T.D. Jakes, CEO of TDJ Enterprises and Robert Mong, President of the University of North Texas at Dallas announced today the creation of an innovative entrepreneurial competition called MegaFutures@MegaFest, designed especially for students in grades 6-12. The competition will debut as part of this year’s MegaFest, the nationally acclaimed four-day festival of faith and family to be held in Dallas June 28 – July 1 and will feature a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship.
According to the latest findings of Bishop Jakes’ “Conversations with America” national public affairs poll, about 57 percent of American adults would prefer to start their own business than work for a large corporation – but this percentage soars to 71 percent among the “Gen Z” audience, those age 17 and younger. Further, Hispanics (68%) and African-Americans (67%) are even more interested in starting their own businesses than Caucasians (56%).“Clearly, there is a hunger across America to start a company, to be one’s own boss, and to give flight to those ideas that allow our young people to drive their own destinies,” Bishop Jakes said. “That’s why we’re delighted to create a platform for young entrepreneurs from all walks of life to express their creativity in meaningful ways.”
The latest “Conversations with America” poll, 3 in 4 Gen Z students age 14 – 17 believe “if I really put in the effort, I could be my own boss by starting a small business,” compared with only 65 percent of respondents over age 18 who agreed with the same statement.
“Our Mission is to empower students, transform lives and strengthen communities,” said UNTD Dallas President Robert Mong, “We are tremendously excited to co-sponsor an entrepreneurial competition that both inspires and equips young men and women to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. By starting at a young age, we can help ensure our next generation has the foundation they will need for success.”
The Call for Entries is now open. Online applications are due by Monday, June 12. Participants will compete in two age groups (11-14 and 15-19), with finalists having the opportunity to present a three-minute oral presentation to the judges’ panel on Thursday, June 29. A total of $50,000 in prize monies, sponsored by PlainsCapital Bank, will be awarded.
PlainsCapital is the sixth-largest Texas headquartered bank by deposit market share. For contest details or to apply go to www.megafutures.org.
In addition, MegaFest will feature a series of educational sessions, inspirational speakers, experts’ panels and other opportunities for entrepreneurs – young and old. The complete roster of speakers, entertainers, seminars and other events will be announced soon in keeping with MegaFest’s four core program tracks:
MegaEmpowerment – BusinessTalk, Financial Talk, Health Talk, Tech Talk and numerous breakout sessions – plus the exciting Expo of exciting new products and services; MegaInspiration – Woman Thou Art Loosed, Man Power, MegaYouth Fire Code, MegaKidz Destiny World, Alive Dance/Mime Conference; MegaEntertainment – A Time to Laugh Comedy Show, International Faith & Family Film Festival, Celebrity Meet & Greets; and MegaCommunity – Career Corner, MegaFit, College Corner, Fashion Show, Health and Wellness.
There are also additional tracks specifically designed to educate, empower and entertain youth ages 12 to 18 under the MegaYouth banner.
This will be the third year MegaFest will be returning to Dallas. Between June 28 and July 1, more than 100,000 attendees are expected to embark on a journey of inspiration, empowerment and entertainment led by T.D. Jakes.
For those wishing to apply to the entrepreneurship contest, additional information can be found at www.megafutures.org
Since its inception in 2004, MegaFest has been a meeting place for diverse audiences from Atlanta, Ga., to Johannesburg, South Africa, and has reached nearly 1 million people. Visit www.mega-fest.org for more confirmed talent and special event updates, and stay connected via Twitter by following @tdjmegafest, @wtalconf, @mpconf and @myecode. General admission tickets for all events can be purchased by visiting www.mega-fest.org