Our Economic Empowerment committee hosted a virtual entrepreneurial summit August 26 to spotlight local black business women. The panelists were:
Remi Duyile, former Bank of America vice president, keynote speaker, executive coach and trainer and member of the NCBW100-Prince George’s County Chapter
Tisa Clark, CEO of JD Clark Professional Services construction company and chair of the Prince George's County Chamber of Commerce and member of the NCBW100-Prince George’s County Chapter
Lolita Walker, speaker, life and executive coach, owner of Walker and Walker Enterprises
April Richardson, business lawyer and entrepreneur who owns the nation's second black-owned food hall Savor at Studio 3807
Nikki Howard and Jaqi Wright, sisters and founders of the Furlough Cheesecake
The panelists discussed various topics including:
Adopting best practices amid the COVID-19 pandemic
Deploying strategies/survival tips to sustain their businesses
Leveraging their skills to create new opportunities
Rebuilding and thriving as a black businesswoman
Each woman spoke about the importance of having a passion for what you do.
“What people are doing now, is what companies always did,” Richardson said about survivorship, digging in and how she’s maintained during this unusual time. “I made a conscious decision that my doors will not close.”
And that meant for her and the other panelists being flexible and authentic, being responsive to customer needs and remembering their “why” buoyed them.
“Sisters, this is powerful information that you are sharing. Thank you on behalf of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc.,” said NCBW100-Prince George’s County Chapter President Debra Nixon. “Your testimonies mean so much because you are keeping it 100. More sisters need to heat this.
We also received greetings from NCBW100 National First Vice President Cerita Tinsley, Michael Lanier, president of the 100 Black Men of Prince George's County Chapter, members of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc., Anne Arundel Chapter as well as Wanika Fisher, member of the Maryland House of Delegates.
Lanier said the discussion was “powerful, empowering, and motivating” and that the businesswomen on a day-to-day basis were “delivering the dream and establishing the standard!"
The event took place on August 26, which was Women's Equality Day, which commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment giving (white) women the right to vote. Although Black women were active in the women's suffrage movement, it wasn't until the signing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that Black women and men got the right to vote.
This summit kicked off a series of informative sessions to provide Black businesses the necessary materials and knowledge to approach banks, lenders or business opportunities successfully and the emotional IQ to cope with the stresses of everyday business.