Campus News

Dr. Mathew Knowles bring entrepreneur tips to Medgar Evers College


Dr. Mathew Knowles knows a little something about success — just look at the covers of the most recent Bazaar and Essence magazine covers.

Solange Knowles on one. Beyonce Knowles on the other.

His daughters have found worldwide success (and the millions and billions that come with it), in many parts because of the family committing to building a brand — firmly establishing their goals and image before ever trying to sell or market their products.

Dr. Knowles brought his wealth of knowledge to the Founders Auditorium at Medgar Evers College on February 27, 2024, as part of his “Business and Entrepreneurship: The Keys to Success” workshop put on by the CUNY Black Male Initiative (BMI) and MEC’s Black History Month committee.

The BMI — founded at Medgar Evers College 20 years ago and since adopted CUNY-wide —  is a student development initiative with more than 30 campus programs focused on increasing matriculation, retention and graduation rates of underrepresented students, particularly men of color.




Dr. Knowles, founder of many businesses including Music World Entertainment and manager of Destiny’s Child, was one part inspiring and one part honest throughout the two-hour event.

“It takes the same amount of energy to dream big as it does to dream small. It takes the same amount of energy,” he told the crowd.

He showcased what “inside-the-box” and “outside-the-box” thinking looked like, inviting two young men up on stage to stand in a box together. They could not maneuver. As soon as they stepped out of the box, they were free to move as they wished.

“You must think outside the box,” Dr. Knowles pleaded.




He also invited a Q&A session at the conclusion, where he offered real-life feedback on budding businesses such as a chocolate-covered strawberry venture still in its infancy, as well as an entrepreneur looking to make an impact in the mental well-being space.

He encouraged one to make sure she had samples of her strawberries, to invest in experiential marketing in order to get market feedback.

He critiqued the wording behind the brand pitch of another – perception matters, he said.




The students in attendance got a master class on all the facets of being an entrepreneur, including Sheray Goday, who wrote:

“As an entrepreneur, Dr. Knowles’ words spoke to me in a special way. From the way he maneuvered through the timeline from slavery to hip hop, he showcased what it means to not only have a passion and motivation for something, but what it means to actually take that motivation and do something amazing in life. One thing that stuck with me was when he explained that ‘it takes the same amount of energy to dream big, than it is to dream small.’ When you have a passion and goal in mind, you literally never have to work a day of your life. This event made me realize it is up to me to continue to have self-discipline and not let anything or anyone deter me from my goals and aspirations.”