Rev. Jesse Jackson to be Honored at Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference

Join the Small Business Revolution as BLACK ENTERPRISE holds its 2014 Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo hosted by Nationwide Insurance on Wednesday, May 14 through Saturday, May 17, at the Hyatt Regency Columbus in Columbus, Ohio, with a powerhouse line-up of some of the nation’s most accomplished and celebrated entrepreneurs.

An annual highlight of the conference is the presentation of the nation’s top awards for African American business achievement and community involvement. The B.E. Community Empowerment Award which recognizes outstanding achievement of an individual dedicated to the economic empowerment of communities, as a champion of entrepreneurship and business growth, employment opportunities and wealth creation for African Americans, will be presented to civil rights activist and founder of Rainbow/PUSH, Reverend Jesse Jackson at the BE 100s Dinner on Friday, May 16, at the Hyatt Regency Columbus.

Reverend Jackson has been called the “Conscience of the Nation” and “the Great Unifier,” challenging America to be inclusive and to establish just and humane priorities for the benefit of all. He is known for bringing people together on common ground across lines of race, culture, class, gender and belief. Reverend Jackson began his activism as a student in the summer of 1960 seeking to desegregate the local public library in Greenville and then as a leader in the sit-in movement. He was soon appointed by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to direct the Operation Breadbasket program. In December of 1971, Reverend Jackson founded Operation PUSH (People United to Serve Humanity) in Chicago, IL. The goals of Operation PUSH were economic empowerment and expanding educational, business and employment opportunities for the disadvantaged and people of color.

Rev. Jackson established the Rainbow PUSH Wall Street Project in 1996, an outgrowth of a social justice movement working to secure both equal opportunity and protection under the law for all Americans. Rainbow PUSH Coalition is also championing the need to open up a new era of growth and inclusion of African Americans and people of color in Silicon Valley’s technology industry.

The Black Enterprise Trailblazer Award which will also be awarded at the BE 100s Celebration and Awards Dinner, will be presented to Don Jackson, Chairman and CEO, Central City Production, Inc. Mr. Jackson will be recognized for his pioneering and sustained achievement in business with broad and positive impact on both his industry as well as the community at large. Central City Production produces the Stella Awards annually and works in partnership with Black Enterprise for the production of the Black Enterprise Business Report and Our World with Black Enterprise which are nationally syndicated.

The 2014 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo boasts high-powered sessions on critical business topics such as Winning Corporate Clients, Finding Angel Investors, Social Media Marketing, Franchising, Doing Business in Africa, Business Coaching, Generating Cash for your  Start-up, Using Mobile Marketing, Using Search Engine Optimization to Sell Your Goods and How to do Business with the Government.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • T. D. Jakes, CEO, T.D. Jakes Enterprises
  • Rev. Jesse Jackson, Founder Rainbow/PUSH
  • Valerie Daniels Carter, Co- Founder, President & CEO, V&J Holdings
  • Rodney Sampson, author of Kingonomics
    • Amanda Miller Littlejohn, Personal Brand Strategist, AML Consulting
    • Necole Parker, CEO Elocen Group
    • Paul Judge, CEO, Judge Ventures, Co-founder Opportunity Ventures
    • Michael Stone, Founder &  Executive Director, Professional Athlete Franchise Initiative
    • Edgar Smith, Founder, Chairman & CEO, World Pac Paper
    • Rumia Burbank, President, VMS365
    • Frantz Tiffeau, Director, Supplier Diversity, Nationwide Insurance
    • Lisa Ascolese, President, Inventing A to Z
    • Miriam Brewer, Director of Education & Diversity, International Franchise Association
    • Kevin Hicks, Partner, Blackman & Associates
    • Douglas Guy, Peer Africa
    • Karl Turner, Founder ALC Foods
    • Candace Shiver, MBDA
    • Julia Wilson, CEO of Wilson Global Communications
    • Felicia Hatcher, Owner, Feverish Gourmet Popsicles
    • Arsha Jones, Proprietor, Capital City LLC( Capital City Mumbo Sauce)
  • Ulysses Bridgeman, Jr., Manna Inc.,
  • Eugene Cornelius, Deputy Associate Administrator, Field Operations, SBA

For the aspiring entrepreneur, The Small Business Success™ Bootcamp offers practical advice on how to take your business to the next level. Plus, the Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch Competition will award $10,000 for the best new business idea. The producers of the ABC reality series Shark Tank will also be holding open casting during the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo in their search to discover the next successful enterprise.

The 2014 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo hosted by Nationwide Insurance is presented by General Motors and Walmart. Platinum sponsors include FedEx and JP Morgan Chase. Corporate Sponsors include Hilton Worldwide and Huntington Bank. Official Partners includes, PR Newswire, The Firm Development and Urban Trendsetters.

For updates, follow BLACK ENTERPRISE Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo page on Facebook and search the #BEEC2014 hash tag on Twitter.