The two-day Black & Brown Business Summit opened this morning in West Des Moines.
Event co-chairman Terrence Thames says the goals include advancing the minority-owned business community and to position Iowa as the best place in the nation to start and lead a minority business.
“We’re expecting hundreds of people between both days to be involved,” Thames says. “Then we also have virtual tickets, and a lot of virtual tickets have been sold as well. Last year, we had all together, well over 1,100 people attend either in person or virtually and I would expect nothing less for this year.”
The all-day in-person seating is sold out, but seats still remain to attend the evening keynotes in person, and virtual tickets are still available. Thames details the summit’s target audience.
“African American entrepreneurs, Latinx entrepreneurs, our indigenous entrepreneurs in the state, any minority entrepreneurs, this is for them,” Thames says. “Also people who have a mindset to grow generational wealth, and to elevate their mindset around what that means.”
Everyone is welcome to attend, he says, including non-minority “allies” who want to “learn and be a part of the solution when it comes to building up a viable minority business ecosystem.”
The summit’s keynote speakers include billionaire entrepreneur Daymond John, best known for his 13 years of appearances on TV’s “Shark Tank” program. “If you want insight as to how to build wealth that will expand to multiple generations, if you want to understand what it is to create change, not only for yourself, but also for your communities, and also get insight as to how billionaires think, right?” Thames says. “He’s going to talk about those things and more.”
There will be a pitch competition for start-ups as well as many opportunities for networking, marketing, and developing strategies for success. Register online at the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce website: https://wdmchamber.org/bbbsummit