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Networking event gives Black entrepreneurs
opportunity to grow their business

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Black business owners in Indianapolis have the chance to meet other Black entrepreneurs and hear from inspiring keynote speakers through the Build Our Own Table series. Co-founded by Shamika Anderson, owner of YES Consulting, the first event will be held at 6:30 p.m. March 10 at The Gallery Event Center, 5852 E. 82nd St.

The first event — six are scheduled for 2022 — will feature a keynote speech from Timeko Whitaker, CEO of Timeko & Associates Realty Group, as well as food catered by Hendrick Catering. The deadline to register for the first event is March 5.

“This event is important, as a lot of times when Black people decide to start a business, they may be a subject matter expert in, let’s say, cosmetology, but they might not have the business savvy to launch a successful business,” Anderson said. “Or, they might not have the resources to take their business to the next level. This is an opportunity to be around people they can get knowledge and mentorship from to move forward.”

The Indianapolis Recorder is a partner for the networking series.

According to the Indianapolis Office of Minority and Women Business Development, the number of minority entrepreneurs doubled between 2019 and 2020, with the office holding 379 consultations for minority-owned businesses in 2020. However, data from the Brookings Institution show minority small-business owners make up just 16% of Indiana businesses.

Currently, the first Build Our Own Table event has about 45 people signed up. Anderson hopes participants are able to learn from one another and help each other grow. She said it’s especially important that Black business owners network with other Black entrepreneurs.

“There’s power in group economics,” Anderson said. “A lot of times, we get so selfish with ‘This is my idea, and I don’t want to tell anyone my secret plan.’ If the goal is for everyone to become millionaires, my millions won’t keep you from making millions. We can help each other grow, and other communities do this, they help each other grow and be successful. We have to support each other so we can all grow.”

Connect with other Black business owners during Build Our Own Table networking event.
When: 6:30 p.m. March 10
Where: The Gallery Event Center, 5852 E. 82nd St.
Cost: Free
Register: eventbrite.com, search for Build Our Own Table

The next networking event is scheduled for March 23 and will focus on digital marketing. Anderson hopes to have a larger conference next year to help hundreds of Black Hoosier entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

To sign up for the March 5 networking event and learn more about future events, visit the Build Our Own Table Eventbrite page.

Contact staff writer Breanna Cooper at 317-762-7848 or email at BreannaC@indyrecorder.com. Follow her on Twitter @BreannaNCooper.

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