City Celebrates Minorities

This week, the city of Tallahassee will celebrate the 19th annual Big Bend Minority Enterprise Development (MED) Week from Oct. 2-7.

The week was first designated by President Ronald Reagan in 1983 and has been observed every year since. It allows local and regional small/minority-owned businesses to celebrate the positive impact they have on the economy.

Ben Harris, chairman of the MED Week says that the workshops are designed for all business people who want to learn how to finance and market their business.

“A lot of people want to go into business,” Harris said. “They have ideas of being in a successful business, but they don’t know how to get from point A to point B. The workshops are designed to let people know things like where you go to look for money, what you need to present in applications asking for money and how you would market your business.”

Edward Acoff, director of the Florida State’s “Supply the University” program, said the small businesses help universities buy providing opportunities to receive goods and services at prices that are more in line with what the economy is dictating.

“If we consider things like changes in technology, ‘going green’ and social media in small business we can truly look at those innovative processes as a blueprint for success for all business,” said Acoff.

The theme for this year’s event is “Emerging Industries and Markets: A Blueprint for Success,” to celebrate the achievements of and contributions to the local economy by area minority businesses.

The event offers workshop sessions on yesterday and today titled “Reinventing Yourself, The Social Media Landscape and Building a Winning Brand,” and “Access to Capital and the Impact on Small Business,” and ends with an awards luncheon to honor Claudette Cromartie of the Tallahassee Housing Authority.

Na’im Akbar, president of Na’im Akbar Consultants, will also serve as the keynote speaker at the annual MED Week Business Award Luncheon this morning at 11:30 a.m.

Akbar said he will be speaking about the significance of being indispensable as an entrepreneur, as opposed to simply being available for entitlements.

“The best example of entitlement is waiting for 40 acres and a mule that we have been waiting for for 250 years that may or may not come,” Akbar said. “When you make yourself indispensable, you don’t have to wait for opportunities. Opportunities will come simply because of your capacity to produce and to be able to present or perform a service that a consumer will look forward to taking advantage of.”

The luncheon marks the conclusion of the event and will take place at the Turnbull Conference Center. Claudette Cromartie will be honored as the 2011 recipient of the “Reginald L. Rolle Economic Development Champion of the Year.”