Small Business Entrepreneurs Convene to Share Networking Opportunities and Strategies of Survival in a Struggling Economy
Commitment, perseverance, and a strong sense of self-determination led the participants of the 15th Annual Ron Brown Business and Economic Summit in Manhattan Beach, California. The three -day conference, sponsored by the California Black Chamber of Commerce Foundation (CBCCF), featured expert business leaders, entertainers and elected officials.
Summit workshops included Barriers to Access and Securing Capital, Gorilla Marketing, Sources for Funding, Credit Barriers, Green Business Development, Youth Entrepreneurship, and more.
Raphael Henderson, Sr. Vice President, SB Lending for Wells Fargo Bank announced the bank is "actively looking at loan applications that have been declined." He mentioned Wells Fargo has spent $6.6 billion in small business investment. Henderson said the bank has given $13 billion in new loans. He encouraged the Black Chamber members and small business owners to continue to seek business opportunities.
"Our workshops provide the necessary tools and techniques to become successful in modern business, finance, banking and marketing, "explained Aubry Stone, director of CBCCF. "Our 21st Century theme encourages the development of efficient business models while integrating our young people for sustainable communities."
Gerry Foster, president of his own self-titled business as a consultant and business marketing and development specialist provided proven techniques to create a "super brand" and attracting consumers to their business.
CCBCF awarded $18,000 scholarships to 18 students throughout California. The students received the scholarships for their exceptional accomplishments on small business projects and demonstrated self- determination to improve themselves and give back to the community.
More than 30 student entrepreneurs participated in skill-building exercises, challenging their critical thinking and giving them tools to use for their future business projects. The students competed, determining which team developed the most successful business within a 20 minute time period. The most successful business walked away with cash prizes.
Michael Brown, Aubry Stone, Robert Gaines, Sr.
The final evening of the summit featured 15th Anniversary Tribute videos to both Ron Brown and the organization of the Ron Brown Business and Economic Summit. The 10 minute video collage delivered an emotional biography of the Summit's name sake, former U.S. Commerce Secretary Ronald H. Brown. After the video, Ron Brown's son, Michael Brown, a councilman in the District of Columbia, gave a moving speech and joked, "After watching that video, I could hear my father's voice after I've gotten in trouble (yelling from a far) "Michael get in your room!"
The evening culminated with an outstanding performance by ZAPP, led by Lester Troutman, an original funk musician. The band played More Bounce to the Ounce, all the band's favorites with Black Chamber members and guests dancing and enjoying the funk with the legendary band. The evening concluded with dinner guests invited to a private series, hosted by the chamber.
In summary, the State Chamber met and exceeded expectations by all attendees by blending the exact amount of core training with Social & Networking opportunities.
The 2011 Ron Brown Business & Economic Summit will be held in Sacramento August 18-20, 2011. MARK YOUR CALENDARS!