The Big Bend Minority Chamber and Florida A&M University partnered up to host the Women Business Council’s annual meeting, Saturday.
The Women’s Business Council is a segment of the Big Bend Minority Chamber that caters to women entrepreneurs.
About 75 people gathered in the Meek-Eaton Black Archives Research Center and Museum to take part in the business empowerment retreat.
Business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs at the meeting all shared a common interests, but had different reasons for deciding to participate in the annual conference.
Tina Johnson, a former small business owner, said she attended in order to receive guidance for her next small-business venture.
“It has always been my dream to own my own business, and it was very disheartening when my last business failed,” Johnson said. “I came to this conference with the hopes of gaining tools that can help me be better prepared to open and sustain my next business.”
The conference, which was themed “First Things First: Launching a Year of Prosperity for You and Your Small Business,” targeted the topics of focus and success. It included a variety of workshops, panels, and presentations.
Deanna Mims, who was a part of the conference’s leadership team said the conference provides small business owners with much-needed information.
“There are so many women who are small business owners that have no idea of the free resources that are available to them,” Mims said. “This conference focuses on how success is attainable, gives expert health tips, and allows women to network with each other to spark potential collaborations.”
Gina Kinchlow, chair of the Women’s Business Council Leadership Team said small business owners aren’t the only ones who benefit from the the partnership.
“This collaboration between the university and the BBMC is so important because it can be beneficial to many different stakeholders,” Kinchlow said. “It is a great thing to be able promote the principles of entrepreneurism whether it is to women or students.”
This is not the first time the Big Bend Minority Chamber and FAMU have joined forces to produce something. Last fall, the BBMC hosted a welcome reception for university president, Elmira Mangum.
Sean Pittman, founder and chair of the Big Bend Minority Chamber said the collaboration between FAMU is strong.
“I believe the reception for president Mangum has ignited the fires for a long-standing friendship and meaningful collaborations between FAMU and the BBMC.”