Rolling Out

Newly formed National Alliance of Black Business hosts expo at Clark Atlanta

Black business owners from across America meet with plans of collaborating

The National Alliance of Black Business has gotten right to work. Announced in September 2022, the NABB is the National Business League and National Black Chamber of Commerce joining together to promote equity for Black businesses.

On Nov. 18 at Clark Atlanta University, NABB hosted a session to give business insight and help level the playing field in the business world. At the event, NBL president and CEO Ken Harris and NBCC president Charles DeBow spoke to rolling out about the new partnership and event.

With this new alliance and event today, what has the energy in the room been like?

DeBow: Excellent. In the sense of a thriving, healthy newborn baby being born, and taking its first breath of life that shouts for the hunger of the future, the hunger for the need and recognition of it. The people who have made their time available to come here for a common area of interest, which most of us have spent most of our lives working towards.

Harris: For me, it’s being at home. Clark Atlanta University is my alma mater, I went to undergraduate here, did my first master’s here, played on the basketball team, and served as student government president.

Every time I step on this campus it is like family. Family looks out for family. Our motto was to find a way or make one. So, we’re here to make a way for our people. In support of that, I want to thank [Clark Atlanta University president] Dr. George French, who actually sent his staff, all of his resources to make sure we had a successful retreat here today, to bring about the nation’s first Black business scorecard. As you can see, we have world-renowned experts from all across the country, in every sector and geographic political area of the country. They are here … which will be unprecedented in terms of the measurement of Black participation and span the public and private sector and the federal government. So, we’re excited.

My partner here Charles DeBow and I have been working extremely hard on this. We’ve been in a series of meetings in all aspects of, “What it’s going to take to pull this endeavor off?” I think we’ve accomplished that. We’ve got the right team, the right people, the right leadership, the right endorsements, and the right type of support, that it’s going to take on all levels. So we’re excited about the future. Although this is for 2023, we’re way ahead of the game in getting this preparation started. So yeah, we’re excited about it.

And my good friend, Munson Steed. We appreciate all his efforts in helping to publicize this through rolling out.

Charles, you are breaking down high-level business talks into everyday jargon. Why do you need to do that? 

People are told they’re barriers where there really isn’t a barrier as much as a lack of a customer or a client. Whether we’re trying to go beg somebody to let us in a system or a program, we’re just doing business with each other on all levels and identifying quality, capable services and resources we can connect with somebody else.

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