Detroit Regional Chamber > Racial Justice & Economic Equity > Detroit’s Black Business Community Celebrates Return of Minding My Black-Owned Business Event

Detroit’s Black Business Community Celebrates Return of Minding My Black-Owned Business Event

December 7, 2023

Michigan Chronicle
Ebony JJ Curry

The Detroit business scene witnessed a significant triumph Wednesday with the return of the “Minding My Black-Owned Business” networking event. Following the impressive success of its inaugural gathering, this initiative, spearheaded by Real Times Media, Pitch Black, the Michigan Chronicle, and the Detroit Regional Chamber, has swiftly become a beacon of empowerment and connectivity for the city’s Black business owners.

This event, the second of its kind, has not only maintained but amplified the momentum from its predecessor, setting a new benchmark for business networking in Detroit. The organizers are committed to sustaining this energy, with plans to continue these series, each meticulously designed to offer more than just networking opportunities. They serve as a fertile ground for deep, authentic, and raw conversations, creating a unique blend of emotional engagement and passionate discourse.

The event featured a dynamic lineup of speakers who brought a wealth of experience and insight. Among them was Leon Richardson, the trailblazing President and CEO of the Chemico Group, who shared his journey of turning challenges into stepping stones. Candice Matthews Brackeen, the visionary Founder and CEO of the Lightship Foundation, offered her perspective on innovation and leadership. Mark Wilson, Chief Impact Officer at VXI Global Solutions, also graced the event, contributing his expertise on impactful business strategies.

One of the event’s standout features was the series of intimate fireside chats. These sessions allowed for a deeper dive into the journeys of successful entrepreneurs, uncovering the layers of grit, determination, and resilience that have shaped their paths. These conversations, raw and unfiltered, resonated with the attendees, offering a rare glimpse into the real struggles and triumphs behind successful business ventures.

During the fireside chats, a particularly enriching aspect was the interactive Q&A sessions, which further elevated the event’s impact. The audience, comprised of aspiring entrepreneurs, seasoned business leaders, and other community members, eagerly seized these opportunities to engage directly with the speakers. These exchanges were not only insightful but also deeply personal, allowing attendees to seek advice, share experiences, and pose challenging questions. This interactive element fostered a dynamic and inclusive atmosphere, where every participant could voice their thoughts and contribute to the rich tapestry of the conversation. It was in these moments of open dialogue that the true essence of “Minding My Black-Owned Business” was most vividly realized – as a platform for genuine connection, learning, and communal growth.

“I had a blast! I feel so inspired and can’t wait for the next one,” shared Jerell McKitchen, successful owner of Premier Senior Home Care. Like many thriving business owners in attendance, McKitchen was eager to be enthralled in the conversation.

The evening wasn’t just about speeches and dialogues; it was an immersive experience that celebrated the rich tapestry of Black entrepreneurship in Detroit. Attendees found themselves in a space where collaboration was not just encouraged but actively fostered. The event facilitated the kind of connections that go beyond business cards and LinkedIn connections, sparking potential partnerships and future collaborations.

Moreover, the event served as a platform to discuss critical topics pertinent to the Black business community, such as access to capital, navigating market changes, and harnessing technology for business growth. These discussions weren’t just theoretical; they were grounded in the real-world experiences of the speakers and participants, providing practical insights and actionable strategies.

This event transcended boundaries, captivating everyone from the seasoned entrepreneur to the newly flourishing business owner, regardless of their age or industry. The theme of the evening was unmistakably inspiration. Among the attendees was Beverly Hannah, owner of Hannah Architects, a successful Black woman-owned architectural firm that has been a staple in Detroit for 30 years. Even with her extensive experience and success, Hannah found herself reinvigorated by the event’s energizing atmosphere and the wealth of insights shared throughout the evening, “I am thankful for the invitation to be a special guest, I had a wonderful time, and left energized and inspired.”

The success of this second “Minding My Black-Owned Business” event marks a pivotal moment for Detroit’s Black business community. The goal was clear: to rally, activate, and empower the expanding Black business community in Detroit. It goes beyond celebrating individual achievements to underscore the collective strength and resilience of this vibrant sector. As the series continues, it stands as a symbol of hope and progression, not just for the businesses involved but for the entire city. This event is more than just a meeting of minds; it’s a growing movement, a testament to the enduring spirit of community and collaboration in the face of challenges.