Many have undergone transformation from the plethora of paradigm-shifting panels they’ve attended and the bountiful networking contacts they’ve made. Others have been injected with a revived spirit to put their engines in overdrive on the road to their lifelong dreams of either owning their own businesses or taking their established businesses to the next level. After seeing an endless cavalcade of illustrious and accomplished panelists march on and off the stage like a parade of stars, many of the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs conventioneers now believe that they, too, can be successful. Correct that: They now know they can.
Tiffany Johnson (pictured above), of Cards by Tiffany, maker of hand-made, innovative greeting cards: “Actually, I won at a networking session, and I thought it was a good opportunity to attend the conference and learn how I can turn my hobby into a money-making enterprise.”
Moraa Bey, Beautiful Locks, Berkeley, Calif., certified hair lock technician: “I am looking at [gaining knowledge in] social media and marketing knowledge. I am looking at getting into production and doing stage sets.”
Manziri Clark, Kawa Java, a coffee business in Uganda that rushes coffee from Uganda and resells it in local markets: “I came to network with other entrepreneurs and to share my business with [them].”
Kreisha Shropshire, Artist Works, markets products for men and women to reshape their bodies: “I came to this event because I am an entrepreneur, and I wanted to make sure that I networked with other entrepreneurs.”
Kree Latimore, sales and marketing executive at UHI LLC that coaches people to trade on the New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ: “I volunteered for this event because my children and I are looking to start a skateboarding and events business. So, I am here to meet and learn from other business professionals.”
George A. Olocum, owner of a full- service consultant company that focuses on business and life development in Atlanta: “I attended the BE conference last year. I felt it was a great conference, big on networking, and I [spoke] at the Teen Conference this year.”
Jonathan Matthew Williams, PR professional with Ketchum, voice-over artist and actor in Atlanta: “It was an opportunity to meet small-business owners to see what their concerns are. Many of our products are geared toward small-business owners and entrepreneurs. So, I really wanted to see where they are in their experiences and get some insights, so we can see how we can best address their needs.”