In addition to amassing a multimillion dollar fortune due to his highly successful hip-hop fashion line FUBU and "Shark Tank" appearances, Daymond John was also recently appointed as a Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship by President Barack Obama -- but he still has one big regret: not serving in the U.S. military.
"I just have a huge respect for [veterans]," he recently told AOL Finance. "I understand how they've all dedicated themselves for us."
As one of the nine aforementioned Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship -- an initiative aimed at developing the next generation of entrepreneurs, both at home and abroad -- John was recently afforded the opportunity to travel the world, meet veterans and current servicemen. He's taken his role even further, partnering with Bob Evans' Farms for its Our Farm Salutes veterans program. The contest, which kicked off last month, will award three up-and-coming veteran entrepreneurs a $25,000 grant to further pursue their entrepreneurial dreams. The winners will also receive a one-on-one mentoring session with John.
"I think not enough is done for them and I think that they are entrepreneurs. They know how to complete tasks, work within a system and figure things out one way or another," John explains.
In an interview with Yahoo Finance, John expressed how more U.S. companies should provide programs to aid entrepreneurs. "If you support entrepreneurs, not only will you help their company, but you can also get entrepreneurs working within your system -- that's an intrapreneur," he explained. "And that will increase your bottom line because people will see that you care. So I think Bob Evans is setting a great example."
While John may not have a direct hand in selecting the winners of the contest, he plans to teach invaluable lessons to those chosen.
When asked what the most important qualities a good mentor should possess, John told AOL Finance, "Generally, mentors connect you with other people that they feel can add value to you. They plot untapped resources you currently have that you haven't been utilizing, so you don't have to go out and find new resources -- but maximize what you're currently doing." the startup investor continued, adding, "They also try and hold your hand just a little bit and try make sure you don't make mistakes trying to scale too fast. Like, taking in additional funds when you know you don't need it or buying more inventory when you didn't need it."