Last weekend I attended a fabulous conference in Atlanta that was was hosted by my friend and rising superstar speaker, Tierra Destiny Reid, owner of Serious Startups. The conference was titled Design Your Destiny and it was geared aspiring and current small business owners. Tierra and I met at Tory Johnson’s Spark & Hustle conference that took place last year in Atlanta. This year, Tierra will be a speaker at the Dallas and Atlanta Spark & Hustle events.
I had the pleasure of being on the expert panel and shared my insights on the benefits of online businesses vs. brick and mortar businesses as well as the phenomenon of crowdfunding (innovative ways in which entrepreneurs are raising capital to fund their businesses without sacrificing equity or having to pay back loans). I shared the stage with an extremely impressive line-up of speakers including: Angela Stalcup, Atlanta Market Director, Ladies Who Launch, Felicia Joy, Author and CEO of Ms. CEO, Delmar Johnson, owner of HR Brain for Hire, Joyce Bone, author and owner of millionairemoms.com, Darnell Henderson, owner of Himistry, and Elizabeth Chester, CEO of Maddie Moo Creations – just to name a few!
One of the most startling things about this conference is that the audience consisted of 100% women and of this 100%, 99% were black women. Now I’ve attended MANY conferences and never have I seen so many black women as attendees. I was very excited to see so many black women in the room. According to the Center for Women’s Business Research, between 2002 and 2008, the number of firms owned by African American women increased by 19 percent – twice as fast as all other firms,. And they generated $29 billion in sales nationwide. So I encourage black women to attend more conferences, make the investments in yourselves and your business to gain the tools and resources needed to propel your business forward.