Black- and Diverse-Owned Business Series

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The Detroit Regional Chamber is hosting a series of events across 2021-2022 to help small, medium, and large diverse-owned businesses in Southeast Michigan grow. The Black- and Diverse-Owned Business series will provide resources to businesses, with the areas of focus being access to capital, procurement, digital divide, policy needs, talent access, and chief executive officer concierge services.

All events in the series are free to attend, but registration is required.

Thanks to the sponsor of the Black- and Diverse-Owned Business Series:

Next Event

How to Access Small Business Funding

Oct. 20 from 9-10 a.m.
Virtual via Go-to-Webinar

Join the Chamber, Pure Michigan Business Connect, and a panel of banking executives for a virtual discussion about venture capital and traditional funding opportunities for small businesses in Southeast Michigan and a Q&A with the panelists.

Panel Lineup

Aileen Cohen

Cohen is the diversity, equity, and inclusivity officer at Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). Prior to her current role, she was the capital project and portfolio manager for MEDC’s Capital Access team. During the webinar, Cohen will discuss MEDC’s capital access resources.


James T. Dunn

Dunn is the executive vice president and chief operating officer at First Independence Bank. In his role, Dunn specializes in commercial, consumer, and residential lending, loan operations, and municipal depository relationships. He will discuss traditional capital lending during the webinar.


Derron Sanders

Sanders is the strategic advisor at Grow Michigan Fund II and the chief executive officer at SG Companies. Sanders will discuss the statewide loan fund that will provide growth capital to Michigan minority-owned small businesses in an array of sectors, including manufacturing, distribution, transportation, life sciences, and enabling technologies.

Shannon Smith

Smith is the vice president of Siebert, Williams, and Shank Capital Management. During the webinar, Smith will discuss the Clear Vision Impact Fund and its work providing loans to small businesses that enhance the employment and skill-development opportunities for residents of underserved communities. The goal of the fund is to maximize social impact by helping minority- and women-owned business enterprises access capital.


Paul Jones

Jones is the business support network director at Invest Detroit. In his role, he works to advance the partnership’s mission to strengthen an inclusive small business support network of nonprofit business organizations in Detroit, Hamtramck, Highland Park, and other Wayne County communities.