The Chamber and IKEA US Community Foundation is looking to reward Central Florida’s most promising and innovative Black-owned small businesses this month. Registration is now open for entrepreneurs ready to showcase their business concept and compete for cash prizes.
WHAT: African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida’s Third Annual Empowerment Business Conference
WHEN: Friday, August 19th @ 9 a.m.
WHERE: Full Sail University – Full Sail Live
Tanisha Nunn-Gary, President of the African American Chamber of Commerce Central Florida
ORLANDO, FL- August 11, 2022 — August is National Black Business Month, and the African American Chamber of Commerce of Central Florida (AACCCF), in partnership with IKEA US Community Foundation, present Empowerment Pitch Competition, a brand-new initiative to be launched during the Chamber’s 2022 Empowerment Business Conference. The event will be held on Friday, August 19, 2022, at Full Sail University – Full Sail Live. Local Black entrepreneurs are welcome to participate in the program, which involves mentoring, coaching, and the opportunity to participate in the pitch
competition for the chance to win a $10,000, $7,000 or a $3,000 grant to grow and scale their business operations. Additionally, the entrepreneurs will be automatically admitted in Interise’s award-winning StreetWise ‘MBA’ program, which provides small business owners with the knowledge, management know-how, and the networks needed to grow established small businesses.
Enter the Pitch Competition: https://www.blackcommerce.org/empowerment-form/.
Registration deadline: Thursday, August 18, 2022.
“We want to invite the Central Florida Black business community to participate in the third Annual Empowerment Business Conference. The full-day conference is designed to equip entrepreneurs and business leaders across different sectors with a blueprint for success in leadership and organizational development,” said Tanisha Nunn-Gary, president of the African American Chamber of Commerce Central Florida. “We want to empower Black business leaders to successfully advance transformative change. Small and medium-sized enterprises are responsible for more than two thirds of all jobs worldwide. This new initiative exemplifies the Chamber’s mission, which is cultivating a thriving business environment for African American companies in Central Florida.”
During the conference, Dr. Sean Snaith, Director of the University of Central Florida’s Institute for Economic Forecasting, and a nationally recognized economist in the field of business and economic forecasting will provide invaluable financial insight, instrumental for the development of strategic business plans.
The conversation with Dr. Snaith will kick-start the day’s events as conference attendees:
• Learn strategies for success from respected community leaders
• Participate in workshop sessions with a focus on supplier/diversity, digital marketing, and non-traditional lending
• Enjoy the annual Empowerment Business Luncheon
• Build valuable connections during an in-person networking mixer
In addition to Dr. Snaith, the panel discussion includes experts who will take the stage to share their diverse perspectives and knowledge in leadership across all areas of business, such as:
• Paul Z. Shelton, Jr., founder, and Chief Investment Officer at Warwick Shore Advisors
• Courtney R. Powell, founder of Ace Applications, a provider of top tier technology solutions
• Motivational speaker Simon T. Bailey
• Dr. Laine Powell, founder, and executive director of Tech Sassy Girlz, a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring underrepresented girls in middle and high school to engage in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
Past speakers included US Black Chamber President/CEO Ron Busby, US Congresswoman Val Demings, Tony McGee, former NFL player and President/CEO of HNM Logistics, and Dorian Boyland, Owner/Operator of Mercedes Benz South Orlando.
Register for the 3rd Annual Empowerment Business Conference here: https://www.blackcommerce.org/ebc2022/
Black Business Month is celebrated in August — it’s a time to acknowledge and appreciate black-owned businesses across the nation and all that they represent in the country’s continual striving for diversity and equality. Denise Moore, CEO of the Black Business Alliance in Peoria, Illinois, has this to say about the importance of Black Business month: “Black Business Month is exciting because it gives us an opportunity to focus on a community that is far too often underrepresented when it comes to access to capital and opportunities to build wealth.”
When we celebrate the contribution of black business owners and entrepreneurs, it pays homage to them and their legacies, especially since celebrating this month recognizes the importance of black-owned businesses when it comes to contributing to the nation’s economy as well. Approximately 10% of all American businesses are black-owned, and if we look at what statistics say about minority-owned businesses, about 30% of these would belong to black business owners. The primary sectors in which black-owned businesses operate include health care, social work, repair and maintenance, beauty salons, restaurants, and more. Black businesses across the country are booming and, on the rise, with Washington D.C. having the highest ratio of black-owned businesses, a whopping 28%. These businesses also have an important role to play towards supporting student and education by giving funds towards scholarship of African American Students
Black business owners account for about 10 percent of U.S. businesses and about 30 percent of all minority-owned businesses. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, that amounts to approximately two million companies owned by African Americans. Nearly 40 percent of black-owned businesses are in health care and social assistance, repair and maintenance, and personal and laundry services. Other categories include advertising firms, auto dealerships, consulting services, restaurants, barbershops, beauty salons, and more.
Among cities, New York has the most black-owned businesses in the U.S. followed by Atlanta. The highest ratio of black-owned businesses is in Washington, DC where 28% of all businesses are black-owned. The growth of black-owned franchise businesses has been explosive. In 2012 over 30% of franchise businesses were Black-owned, up from about 20% five years previous.