Big Bend Minority Chamber Seeks to Empower Women
By Eric M. Winkfield
Special to the Outlook
Women business owners from around the city gathered at Florida A&M University’s Meek-Eaton Black Archives Research Center to network, train and to stay current with the trends for developing business.
Jan. 31 marked the second annual meeting of the Women’s Business Council, which is a subcommittee of the Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce (BBMCC).
The one-day summit was planned to be an empowerment retreat. The day was filled with a series of presentations, workshops, and panels with the overall goal to help attendees plan their strategy for successful business ownership attracted an attendance that event’s organizers report have exceeded their expectations.
Following the theme, “First Things First: Launching a Year of Prosperity for You and Your Small Business,” the BBMCC provided a day jam packed with hopes of equipping local women entrepreneurs with the tools needed to grow their business.
“We want people to feel a part of the BBMCC as well as the women’s minority counsel, meet people and make professional connections and receive knowledge on the business,” says Judy Mcally board member women’s counsel.
At the retreat, participants were offered sessions entitled “The Open Book Project” lead by La’Tanya White, FAMU School of Business and Industry professor. White’s workshop gave participants insight on new business models that can be used to improve the productivity and profits of business.
“We give everyone in the community an opportunity to come and learn. We have some of the best workshops here,” said Gina Kinchlow, chair women’s business counsel.
Wellness For Success in 2015 lead by Mary Waller, business and health manager at Capital Regional Medical Center, encouraged women to adopt not only healthy lifestyles but to be open to healthier ways of thinking.
“The Chamber’s mission is to create and promote a climate in which minority and women-owned businesses can operate in a productive and profitable manner, and to stimulate grassroots economic growth and development with in the North Florida region.”
“One of the best parts about being a member is you get to meet so many people who are on the same journey that you are on. And you realize that a lot of the things that you are going through and think you are going through by yourself, a lot of the people here are either going through it or have gone through it already. They can give you insights on (Just graduated from FAMU five-six years ago),” says Angelica Washington, BBMCC member and marketing coordinator for the FAMU Eaton Black Archives.
The BBMC was formed with the charge to identify new market opportunities, improve access to capital and accelerate economic growth for established and emerging business owned by minorities and women.