Highlights From our event

Our Underserved Business Month Kickoff was a major event for us. It marked the beginning of a month-long celebration and support campaign for minority-owned businesses, women, veterans, and low-income individuals. We brought together a diverse group of people, including local government officials, community groups, and banks, who all care about making the economy more equitable. At the event, we began with a warm welcome. Throughout the day, our speakers discussed the difficult challenges these businesses face and why we all must work together to address them. We emphasized how important it is to support small businesses because they create jobs, generate new ideas, and improve our communities. We also discussed the need to make sure everyone, no matter who they are, has a fair shot at success.

Rep. Melissa Hortman (Our Special Guest)

Rep. Melissa Hortman, a well-known economic justice champion, spoke passionately about the importance of focusing on economic development and employment growth in neglected regions. Rep. Hortman used her broad expertise to present a clear picture of the problems faced by minority-owned, women-owned, veteran-owned, and low-income enterprises. She emphasized the importance of policy reform and targeted investments in leveling the playing field and paving the route to economic prosperity for everyone. Her remarks struck a deep chord with the audience, inspiring them with a sense of purpose and drive.

Dr. Stephanie Burrage (Speaker)

Dr. Stephanie Burrage, our Chief equality Officer, took the stage to discuss the importance of equality and inclusion in creating a healthy business ecosystem. Dr. Burrage delves into the core causes of economic inequality and systemic impediments that underprivileged entrepreneurs encounter, drawing on his extensive knowledge and expertise. She emphasized the necessity of removing structural inequities and fostering an environment in which all people have equal access to resources, opportunities, and support systems. Dr. Burrage's powerful insights prompted listeners to consider their roles in achieving economic justice and driving genuine change in their communities.

Trista Martinson (Commissioner)

Ramsey County Commissioner Trista Martinson's passionate fight for economic competitiveness and small-business assistance fascinated the audience. Commissioner Martinson, drawing on her personal experiences and relationships with local entrepreneurs, highlighted the vital role of local government in creating an environment conducive to entrepreneurial success. She emphasized the county's initiatives to provide targeted help, money, and business development resources to underrepresented enterprises. Her vision of creative partnerships and inclusive economic growth struck a deep chord with participants, urging them to work together to achieve a more equitable and prosperous future for everyone.

Representatives from financial organizations provided important perspectives on the value of financial education and capital access for underrepresented enterprises. They highlighted the difficulties that entrepreneurs have in obtaining traditional finance and navigating the complexities of the financial system through interactive conversations and real-world examples. They emphasized the importance of targeted financial literacy programmes, alternative finance sources, and strategic alliances to meet the specific requirements of underprivileged entrepreneurs while also promoting economic resilience and sustainability.

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As the event progressed, a tapestry of themes emerged, emphasizing the importance of supporting local businesses, promoting financial literacy, and encouraging community involvement. Each speaker's impassioned call to action galvanized attendees to turn inspiration into tangible change. Equitable Development Action's Underserved Business Month Kickoff event acted as a catalyst for transformative change. This event inspired attendees with its emphasis on collaboration, financial education, and inclusive economic growth. As we reflect on the powerful messages shared and the collective commitment to change, let us seize this opportunity to create a more equitable and prosperous future for underserved communities.