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Patti LaBelle, Hill Harper And Yolanda Adams To Speak At The 22nd Annual Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit

Where Innovation and Capital Meet. Join BLACK ENTERPRISE at the 2017 Entrepreneurs Summit hosted by Nationwide on Wednesday, May 17 through Saturday, May 20, at the Marriott Marquis Houston in Houston, Texas, with a powerhouse lineup of some of the nation’s most accomplished and celebrated entrepreneurs and motivational speakers. Patti LaBelle; singer, author, actress, and entrepreneur will join Yolanda Adams; gospel singer, record producer, and radio personality, as keynote speakers at the 2017 Entrepreneurs Summit.

An annual highlight of the Summit is the presentation of the nation’s top awards for African American business achievement and community involvement. The Black Enterprise A.G. Gaston Award will be presented to MLB Hall OF Famer, Entrepreneur and humanitarian, Hank Aaron; and Corporate Champion Award to civil rights leader and attorney, Vernon Jordan, at the BE 100s Gala on Friday, May 19th. This awards recognizes the outstanding achievement of individuals who has had broad and positive impact on his or her industry as well as the community at large, while serving as a champion of entrepreneurship and business growth, employment opportunities, and wealth creation for African Americans.

The 2017 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit boasts high-powered sessions on critical business topics such as “Business Coaching: Crafting Your Game Plan,” “BE Talk: Innovation and Funding,“Fundraising from Startup to Scale Up in the Tech Space,” “Spotting Trends and Opportunities in Tech,” and “Seizing Opportunities in Franchising,”just to name a few.

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Patti LaBelle, Founder, Patti Pies
  • Yolanda Adams, Owner, Yolanda Adams Coffee
  • Sylvester Turner, Mayor of Houston
  • Vernon Jordan, Attorney, Civil Rights Leader, Business Consultant
  • Charles Koch, Chairman & CEO, Koch Industries
  • Johnny C. Taylor Jr., President & CEO, Thurgood Marshall College Fund
  • Hank Aaron, MLB Hall of Famer, Entrepreneur, Philanthropist
  • Hill Harper, Author, Entrepreneur and Actor
  • Clyde Drexler, NBA Hall of Famer, Drexler Holdings L.L.C.
  • Kase Lawal, Chariman, CAMAC International Corp.; Vice Chariman, Unity National Bank
  • Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell, Windsor Village United Methodist Church
  • Brandon Andrews, Senior Consultant, Values Partnership; Casting, Shark Tank and Steve Harvey’s Funderdome
  • Bonin Bough, Host, Cleveland Hustles, CNBC
  • Charles King, Founder & CEO, MACRO
  • Lisa Ascolese, Founder, Inventing A to Z
  • Tye Caldwell, Co-Founder, ShearShare
  • Courtney Caldwell, Co-Founder, ShearShare
  • Donna Sims Wilson, President, Smith Graham & Co. Investment Advisors, L.P.
  • Hahna Alexander, CEO, SolePower L.L.C.
  • Jason Few, Investor, Energy Projects
  • Sulaiman Su” Sanni, Co-Founder & CEO, WeDidIt
  • Teri Williams, President & COO, OneUnited Bank
  • John Scroggins, President & CEO, Unity National Bank
  • Melinda Emerson, Author, Host, #SmallBizChat
  • Zakiya Larry, Author, Founder and CEO, Quest Media Training
  • Lamar Tyler, CEO, Tyler New Media; Creator
  • Gilbert Campbell, Co-Founder & CEO, Volt Energy
  • Ramon Ray, Entrepreneur, Author, CEO, Smart Hustle Magazine
  • Michael Elliot, Founder & CEO, Hammer and Nails Salon Group
  • Stephen Hightower, CEO, Hightowers Petroleum
  • Jonathan Sprinkles, Connection Coach, Author of Presentation Power

For the aspiring entrepreneur, Equity Date with an Angel offers practical advice on how to raise funding for your business. Plus, the Black Enterprise Elevator Pitch Competition will award $10,000 for the best new business idea. The ABC Shark Tank Diversity Tour will also be holding an open casting call to identify entrepreneurs ready to pitch their ideas for an investment on the hit business reality show.

“Nationwide is committed to supporting minority businesses and diverse communities. One way we demonstrate our commitment is through our relationship with Black Enterprise,” said Terrance Williams, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for Nationwide. “We’re proud to be the presenting sponsor of this year’s Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit and look forward to connecting with the attendees—some of the most passionate people and brightest minds there are.”

The 2017 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit is hosted by Nationwide, with presenting sponsors, AT&T, Georgia Pacific, Koch Industries and Toyota; platinum sponsors American Express, Walmart; corporate sponsors FedEx, HoustonFirst Corp., and Houston Metro Airport; Strategic partners BBVA Compass and Port of Houston.

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For updates, follow Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit page on Facebook and search the #BESummit hashtag on Twitter. is the leading website for Money, Small Business and Career development. Providing executive and entrepreneurial resources, information, and profiles on the topics of money management, employment, career and startup development, features expert resource articles, original video packages, and blogs, customized to empower its niche audience while consistently providing universal resource-value.

BLACK ENTERPRISE, your ultimate source to build Wealth for Life, is the premier business, investing, and wealth-building resource for African Americans. Since 1970, BE has provided essential business information and advice to professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and decision makers. Every month, BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine provides 6 million readers with information on entrepreneurship, careers, and financial management. A multimedia company, BE also produces television programming, business and lifestyle events, Web content, and digital media. Visit for more information.

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