First U.S. Black Franchise Symposium And Trade Show Debuts In Plano, TX

First U.S. Black Franchise Symposium And Trade Show Debuts In Plano, TX

On Sept. 15, Tarji Carter, founder and president of The Franchise Player, a firm created to increase franchise ownership and wealth across the African American community, spearheaded The Franchise Game, becoming the first U.S. Black franchise symposium and trade show.

The Franchise Player’s Tarji Carter (right) and Shawn Caric, VP of franchise development for Smoothie King

Carter created the event alongside marketing expert Dessie Brown, Jr., head of digital programming at Genius Entertainment, a Marsai Martin company.  and

The event, fueled by JET magazine, took place at Yum! Brands’ corporate campus in Plano, Texas, featuring sessions from franchisees, lawyers, business development officers, and operation managers. The symposium brought together experts and industry leaders to discuss the secrets to success, challenges, and opportunities in franchising. The theme for the inaugural event was “Doing the Work!”

Damon Dunn, former NFL player and multiunit franchisee, Dunkin’ Brands

The day kicked off with a keynote address from Damon Dunn (a former NFL player who now has 40 Dunkin’ Brands franchises across the United States and is establishing a private equity fund to help minority franchisees expand their businesses), followed by an explosive lineup of panel discussions led by franchise subject matter experts including Mike Quinn (franchisee, Pizza Hut), Tim Williams (director of operations, Williams Chicken), James Fripp (chief equity, inclusion and belonging officer, Yum! Brands), Delmas Arthur (operations manager, Dunkin’ Brands, Starbucks, Five Guys, McDonald’s, and Hardee’s), and Carter herself on behalf of The Franchise Player.

Sessions included “A Day in the Life of a Franchisee,” where attendees learned from some of the industry’s best multiunit franchisees; “Talk to My Attorney!”, providing tips about the legal rights and responsibilities of franchise attorneys; “Bag Secured,” designed to address the bottlenecks of business ownership; “Operational Excellence,” showing attendees how to grow from an owner-operator to owning a large enterprise; and “How to Get Started and Approved,” the official guide to franchise ownership.

Adrian Archie, CEO of petNmind, the first Black franchisor in the pet industry

“With this event, we attracted multiunit franchisees, owner/operators, potential investors, athletes, entertainers, and industry influencers,” said Carter, who has worked with some of the world’s most delicious brands including Cinnabon, Carvel, Baskin Robbins, Dunkin’, Wingstop, Edible Arrangements, Fuddruckers, and Bojangles. “Moving forward, we are looking to increase franchise ownership and wealth across the African American community by providing education, resources, and opportunities to aspiring franchisees and small business owners. We believe successful franchise ownership can serve as a low-risk vehicle for creating wealth for Black and other marginalized groups in America.”

Black Franchise Symposium Exhibit Hall, Plano, TX
Black Franchise Symposium Exhibit Hall, Plano, TX

2023 was the inaugural event for The Franchise Player. Carter is already planning next year’s event at the same location, along with other events catering to African American franchisees throughout the year. To stay informed about these events, follow The Franchise Game on LinkedIn and on Instagram.

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