Male Mogul Initiative Opens CO-LLAB

Male Mogul Initiative celebrated the grand opening of CO-LLAB, located at 6055 S. Wentworth. PHOTO PROVIDED BY WALTER MENDENHALL.
Male Mogul Initiative celebrated the grand opening of CO-LLAB, located at 6055 S. Wentworth. PHOTO PROVIDED BY WALTER MENDENHALL.

Male Mogul Initiative Opens CO-LLAB

By Tia Carol Jones

The Male Mogul Initiative recently celebrated the grand opening of its CO-LLAB Warehouse.  The warehouse, which is located at 6055 S. Wentworth, will serve as a hub for creativity.

Walter Mendenhall came up with the idea for Male Mogul Initiative in 2016 and launched it officially in 2017. The mission of the organization is to provide leadership and character development for young men ages 13 years old to 24 years old. It provides entrepreneurial training and mentorship with the goal of transforming young men into business leaders, while inspiring them to be role models in their communities.

Mendenhall described CO-LLAB as a place where film, arts and enterprise meet. There will be two floors. The first floor will be dedicated to screen printing and manufacturing, STEM and STEAM classes, financial literacy and leadership development classes. On the second floor, content creation will take place from filming content to training for trades and construction, with electricians, plumbers and welders coming in to introduce the young people to the trades.

The organization is currently in the recruitment phase for its summer programming, as well as training the managers to ensure that they are knowledgeable in screen pressing, have the operations down and have the systems in place.

“We’re really kind of slow walking this and making sure that we’re training our employees and our people in a way that we will have an effortless transition once people start coming in,” Mendenhall said.

There are currently four people staffed at CO-LLAB, with the hope to add five more staff members on a part-time basis.

Mendenhall said he wanted to open CO-LLAB because he wanted to give young people job opportunities and build skills. Also, Male Mogul needed a space to manufacture their own products.

“I think if we want to see change in our city, it’s going to start with investing in young minority, particularly Black and brown young men. It’s no secret, we turn on the news eighty percent of gunshot victims are African American young men. I think it’s a direct correlation with joblessness and school;  forty five percent  of 18 years old to 24 year olds not having jobs or not being in school,” Mendenhall said.

Mendenhall believes CO-LLAB is a solution to the problem. CO-LLAB is the first phase of that of a community wealth-building ecosystem.

That ecosystem will consist of a business incubation and acquisition, which is CO-LLAB, where it will offer financing and microloans and other types financing to start businesses.

Also, there will be direct services partnerships with a supply chain for all the things necessary to start a business including accountants, bookkeepers. The final part is community reinvestment, which is job creation and real estate acquisition for people who live in the community so those people can become owners in the community.

“I think it helps us to build capacity, we have more space, we can do more things. It’s bringing more attention which brings in more partnerships, which brings in more dollars and more people coming together to solve a problem,” Mendenhall said.

For more information about Male Mogul Initiative, visit

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