On Sept. 16 - 20, events filled the streets of downtown Raleigh supporting Black Entrepreneurship Week. There were inspiring keynotes, a small business expo, lunch-and-learns, networking opportunities, and much more. Black Entrepreneurship Week is sponsored by Shaw University’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center and Carolina Small Business Development Fund.
We sat down with Danya Perry, director of equitable economic development for Wake County Economic Development and director of diversity, equity & inclusivity for the Raleigh Chamber, to dive into the significance of the week. Danya also participated as a moderator for a panel focused on success stories for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
What was the biggest takeaway from this year’s Black Entrepreneurship Week?
Danya: “The biggest takeaway from this year’s Black Entrepreneurship Week was the opportunity for underrepresented communities to gain access to resources to help their business. These events show the inclusivity of our community as it relates to the support of equity and entrepreneurship development.”
How can the at-large community continue to support?
Danya: “The community can continue to support by evolving and growing the diverse business ecosystem that we have. The business community tends to stay in their own circle, but we must recognize and celebrate all that the community has to offer.”
How did this week impact the small business owners and entrepreneurs that attended?
Danya: “Every attendee left empowered, inspired, and motivated to expand or start their business ventures. The week offered small business owners and entrepreneurs in the community the opportunity to gain valuable connections and resources that they otherwise wouldn't have had.”
The week proved to be a success with more than 1,000 people in attendance and more than a dozen events throughout Downtown Raleigh. For more coverage of the events, see WRAL TechWire’s article.
To learn more about Shaw University's Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center, visit the center’s website.