The Power of the Black Dollar Seminar, produced by the SGA department of economic development, was held Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. in the SGLC Conference room.
The purpose of the event was to increase awareness on issues that specifically plague the black dollar and to promote the growth of black businesses.
Three Rattler alumnus made up the professional panel that answered questions from the audience. Latonya White, Demetrius Petteway, and Mrs. Settles, all have experience in the entrepreneur realm, and offered encouraging words of advice for Rattlers wanting to follow in their footsteps.
“I think seminars like these are extremely important, so that when I start up my own business, I can be prepared for whatever setbacks are naturally going to come,” said
Whitley Smith, a sophomore nursing student from Thomasville, Ga. She is interested in owning her own restaurant. “It also helps that we can hear from people just like us who started off scared but became successful.”
Panelist Latonya White, a 2003 business graduate, can identify with being nervous about starting a business.
“There was a time, recently, when I honestly did not know if I was going to make it through,” White said. “But at that point I had to take control—I had to tell those accountants and those business owners that this was going to work.”
After graduation, White received a profitable job offer as a pharmaceutical sales representative and worked with the company for three years.
It was during that third year that she decided to quit her job and to follow her dream of owning a business.
Her goal is to open a cocktail lounge in Tallahassee and the future business woman already has a name: Concept.
Fellow businesswoman Yolanda Foutz-Settles also knows the struggles and the joys of opening her own business. She has owned Settles Beauty Supply and Barbershop located on Tallahassee’s Monroe St. for the past 11 years.
Settles obtained the love for black hair care from her late husband who was also an entrepreneur.
He got his start selling hair care products to FAMU students in the 1960s.
His business grew all around the Tallahassee area, and his wife is still carrying on his legacy by providing hair services to African-American men and women in the community.
“They are such an inspiration and their stories give me the fire I need to start working on my business plan now,” said Nicole Mouton, 19, a sophomore psychology student from
Melbourne who has hopes of running her own psychology practice.
For anyone interested in entreprenuership and starting their own business, there are numerous resources available.
Visit www.myownbusiness.org for additional help.