Each year since 1983, the President of the United States has proclaimed a week as National Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week to honor the achievements and many contributions of minority entrepreneurs, individuals and organizations that support minority business development. During this week of events, cities across the country arrange meetups and events where entrepreneurs can connect with public and private sector buyers, explore avenues for business expansion, and develop thriving partnerships with firms across multiple industry sectors.
The City of Greenville NC is no stranger to celebrating MED week. The Minority and Women Business Enterprise (M/WBE) program is celebrating for the fifth year in a row with a week of activities geared towards connecting local individuals and organizations that support minority business development. The schedule of events include social media information sessions and networking events with local entrepreneurs. I sat down with Editor in Chief of Substantial Magazine, Gregory Hedgepeth to discuss his role in the 2014 Substantial Awards, an evening created to honor extraordinary leaders and entrepreneurs in the minority community.
BM: How did you come up with the idea to do the Substantial Awards?
GH: The concept of honoring and recognizing outstanding people through ceremonies and awards shows is not a unique idea at all. Substantial Magazine just wanted to take this concept and create the same atmosphere and prestige that you would great from these major brand shows right here in Greenville, NC for our outstanding community leaders and entrepreneurs. It goes hand in hand with the purpose of our publication, which is to tell the stories of influential and affluent minorities in our community.
BM: What can people expect from the Substantial Awards?
GH: First and foremost, expect nothing less than a dynamic, and well organized show. People can expect to hear the stories of five Substantial community leaders, witness dynamic cultural performances and also be informed about other community organizations and leaders that are impacting our community. We will also be awarding a Substantial U award to a young inspiring college leader. Substantial U is our subsidiary magazine that looks to tell the stories of influential minority college students and their organizations that are making an impact on their campuses. This award will recognize the achievements of young leaders who strive to be next to change the world.
BM: What do you want people to take away from the experience of attending the Substantial Awards?
GH: We want people to leave the 2014 Substantial Awards with a sense of pride in what our minority community has been able to accomplish. We want for our audience to have been informed and entertained. We hope they leave with the understanding that a Substantial Award is not only an appreciation of the value its recipient presents but a symbol of the passion that undoubtedly fuels their work. We want them to see that these people they have seen and heard about during the night surpass the descriptions of entrepreneur or humanitarian, and these recipients can only be described as those who are pillars of the Greenville community. Their influence and impact is supremely felt by others and ripples throughout the City. In one word, their contributions to what makes Greenville great is truly Substantial. Leave knowing that there is nothing minor about being the minority and that we all are substantial and so is our purpose.
For more information on the Substantial Awards, or to purchase tickets please visit www.substantialawards.com