While hordes of lesser rappers fixate on success and excess, Haviah Mighty would rather give back. The winner of both the Polaris and Prism Prizes, who recently dropped an acclaimed new album called Stock Exchange, is following up those milestones with the Black-Owned Business Giveaway.
For the initiative, Mighty will donate $10K amongst a range of Black-owned businesses to spur on their growth. To partake, entrepreneurs can pitch both existing and future business ideas—big or small—for a chance to win up to $1,000 each, because “we need, as a Black community, to thrive,” as Mighty put it in an Instagram video announcing the initiative.
The 13th Floor and “Flower City” rapper goes on to recall how the initiative began after she won the Prism Prize for “Thirteen.”
“I always wanted to be in position to put my money where my mouth is,” she tells us, and the cash prize from Prism gave her the opportunity to spearhead the initiative she’d been dreaming of. Mighty points out that many of the “things needed to get a business off the ground are restricted now” because of the pandemic, and that there are many setbacks in general for entrepreneurs, “and even more for those who happen to be Black.”
Mighty had long wanted to launch such a program. After all, a big part of her daydreams of success included helping up-and-comers reach similar heights. “It was unfathomable for me, three to four years ago, that I’d be my own boss like I am now. I needed that intrinsic belief in self.” Such confidence and high standards, which she vividly describes on Stock Exchange songs like “Avocado” and “So So,” came during moments like having a music video gain traction or getting a music grant. “These moments help us push forward, and you have to be ready for that moment. I’m hoping injecting cash, or just the recognition, can be that turning point for some of these businesses.”
Haviah Mighty adds: “I want it to be an investment toward an idea, contribute to that person’s journey, and help move it in the right direction.”
Interested applicants can text (647) 424-3490 to receive instructions on how to enter. You have until Jan. 14 to get your submission in.