Yesterday, Black Enterprise and Wal-mart teamed up for a Minority Supplier Forum that was geared toward women. It was held at Hilton Center City.
Can I just say it was fascinating? I was impressed by how many enterprising black women and men filled the room, serious individuals who were looking to take their business to the next level.
Panelists included a very candid and “down-to-earth” Valerie Daniels-Carter, President & CEO, V&J Holding Co.; Lisa Price, Founder & President, Carol’s Daughter; Brenda Anderson, President and CEO, Senior Organizational Consultant, The Galilee Agency Group, Inc and many others.
Mrs. Daniels-Carter showed to be the crowd’s favorite as she “preached” about her own faith and how being true to that faith led her to millions. Her company, V&J Holdings, is the largest African-American operator of Burger King and Pizza Hut with over 100 restaurants to date. She has also joined the board of directors for the Green Bay Packers and is a well-known philanthropist/humanitarian.With much wit and good timing, Valerie plugged her book–Your Business is His Business which focuses on best practices for Christian entrepreneurs.
Speaking of faith, Veronica Bohannon, asked us a serious question to survey the room: “Do you have a line?” Very few women held their hands up. I’m not sure if it was because they weren’t clear on the question or if they had not clearly defined their line. The line she referred to can be defined as a point of compromise for yourself and your business. For instance, Bohannon asked, “if there was a business meeting set at a strip club, would you go in or not?” Would it be, “no this compromises my personal and business values” or would you decide to go in and make the deal? Something to think about. Isn’t it?
“Well do you know your line?”
In sum, we explored lines of faith, value, and self worth. We discussed the pertinence of building strong relationships, where trading services can leverage net worth and network. Let’s not forget the importance financial backing and government grants; we discussed that too. It’s in that conversation that I learned about Mechanics & Farmers Bank, a black-owned bank located in Durham. I had no idea … well I better brush up on my NC history.
Moreover, the forum was well-organized and purposeful. I walked away more motivated and empowered. So “thank you” Black Enterprise and Wal-mart for putting such a fine forum together! Kudos to all the women in the room for desiring to take the next steps in owning and operating businesses all over the world.
Lastly, if you’re interested in viewing pictures and or comments, find #besuppdiv on Twitter
I enjoyed myself, and I look forward to attending more Black Enterprise forums and events.