Opportunity for All: John Hope Bryant on Building Up Entrepreneurs

In Good Companies

May 23 2023 • 25 mins

Often, the story of an entrepreneur is focused on exceptional individuals. But every entrepreneur knows that they can’t do it alone. We all need a helping hand to reach our true potential. That’s especially true for those from underserved communities. So how do we empower entrepreneurs? What can we give them, and what do they have to do for themselves?

To find out, we spoke with John Hope Bryant, an exceptional individual himself. John’s been called “The Conscience of Capitalism,” advising  three sitting U.S. presidents, and was named one of Time Magazine’s “50 Leaders for the Future.” His nonprofit, Operation HOPE, is the largest nonprofit provider of financial literacy, inclusion, and economic empowerment tools in the United States.

An entrepreneur himself, John knows the barriers that minority business owners face. So on this episode, we hear what John has learned from his journey, the challenges and opportunities of minority entrepreneurship and Operation HOPE’s “One Million Black Businesses” initiative. We’ll cover how to build networks, capital, and belief in budding entrepreneurs.

Listen in to hear how our powerhouse guest empowers entrepreneurs with hope.


  • Introduction to Operation HOPE (1:47)
  • How entrepreneurship changed John’s life (3:59)
  • Enterprise can create generational wealth (5:48)
  • John’s first business at 10 years old (7:21)
  • How the Rodney King riots changed John’s perspective (10:06)
  • The origins of Operation HOPE (11:15)
  • Barriers to entrepreneurship (12:28)
  • Never give up (12:51)
  • Empowering entrepreneurs with belief (14:28)
  • Helping an entrepreneur build their network (16:20)
  • One  Million Black Businesses (19:30)
  • How entrepreneurs can empower themselves (21:47)
  • “Just do something” (23:20)
  • The 3rd Reconstruction (24:45)



If you have questions about the show or topics you'd like discussed in future episodes, email our producers, sheena.cochran@cadencebank.com or danielle.kernell@cadencebank.com.