ABC’s Shark Tank actively seeking minority participants


ABCBusinesses have a chance to find investment cash if they participate in ABC’s entrepreneurial-themed Shark Tank reality program. The program is working with minority entrepreneurial advocate and Kingonomics author Dr. Rodney Sampson to attract more minority participants to the program.

The show is designed to “…give budding entrepreneurs the chance to make their dreams come true and potentially secure business deals that could make them millionaires.” Its panel includes Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greinee, Robert Hervajec, Daymond John and Kevin O’Leary. It’s been nominated for both an Emmy and a Critics’ Choice Television Award.

The program is being hired by Mark Burnett’s One Three Media. His title will be Head of Diversity and Inclusion, and his first mission will be to add diversity to the Shark Tank program.

A Kingonomics conference is scheduled for 8/23/13, and the Washington DC event will offer an opportunity for conference participants to audition for the program.

“I was honored to be chosen for this position by Shark Tank Executive Producers, and it fits in perfectly with my definitive purpose and mission to educate and elevate promising minority and women entrepreneurs,” said Dr. Sampson. “The Kingonomics conference during the 50th Anniversary celebration will focus on emancipating capital and liberating the resources needed for accessing investment and job opportunities for minorities and all Americans. Moreover, the Shark Tank auditions are an excellent way to bring attention to these important causes, especially given the latest economic disparity statistics for minorities.”

Sampson hopes to shed light on certain realities facing minority entrepreneurs, including:

* Capital access remains the most important factor limiting the establishment, expansion and growth of minority-owned businesses. (Minority Business   Development Agency)

* Minority-owned firms are more likely to be denied traditional loans with loan denial rates for minority firms being about three times higher, compared to non-minority-owned firms, grossing under $500,000 in receipts. (Minority Business Development Agency)

* Less than 5% of traditional capital and less than 3% of venture capital is invested in women owned and operated enterprises.