Leading Together
Annual Conference | Dallas, TX | April 23-26, 2017

Collaborate & Innovate: Equalizing the Playing Field of Black Business Ownership in the U.S.

Equalizing the Playing Field of Black Business OwnershipThis event is a preconference session at the 2017 Annual Conference. It is the first in a series of three sessions focused on entrepreneurship within the Black community.

With America growing increasingly more diverse, industry leaders in business and philanthropic communities recognize the need to equalize the playing field for economic opportunity among Black business owners. Despite progress on many fronts, far too many Black entrepreneurs remain invisible because of the systemic exclusion they face when trying to close the gap between failure and success. Many philanthropic and business organizations are grappling with a plethora of ideas and investment strategies to address these economic inequalities. However, there’s very little collective learning about what works.

Join a dynamic team of philanthropic executives and successful business leaders as they share best practices, inclusive strategies and investment opportunities geared to address racial economic inequalities. Be among the first to receive newly released research which reveals that if Black-owned businesses could reach employment parity with all firms, they would create nearly 600,000 new jobs and have a major impact on Black unemployment.

During this interactive, power-packed preconference workshop you will:

  • Learn successful strategies used to start and build Black businesses;
  • Identify key partners and intermediaries in the field working to successfully scale Black businesses;
  • Identify partners interested in investing in the growth of Black businesses;
  • Understand the role and impact philanthropy can have in bolstering economic opportunity through Black business development.

This event is possible through the generous support from JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Surdna Foundation.

JPMorgan Chase LogoSurdna Foundation logo


8:30–9:00 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

9:00–9:10 a.m.

Welcome Remarks/Setting the Stage

9:10–9:25 a.m.

The Tapestry of Black-owned Businesses: Unlocking the Conversation

9:25–10:15 a.m.

Why Black Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy are So Important for Each Other

10:15–10:45 a.m.

The Impact of Black Business Ownership

10:45–11:00 a.m.

Networking Break

11:00–11:30 a.m.

Understanding the Diverse Landscape of the Nonprofit Entrepreneurship Ecosystem

11:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m.

Foundation Strategies for Investing in Black-owned Businesses

12:15–12:45 p.m.


12:45–1:15 p.m.

Community Conversations: A Table Talk Discussion

1:15–2:00 p.m.

Meshing the Worlds of Philanthropy, Community Development Finance, and Impact Investing

2:00–2:45 p.m.

Corporate Strategies for Investing in Black-owned Businesses

2:45–3:00 p.m.

Responsive Philanthropy in Black Communities – A Wrap-up