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Hill Harper Says Good Soil Movement Creates Jobs | PicsVideos

Hill Harper
Hill Harper at the Good Soil Movement event and International Leadership Summit. Photo Credit: The Potter’s House

*Hill Harper hosts the Good Soil Movement a national initiative hosted in Orlando, Florida, on May 3, 2023, at the Dr. Philips Performing Arts Center by T.D. Jakes Enterprises, a social impact holding company.

In partnership with Stand Together Foundation, the Good Soil Movement served as the inaugural entrepreneurship event that preceded T.D. Jakes’ annual global conference, the International Leadership Summit, which occurred May 4-6, 2023, at the Orange County Convention Center.

The Good Soil event was a day-long intensive symposium with panels of business leaders, influencers, and upcoming business owners such as Angela Yee, media personality, Timbaland, singer/songwriter/producer, Enitan Bereola, FLOURYSH, Dr. Marcus Collins, Wieden + Kennedy, Maya Hicks, Target, Danielle O’Bannon, Goldman Sachs, Ambassador Ron Kirk, Former United States Trade Representative, Danyel Surrency Jones, Amazon Black Business Accelerator, Detavio Samuels, REVOLT and Sharde Marchewski, Wayfair.

During breakout sessions, attendees engaged in dialogue around strategic partnerships, securing capital, increasing credit, marketing and advertising, franchising, and real estate. In addition, many participants had opportunities for networking to guide Black entrepreneurs and small business owners on scaling their enterprises.

The Good Soil Movement had a “Seed” Capital Fast Pitch competition for BIPOC entrepreneurs to pitch their businesses and receive grant funding to scale, grow and impact their companies. As an entrepreneur, businessman, and global faith leader, T.D. Jakes delivered the keynote address on his vision for helping businesses achieve financial success.


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Actor and author Hill Harper served as the event emcee, with singer/songwriter KEM opening the day with a performance.

“We see Good Soil as a movement to cultivate the next generation of business leaders,” said Michael Phillips, chief operations officer of T.D. Jakes Enterprises. “This convening brings together culture shifters who are committed to connecting ideas to actions in our communities. Good Soil is more than inspiration – it’s taking action to impact, grow and scale minority-owned businesses through a supportive ecosystem that will drive financial inclusion and achieve generational wealth building for our communities.”

“We see Good Soil as a movement to cultivate the next generation of business leaders,” said Phillips.

EURweb had a chance to speak to actor Hill Harper about the event’s impact and how he also plans to use the information shared in the forum to advance his businesses.

EURweb: So why was it important for you to be a part of this event?

Hill Harper: You know, it was, it was important for me to be a part of this event because of what it represents. Good Soil is about planting seeds and then making something grow that’s better than what you planted, and that’s what this event is and that’s what I’ve seen it to be and so I couldn’t be more proud of how it’s going. Some of these panels and the information is priceless and a lot of the people here are entrepreneurs who really just want to create businesses and create opportunity.

EURweb: There is a theme that is constantly brought up, and the lack of capital [given] to Black entrepreneurs with the partnership of Wells Fargo and if once [other financial institutions] see the success of Black businesses and see how it’s exploding in our current culture, do you think this will open the avenues, and people won’t be so using their implicit bias against the Black community to give them capital? Do you think this will spur change in the financial sector to start opening these capital reserves for Black-owned businesses?

Harper: I think [the] Good Soil Movement can start opening opportunities and a new pathway for funding for Black businesses. But at the end of the day, you know history repeats; we have to show and prove. When I was first on stage today, I talked about Black Wall Street in history and not just the Greenwood district we had in Tulsa. We had Brownsville and Chicago; you had Black Bottom and Paradise Valley in Detroit; you had Seneca Village in Manhattan; Wilmington, North Carolina, Durham, Rosewood, in Florida; many communities throughout Virginia and Kentucky, and certainly the Greenwood district in Tulsa, these were very high functioning, so-called Black Wall Street communities, where $1 would circulate 60 to 100 times, and jobs were being created, in fact, so much so the majority folks around those areas would come to our communities to get jobs and so we can replicate that today. But it’s going to take funding, and it’s going to take expertise; it’s going to take us supporting each other and collaborating and today, I think is an amazing start of that.

Bishop T.D. Jakes
Bishop T.D. Jakes speaks at the 2023 International Leadership Summit in Orlando, Florida. Photo Credit: The Potter’s House

EURweb: What are some of the benefits to see for black-owned businesses to succeed? Because not only creating jobs, what is the social impact of having a successful black-owned business in a neighborhood? We see crime rates decrease when that happens. Can you talk a little bit about that aspect?

Harper: I say all the time that you cannot have social justice without economic justice and what do I mean by that? I mean that if we look at all the different social determinants and social justice issues that that we want to see solved, whether we’re talking about mass incarceration, police brutality, health disparities, education gaps, whether we’re talking about what’s been going on, as far as comprehensive public safety, and etc, what we know to be the fact that the vast majority of communities that are impacted the worst, even environmental happen to be communities that share one thing, and that’s economic fragility, and poverty and so, again, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out if you want to solve many of these issues, solving the economic fragility problem helps you solve them.

I’ll give you a quick example. So I’m not just talking in generalities. My latest book that I wrote called “Letters To An Incarcerated Brother,” dealt with the mass incarceration crisis 80% of the so-called criminal activity that young men of color are incarcerated for are money-related activities. What do I mean, they’re selling something illegal to get money, or they’re taking something of someone else to resell to get money? So it doesn’t, again, doesn’t logic tells us that if you solve the money problem, or the jobs and opportunity problem, you actually solve that problem. It’s not that kids in more prosperous areas are somehow morally superior to these young people. It’s just that they don’t have that need to create money or cash flow. So, therefore, they don’t have to participate in that type of activity. So you solve the money problem, you solve another problem automatically, right?

EURweb: As a business owner is yours as yourself. You own a skincare line, and you have a business in Detroit. What are some ideas or what are you taking away from this conference as well?

Harper: Well, for me, the panel that just happened was a marketing panel. Many small businesses, I’m a small business owner, I have my coffee shop in downtown Detroit [and] I’m always trying to think of, we got really hit hard during COVID because obviously, as a coffee shop in downtown, you need people going to work to have a business. Now that people seemingly, don’t know who’s out there, but folks don’t work on Mondays and Fridays, it’s clear to me. In other words, they ain’t buying coffee on Mondays and Fridays, it doesn’t seem. So how do we actually market our business to let other folks we are [here], we would organically get customers because we’re there, presence. How do we start reaching out to other people and say, ‘Hey, I’m going to go downtown and get this freshly roasted cup of coffee at Hill Harper’s coffee shop.’ So marketing is a key component that I have to start adding to my business, whereas it seems like the big corporations know marketing very well, but sometimes the small businesses don’t. So that’s one thing I’m learning at this conference.

May 3, 2023, Orlando, Florida: Timbaland, International Leadership Summit, Good Soil Photo Credit: The Potter’s House

The Good Soil event marks the launch of the Good Soil Movement, an ongoing program to catalyze and support diverse business owners via a free, private app and a year-round schedule of live and virtual events to provide tools, resources, and thought leaders. According to the press release, good Soil seeks to launch and nurture a million diverse entrepreneurs within the next decade.

“Stand Together Foundation works alongside our partners to empower people to realize their full potential,” said Evan Feinberg, executive director of Stand Together Foundation. “Fueling increased entrepreneurship not only improves lives but inspires transformation of entire communities. We are proud to partner with T.D. Jakes Enterprises and the Good Soil Movement to lift up Black entrepreneurs across America.”

Grammy award-winning pianist, songwriter, and record producer, Robert Glasper, closed out the day.

To keep up with the Good Soil Movement, visit

Good Soil is ongoing and occurs before the International Leadership Summit (ILS), one of the largest, most transformative leadership conferences for visionaries, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and leaders worldwide.

About the International Leadership Summit 
Founded by T.D. Jakes—real estate mogul, New York Times bestselling author, pioneering CEO and entrepreneur, global humanitarian, devoted philanthropist, senior pastor of The Potter’s House—the International Leadership Summit is an annual transformative conference. Since 2011, the conference has cultivated aspiring and tenured entrepreneurs and leaders with the tools to become successful in for-profit and not-for-profit industries.

About T.D. Jakes Enterprises
Part of the T.D. Jakes Group, T.D. Jakes Enterprises is a social impact holding company with an innovative portfolio steeped in content creation, cultural change, community development, and capital investments. The mission is to create high-impact content and opportunities that disrupt convention and culture. T.D. Jakes Enterprises includes work in television, film, books, mentorship, real estate, music, and entrepreneurship. Visit to learn more.

About Stand Together Foundation
Stand Together Foundation is committed to breaking the cycle of poverty in America by driving change from within communities. We are building a community of social entrepreneurs who believe in people, work from the bottom up, and unite with anyone to do right. Since 2016, we have committed over $120 million and counting to fuel the innovation of nonprofits throughout the country to build stronger, safer communities where all people can learn, contribute, and realize their full potential. Our goal is to help nonprofit leaders maximize their impact to transform more lives out of poverty. Learn more at

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