Keith Bass

Keith Bass

Keith Bass grew up in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, where as a young man he struggled to see a productive path forward for his life. That changed when he was mentored in entrepreneurship by Walter Mendenhall through the Male Mogul Initiative. On April 11, the initiative unveiled its new small business incubator, Co-llab, with Bass as an instructor.

“It took a long time for me to actually learn what the Male Mogul Initiative was for – the message that was really being given to me.”

“I went to jail in 2021 and Walt [Mendenhall] paid $5,000 for my lawyer. The next summer, one of the lessons he taught us was on how to be an asset and not a liability. I went and apologized to him, because I realized I had been a liability and not an asset.”

“Now things have come full circle because I get to facilitate these young men learning entrepreneurship.”

“A lot of our young men on the South Side idolize different things that won’t be conducive to their future. We try to show them that just because someone else is doing things one way, doesn’t mean that’s for you.”

“We try to broaden perspectives and find certain things people are good at to get them on that path specifically. If we don’t know how to teach it, we probably know someone who does.”

“For any young man on the South Side that wasn’t dealt the right hand or was in tough situations, at the end of the day it’s you versus you. You can make it out of your situation just like I made it out of mine.”

“And I had help, but that’s part of it. Don’t take anything anybody gives you for granted. Take your blessings and give them back.”

Keith Bass
Male Mogul Initiative
Chicago, Illinois

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