Mentoring group teaches entrepreneurship to young black people


At 14, Ian Lovitt isn’t old enough to drink beer, but he’s at 3 Daughters Brewing to see a personal project come to life.

What do you want to know

  • 3 Daughters Brewing is part of a local initiative to help young black men become entrepreneurs
  • The group is called “Men in the Making”
  • They helped students create a fruit punch they can sell in local stores

“Upcoming men and the right choices, the tape…I found that,” Ian told Spectrum News.

He is part of a group of more than two dozen young black men between the ages of 8 and 18 who are mentored by a group of adult black men known as “Men in the Making”.

In addition to guiding and supporting these young people over the past year, the group has been working on a project to raise their own money by creating and selling a product.

“What we’ve really done is we’ve built a business and the boys have been involved throughout the process,” said 3 Daughters owner Mike Harting.

Harting donated the supplies and the drink that would become “Men in the Making Carbonated Fruit Punch”. Students from the University of South Florida St. Pete’s Graphic Arts Program helped the youngsters design the label.

“Along the way, though, it also turned into — and that’s why this program is so amazing,” Harting said. “It turned into, ‘How can we get the boys involved in this and teach them how to start a business? How do you make decisions? How do you write the costs? How do you market this? »

Lovitt said the experience taught him even more than that.

“Don’t give up because sometimes the unexpected can happen,” he said. “So don’t give up and let setbacks keep you in one place.”

For mentors, this fruit punch opens a box of wonderful verse that can teach young black people about self-reliance in entrepreneurship.

“We’re going to do it in front of churches, we’re going to go around bodegas and small stores,” said mentee Clayton Sizemore. “We’re going to have it here for 3 Daughters to sell. We think big. We think big. Be careful.”

“I want you all to know that we did our best with this,” Lovitt said. “And that it was done by young children with the help of adults.”


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