Financial literacy is a big deal. And though this may not be a fun topic, it’s a needed topic. Being financially savvy can take you so far in life, yet it’s the thing that has the least focus.

According to the National Urban League, regarding financial literacy, when it comes to the P-Fin Index, which measures eight key areas of personal finance knowledge: earning, consuming, saving, investing, borrowing and managing debt, insuring, comprehending risk and uncertainty, and go-to information sources, the lack of financial literacy is evident. According to a report published June 2022, African-American adults answered 38 percent of the P-Fin index questions correctly, compared to 55 percent of white adults. This is an overall issue in many communities.

I recently attended the 2022 RISE Athlete Enterprise Symposium’s Two-Day event held at The Joule Hotel where it was very clear how much work and dedication has been poured into this amazing event over the last five years.

So what is RISE? It’s an athlete enterprise that develops and manages legacy-building strategies, elevating professional athletes into world-class entrepreneurs. Why is this important? Often when professional athletes come into a lot of money fast, that can come with a lot of confusion as to how the money is best distributed. They will also need business acumen. If you aren’t taught the importance of being financially literate, you can end up either spending too much or making really bad investments. Professional athletes are seen as an entire brand, not just a player. And things don’t stop with just getting paid.

CEO & Founder Michael V. Ledo saw an opportunity to help out athletes and he has the background to back it up. Michael is an entrepreneur and leader in the business of sports. He has founded three sports organizations over his 15 years in the industry. He holds a B.A. in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing from the University of Saint Frances where he earned honors as a 2x All-American and became the first African-American football player to be inducted into the USF Athletic Hall of Fame. His passion for business development, brand development, and mentoring athletes is the result you see with RISE.

“So I founded RISE seven years ago and when we got into the second year, we wanted to create an event that would create space for aspiring athlete entrepreneurs. That’s who we serve, that’s our niche. We’re a multi-family office that helps athletes become world-class entrepreneurs and investors. So we said education is the foundation, so we said we need to create space where those who aspire to be can come and meet with best-in-class people in investing, accounting, real estate, private equity and venture capital, so we created a venue. Two years ago we moved our headquarters here to DFW, and now we are going to do it every year in Dallas,” Ledo said.

Of course, an enterprise has many people who help run this tight ship. It’s not a solo act. RISE has an amazing Leadership team including Annie Bailey, Jay Bass, Kayla DeVoss, Payton Johnson, and Christy Paddock.

For the Athlete Enterprise Symposium event this year, the speakers were Founder and CEO of Zirtue Dennis Cail, NBA All-Star Jamal Mashburn, Founder&CEO of Blue Star Innovation Partners Rob Wechsler and 5x MLB All-Star Torii Hunter.

This event was full of amazing people who have worked hard to establish their legacies and now want to help others by following the regimen that it takes to get there. It was a high vibe, educational, and motivational evening. It doesn’t get any better than that. And this enterprise can boast because it works!

“Our first client was Jaylon Smith, who played for the Dallas Cowboys for about five years and Jaylon was up for the Walter Payton Man of the Year Award. He started a minority entrepreneurship institute that’s invested over 1.5 million into minority entrepreneurs, that’s why he was nominated for the Walter Payton award, he owns about seven companies and five real estate projects. He’s doing extremely well off the field, so I think he is our blueprint, and there are a lot of guys that we work with that are going to make a lot more money than him and they could possibly have a better NFL career but he’s laid the blueprint for what you do off the field when it comes to his brand, his business acumen and really the business investments that he’s made thus far,” Ledo says.

If you missed this fantastic event, be sure to visit their website below.

Check out some amazing footage of the event below:

YouTube video

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