By Journal Staff Writer
To inspire, connect and more importantly, follow the Forbes Magazine report that listed Black women as some of the fastest growing entrepreneurs in the United States, were the overall objectives at the first annual Mid-Month Mixer celebrating Black Entrepreneur Women. Held on Saturday, April 3 at Occasions Hall, 5359 Dorr St, the event was organized by three local business owners.
The networking event was the brain child of Takeyla Brown, Alicia Owens and Shante’ Mitchell, all entrepreneurs, who designed the event to specifically help give other women business owners, a road map to greater financial success.
That road map or itinerary of the day had several guest speakers, Kenneth Johnson, Valerie Thompson, Vanice Williams, Toledo City Council, Susan Hamilton of ASSESTS Toledo and Dr. Corinn Taylor, keynote speaker sharing their experiences on constructing their businesses. But also and more importantly, they shared information on how entrepreneurs can access funding from government or private institutions and how they can effectively grow their business.
Ms. Brown who, owns a group home for troubled youth, told The Toledo Journal that Black women were excited about the event.
“We need to celebrate our Black women entrepreneurs, who struggle to make their business successful,” she said.
“Black women have two obstacles; we’re black and we’re women,” Ms. Mitchell said. “But even with these obstacles, Forbes Magazine list us as one of the fastest growing groups entering entrepreneurship and for that, we should be celebrated.”
Ms. Mitchell is also an accomplished business owner of a home healthcare and residential agency.
Ms. Owens is the owner of Occasions and she said, “I’d like to see us develop our network and be willing to work together more in order to grow our business; that’s what I want to see come out of today.”
Besides being a city council member, Vanice Williams is the owner of a child care center. She spoke about her personal struggles and accomplishments on being a business owner. Further, she shared information on the government’s plan to be more business friendly. One such way, she said, is the city will soon be creating a link for business owners that will have information on what’s needed locally and on the state level to be an established business.
Dr. Taylor who, is a registered nurse by trade, has a Master’s Degree in Community Health and her PhD in Organizational Leadership, is also an accomplished author, delivered the keynote address.
Her theme was, “We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be delayed.” She told her audience that they may encounter big obstacles, but they have to stay focused and have resiliency in order to bring about their dreams.