DC-area women entrepreneurs of color recently participated in training on running their businesses from Chase Bank in partnership with Luminary, a global platform designed to help women advance in professional development and collaboration.
The conference was held on June 16 at the Bowen Building in downtown Washington, DC
District native Kizzy Kittrell Dogan, who serves as chief executive officer of T&G Commercial Cleaning, emphasized the importance of attending the conference.
“I’m a member of Luminary and I heard about their national tour with Chase and I wanted to get involved,” Dogan said. “I enjoy being a part of Luminary because it really goes into the resources you need to become a successful business owner.”
In a February 12 article published by Black Enterprise.com, the National Bureau of Economic Research reported that black businesses are growing and thriving largely due to the efforts of African-American women. The article quoted Karen Bennetts, a board member of the National Association of Women Business Owners, as telling a reporter for The Hill that black women are usually the last to be called back to work after the pandemic begins, and that many have become frustrated and decided to start their own. business.
The Luminary Experience
The conference exists as part of the JPMorgan Chase Women on the Move program designed to help minority business owners. The bank has committed $30 billion over five years to educate business owners in underserved communities about operating procedures.
50 entrepreneurs participated in seminars such as “Build Your Empire”, “Business Plan Bootcamp”, “Know Your Numbers and the Power of Capital”, “Thinking About Money: Removing Blockages”, “Digital Marketing 101” and “Personal Finance and your Job.”
Cate Luzio, founder and CEO of Luminary, taught a business plan bootcamp seminar, while Darla Harris, vice president and senior business consultant at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Kristina Sicard, vice president and banking consultant at JPMorgan, focused on minority entrepreneurs at JPMorgan Chase & Co. and co-instructor of the “Know Your Numbers” course.
During the day, entrepreneurs received motivational speeches on how to save in difficult times and networking for success.
Foloshade Ologunja, co-founder of Potion-Ivy Health & Beauty, said the courses increased her knowledge of the business environment.
“I learned how to cope in difficult times,” she said. “The class on access to capital opened my eyes to new ways of approaching financing problems and looking for sources of resources.”
With the conference now over, entrepreneurs have access to one-on-one mentoring with Harris and Sikard. In addition, other Chase employees will offer free mentoring, financial health or small business training and technical assistance to business owners.
Dogan agreed that the conference educated her on how to secure more capital.
“We’ve been in a virtual world for the last two years and it’s hindered me in terms of getting the funding I want,” she said. “Now that we’ve reopened, I’ve gotten ideas about building relationships with bankers and others to get the money I need to run my business.”