Influential Chicago women entrepreneurs and executives gather for ‘The Unlocked Summit’

The Unlocked Summt
Photo : Marlon Taylor of Cover Art Creative

Women of color now account for one in three woman-owned companies in the United States, but many of those businesses struggle to stay afloat during the first few years. To help businesses survive those initial rocky years, Asia Horne of and Chatoya Antwine of A la carte Galore teamed up to create The Unlocked Summit.

Kicking off recently in Chicago, The Unlocked Summit gathered a group of the city’s top female entrepreneurs and executives for a day of networking, think-tank sessions, and workshops designed to encourage participants’ growth, both personally and professionally, while equipping them with the resources, tips, and tools needed to propel their brands and businesses to the next level.

“We created The Unlocked Summit because we saw a need for a valuable learning experience for entrepreneurial minded women that would help them grow both personally and professionally,” said Antwine. “We are passionate about creating a sisterhood and serving as a genuine and supportive resource.”

Speakers at the summit included Dr. Chantale Stephens-Archer and Dr. Gameli Dekayie-Amenu of Besties MD, Chiquita White, Jennifer Nashae’ and Nikki Burnett of Leading Ladies of Chicago, Sheena Marie of Sheena Marie Beauty Studio, Ariel Rainey of the Hustle Mommies non-profit organization, Michelle Thames of Happily Ever Natural, and Stacey Emerson of HER Treasures Boutique. The event also featured a live recording by Dr. Shante Bishop of her popular podcast “Branding For Believers.”

An insightful panel discussion closed out the summit featuring Tahiti Spears of A la carte Galore and Monique Rodriguez, CEO and Founder of Mielle Organics. Panelists discussed a series of topics including entrepreneurship, motherhood and balance.

The ladies plan to take the summit on the road next year with eyes on Detroit for this coming February.

“We just want to help other women succeed and see them win,” Horne says. “Imagine the power and impact we can have on our communities if we support and build upon one another.”

For more information on The Unlocked Summit, please visit

Check out photos from the event in the gallery below.

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