Warren Galloway, Jr. has been on a five year mission to help connect entrepreneurs to capital and other supportive services. This coming weekend in Detroit, he’ll get the chance to put his mission into action. On Friday and Saturday, September 27-28, Galloway is conducting the first ever, two day National Microloan Conference aimed at educating entrepreneurs and connecting them with like-minded loan professionals to help them get their businesses funded. The conference is the largest national conference with an emphasis on microlending for entrepreneurs.
“The National Microloan Conference was created to provide support for lenders, bankers, agencies, entrepreneurs, service providers and many other entities that could benefit from a large annual networking event that caters to industry professionals,” Galloway stated.
We recently sat down with Galloway to get more details on the conference and to learn what conference-goers should expect. See what he shared below.
Tell us about the Microloan Conference that’s taking place on September 27-28 at TechTown Detroit. What is it and how did it come about?
This Microloan Conference is the biggest national conference aimed to connect entrepreneurs with like-minded loan professionals and industry professionals, enabling them to apply for on-site microloans. The two-day conference will be held on September 27 and 28 at TechTown Detroit, located in Detroit, Michigan.
The conference will offer an extensive range of valuable learning opportunities and resources, such as a microloan panel and pitch competition, and will also allow entrepreneurs to expand their network.
The best part of this conference is that all the workshops will be facilitated by industry professionals from across the country.
The one thing that makes this conference unique is the 40 different back-to-back “Power Sessions” and 50 guest speakers. Each of these hands-on training’s/workshop sessions will help entrepreneurs apply for microloans and overcome their biggest obstacle: securing capital. Besides capital, the conference is also targeted to provide support to entrepreneurs by networking with other industry professionals such as lenders, service providers, bankers and more.
How did this conference come to fruition?
It took me five years to plan this conference and was created as a result of my book, “Microloans.” It was the catalyst for me to connect entrepreneurs to capital and other supportive services.
What exactly is a microloan and how does it differ from other loans?
Microloans are normally defined as any loan for $50K or less, which are orientated by non-profits or Community Development Financial Institution (CDFIs). Since many banks are unwilling to provide smaller loan amounts, microloans are a great way for business owners to get access to capital.
Some microloan programs are open to all types of small business owners, whereas others focus on providing financing to specific types of entrepreneurs, such as those in low-income communities or countries and female entrepreneurs.
What type of people should attend this conference?
Entrepreneurs, lenders, bankers, agencies, and service providers. It is a large networking event with resources to support entrepreneurs. We are expecting 300 – 400 guests to attend this conference.
What is your role with the conference?
I am the founder and chairman of this conference. This was a five-year vision for me to connect entrepreneurs with the necessary capital and resources for these business owners to succeed.
Who are some of the conference’s guest speakers and what type of sessions will take place?
We have over 50 guest speakers from across the country. Some of the speakers that will be in attendance include:
- Marlin Williams, chief program Officer, TechTown Detroit
- Amanda Blondeau, director of business services, Northern Initiatives
- Regina Ann Campbell, chief program officer, Epicenter, Memphis
- Gabriela Ramirez-Arellano, business counselor, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of St. Louis
- Alessandra Desiderio, assistant to the executive director, Colorado Lending Source
- Shawna Renee, storyteller, Washington D.C.
- Steven Yates, business consultant, Heroes International, Atlanta
- Linette Phillips, deputy director of economic development, City of Flint
- Larry Bryant, senior vice president, Comerica Bank
- Quentin Bishop, executive director of economic development, Lapeer Development Corporation
Where can we find out more information?