Black entrepreneurs are flooding into Houston for the Power Networking Conference to kick off Black Business Month. The conference is a celebratory event to provide Black entrepreneurs with the necessary resources to thrive.
Conference host Dr. George Fraser discussed the significance of celebrating Black entrepreneurship. According to ABC13, Fraser highlighted issues surrounding inequities and systemic racism that limit Black people from accumulating generational wealth and the discriminatory process to obtain a bank loan.
“The most important thing that we must do in the 21st century is to learn, earn, and return. We have a lot of us learning and a lot of us earning. But not enough of us returning,” he said.
During a press conference at Hilton Americas, Fraser reflected on his speeches during his visits to historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). He recalled most Black graduates being familiar with big names in sports and entertainment but not business. “They don’t have a clue who these giants and superstars in the world of business development are …,” Fraser said. “There’s aspirational goals that exist for sports and entertainment … But there is no aspirational goal for business excellence, business extraordinaires. So why not have that?”
Jevon Wooden, business coach, strategy consultant, and CEO of Houston-based BrightMind Consulting Group, is focusing his efforts on increasing the amount of Black-owned businesses. Wooden served in the U.S. Army for 12 years before beginning his career in entrepreneurship. “We do a lot of pro bono work for organizations or Black businesses looking to grow and scale. We’ll work with them for free until they get up to a certain revenue dollar amount …,” Wooden said.
Beginning his entrepreneurial career as a life coach and advocate for Black men’s mental health, Wooden faced his own set of challenges. Now, he is devoted to closing the racial gap in business and sharing with other entrepreneurs how he overcame certain obstacles. “… Many of us are first generation, and figuring it out is the hardest thing. When you’re the first, you don’t know who to go to …,” Wooden said.
Fraser announced the launch of the Black Business Legacy Hall of Fame Museum and Metaverse, aiming to honor Black-owned businesses and recognize their value. The museum and metaverse platform will first open virtually through the Metaverse. The physical location in Atlanta has been scheduled for completion in 2030.