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Top 10 Takeaways from The Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference

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Last week I had an opportunity to attend Black Enterprise Magazine’s Entrepreneurs Conference in Columbus, Ohio on behalf of my client, EDEN BodyWorks. The brand’s founder, 22-year-old Jasmine Lawrence sat on a panel appropriately titled “Calling All Female Entrepreneurs – How to Gain Your Piece of the $20 Billion Contracting Pie.” The very inspiring discussion was moderated by Caroline Clark, Executive Editor & Host, “Black Enterprise Business Report” and her co-panelists included Beth Harrison, Director, Global Women’s Economic Empowerment, Walmart Corporate Affairs and Lisa Ascolese, President, Inventing A to Z. Every woman on this panel is a powerhouse in her own right, so as you can imagine, the conversation was chock full of wisdom, powerful soundbites and thought-provoking takeaways. Following are the 10 top nuggets that resonated with me:

1. Black women have been starting businesses at 6 times the rate of the national average – Caroline Clark, Executive Editor & Host, “Black Enterprise Business Report”



2. In 2012 only 16% of start ups pitched to angel investors were women. only 6% of these were black. only 18% of these secured financing. – Caroline Clark



3. When you come to the table you have to be very passionate about the product you’re selling and what you’re talking about. –  Beth Harrison: Director, Global Women’s Economic Empowerment, Walmart Corporate Affairs



4. Sometimes creative people are scattered…stay the course. solution oriented products are the biggest sellers in the US and abroad. – Lisa Ascolese, President, Inventing A to Z



5. Lift each other up two hands at a time and sometimes with your foot. – Lisa Ascolese



6. Begin where you are with what you have. – Caroline Clark



7. If you create a product about a need or a solution it’s not about you…it’s about the other lives you’re able to reach and touch. when i go out and tell the story, it’s not about me personally. when i speak it’s about representing all of the women and men who need our products that I represent. – Jasmine Lawrence, Founder of EDEN BodyWorks



8. Go into new business pitches being YOU. Bring them eye to eye to your level and have them understand that you’re filling a void in the market. – Beth Harrison



9. As women, I know we like to come off as bold and confident and powerful but sometimes you have to be vulnerable and soften up and be open to the feedback you receive from your buyers. – Jasmine Lawrence



10. Ideas alone are worthless. The action behind executing your idea is where the value lies. Pursue it and do it! – Jasmine Lawrence



To learn more about this year’s BE Enterpreneur’s Conference visit


As a New York City storyteller, filmmaker, digital content creator, and PR strategist, Renae Bluitt created "In Her Shoes" to empower and enlighten women committed to realizing their dreams.

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