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Posts tagged Minority
5 Ways to Benefit From MED Week

consulting and networkingAs cities across the country celebrate Minority Enterprise Development Week, some smaller cities still struggle to get local business owners involved in the weekly activities. Here are some of the benefits of attending local MED Week activities in your area.

  • Gather information on new opportunities in your area

Most local governments have tons of programs in place geared towards increasing the economic influence of minority business owners. However, these programs and services aren’t always widely publicized. Attending a MED Week Event in your area may uncover new opportunities for your company such as product placement, funding, or relocation services.

  • Network with like-minded business owners

There is a growing number of solopreneurs in today’s marketplace. While being a solopreneur may be a good fit for the business down the street, not every business is meant to run in this fashion. Finding others who share the same vision, and perhaps similar services can help expand your business and increase your bottom line. Attending networking events opens up the door for interaction with others that may spark new ideas or partnerships. 61fa9-women-smallbusinessowners

  • Discover new services

Oftentimes we launch our businesses with an intention to share a certain product or service that we deem important. But as our business interests grow, and as the marketplace evolves, these goods and services may not be enough to keep your business sustainable. Implementing Add-ons such as new retail products or consultation opportunities may help keep your business afloat while you work on improving your original arsenal of services. You may also find that the questions you had about improving certain products may be answered with a completely new product.

  • Inspiration and Motivation

Being an entrepreneur is definitely not for the faint of heart. There are ups and downs, and twists and turns that you probably didn’t expect to pop up during the journey. It is especially daunting when these twists and turns end up having a negative effect on your profit margin. When things get tough, it’s easy to think about throwing in the towel. Talking with other entrepreneurs with similar stories may help convince you to stay the course. Creating a support network that allows you to encourage one another may be just the thing you need to keep your business afloat and keep the doors open.

  • Marketing

The growing number of entrepreneurs creates a vacuum in which businesses are often lost in the crowd. No matter what your product or service may be, you have to find a way to stand out amongst your competition. For every “new” business that pops up, there are ten or twelve other businesses offering the same exact services. Networking events allow you to engage in face to face interaction with others who may not even know your business existed. It also allows you to give your Elevator Pitch and show others why your business is superior to other similar businesses. Small Business and Chamber of Commerce events often offer free or discounted marketing opportunities for businesses to showcase their individual products or partner with other companies to offer new services. Taking advantage of these services can give you an opportunity for free marketing services that you didn’t know existed. 7f94b-stand2bout

Minority Enterprise Development doesn’t have to end during MED Week. Engagement starts in your own community, and can thrive during even the smallest of settings. Seek out opportunities in your area, or create your own networking functions. Your local Chamber of Commerce or Economic Development Commission may even offer free space to hold your events if you are willing to partner with other local businesses. Visit your local agencies today to get started on taking advantage of these new opportunities.

Celebrating MED Week: The 2014 Substantial Awards

substantial awards 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