Virtual conference

TechTown Hosts Virtual Conference to Guide Black-Owned Businesses to Success

DETROIT — In honor of Black History Month, TechTown Detroit will host a free, one-day virtual conference to prepare Black-owned businesses in Metro Detroit for success during the global pandemic and beyond. People who run black-owned businesses, are part of the business services ecosystem, or are just curious about how to support black-owned businesses in Metro Detroit are encouraged to participate.

The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 22 and is in partnership with Build Institute, Great Lakes Women’s Business Council, Invest Detroit, Minerva Education and Development Foundation, Michigan Small Business Development Center, and ProsperUS Detroit.

The inaugural Preparing Black-Owned Businesses for Success conference will include breakout sessions, panel discussions with business service providers, breakout networking, and a keynote address from Maggie Anderson, author of “Our Black Year.” . Anderson will share lessons learned from the Economic Empowerment Project for Marginalized Black Businesses in the 21st Century. Breakout sessions throughout the day will range from the importance of maintaining personal relationships while building a business to the history of Black-owned businesses in Detroit and understanding political power and its role in local politics.

“TechTown understands the importance of ensuring the success of Black businesses in Detroit, so we’ve teamed up with our partners for Black History Month to provide extraordinary business support,” said Lawrence Jackson, Director of entrepreneurial education at TechTown Detroit. “We work together to provide the resources, funds and visibility to businesses owned by Black women and men to create wealth and reduce poverty levels in the city.”

As part of the conference, TechTown also partnered with Minerva Education and Development Foundation, an organization that provides scholarships and funds to young people and families in Detroit, to launch a TikTok video challenge. The video challenge is open until February 15 for high school 11th and 12th graders who reside in Detroit. Students must creatively address topics such as why they support black-owned businesses or what black-owned businesses mean to their community for a chance to win up to $2,000.

“The goal of the video challenge is to educate our youth about the importance of supporting Black-owned businesses in their community,” Jackson continued. “Using our purchasing power to maintain jobs and services in the community is crucial to the economic growth of Black-owned businesses.”

Additional information about the TikTok video challenge can be found at Registration for the Preparing Black-Owned Businesses for Success conference can be found at

Preparing Black-owned businesses for success is made possible with support from Bank of America, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, the New Economy Initiative, the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, and the Walters Family Foundation.

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