Opening plenary speakers for OFN’s sixth annual Small Business Finance Forum have just been confirmed.

Businesses owned by people of color, especially women of color, represent the fastest growing segment of the small business market in the US. The plenary, Serving Entrepreneurs of Color, will examine the challenges entrepreneurs of color face and how CDFIs are responding.

First, you'll hear from the authors of two 2017 studies on this topic. Next, two Milwaukee-based entrepreneurs will share their stories. We'll conclude with two CDFIs whose products and services are designed to meet this market's specific needs. 

Speakers for the session include:

  • Part 1: Connie Evans, AEO; Joyce Klein, FIELD at the Aspen Institute; and Ted Archer, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Part 2: Citali Mendiata, Antigua Latin Restaurant; Rashaad Washington, Pro Painter MKE and Pro Trade Job Development; and Manny Hidalgo, US Small Business Administration
  • Part 3: Gary Cunningham, Meda; Lenwood Long, Carolina Small Business Development Fund; and Pam Porter, Opportunity Finance Network

Other sessions focused on lending to entrepreneurs of color are also planned, including “Learnings from the DCC Knowledge Network: A Value Proposition for Small Business Lenders,” “What Businesses Are Millennial Black Entrepreneurs Entering?” and “Empowering African American Small Businesses, Eliminating Barriers, and Building Wealth.”

Small Business Finance Forum is June 15-16 at the Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park.  

Register now!


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