Slutty Vegan Founder Pinky Cole Hayes Gifts $8.9M To Savannah State University Graduates To Set Them Up For Entrepreneurial Success

Savannah State University’s class of 2024 have received a favorable start in their next chapter.

According to her Instagram, while serving as commencement speaker, Slutty Vegan and Bar Vegan Founder Pinky Cole Hayes shared the news that $8.9 million would be gifted to the Georgia Historically Black College and University (HBCU) graduates in partnership with Operation Hope and One Million Black Businesses (1MBB).

“We are excited about this fantastic opportunity for our students and grateful to Mrs. Cole Hayes for leading this investment opportunity,” Savannah State University Interim President Cynthia Robinson Alexander, said, according to VegOut.

The investment will support an “Entrepreneurial Starter Pack,” which will gift students with mentorship from 1MBB, educational resources, a free three-month subscription to Shopify, and an eight-week small business training course that will encompass business plan development and financial management, VegOut notes.

“I am passionate about lifting up the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs of our world. I know firsthand what it means to have mentorship and how someone believing in your dream can make a difference,” Cole Hayes said, per the outlet. “This graduating class has experienced so much adversity. Their college years began with a global pandemic and they have had to navigate their lives through unprecedented events. Through it all, they have thrived and are ready to enter the ‘real world’ with more experience and the confidence to face life’s new challenges. I believe in these graduates, and I hope that this gift will help them as they transition into this next phase of their lives.”


John Hope Bryant, CEO and founder of Operation Hope, shared:

“Since I founded Operation HOPE, it was grounded in my experience as a young, Black entrepreneur seeking to reach one hand down the ladder to lift people up along with me. Entrepreneurship was the success trajectory I discovered, thanks to a banker who came to my elementary school to teach financial literacy, and taught me what an entrepreneur was. That banker changed my life.”

He continued, “Pinky Cole Hayes is a living example of what happens when a brilliant idea meets opportunity. With 1MBB, we want to offer opportunities to as many brilliant ideas as we can reach and are excited to partner with Pinky to help lift up the next generation of Black entrepreneurial excellence.”

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