Once I do something, I don’t want to do it so many times. I want to do new things. The things I think about or dream about become tangible. It’s not about bread or reinvention. It’s a question of inspiration.
The summit ended in style with the rapper Rick Ross in a custom Recession Proof basketball jersey that kicks off some of his high-octane classics such as “BMF (Blowin’ Money Fast)”, “Aston Martin Music” and “Nobody”, as well as his features on “Ima Boss ” by Meek Mill”, “New Flame” by Usher and “Pop That” by French Montana before it rained from the ceiling.
For the creators of Earn Your Leisure, bringing Invest Fest to over 12,000 people this year will likely inspire so many to become the next business leader to persevere, take action and pursue the things they’ve always wanted, while keeping a simple message close at hand.
“Realize anything is possible,” said Bilal, who was impeccably dressed in a custom white and pink cardigan sweater with matching kicks. “The power of relationships and being around the right people at the right time is important. Be prepared to figure that out as you go. Troy and I never had all the answers, but we didn’t. afraid to take the first step.
Christopher A. Daniel is an Atlanta-based journalist.