One platform that Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton has consistently supported during his tenure in office has been boosting the number of local government contracts awarded to women- and minority-owned businesses.
To streamline the process, earlier this year Wharton launched the Memphis Office of Resources and Enterprise (MORE) initiative, a plan to make it easier for small businesses to bid on, and win, local government contracts. The new centralized system directs entrepreneurs to appropriate resources on matters such as how to obtain business licenses or how to bid on city contracts.
Also supporting that goal is the Memphis City Council, which approved the Minority Business Development Oversight Commission to serve as an advocacy, educational and promotional body.
But all that support won't matter much if women and minority business owners don't bid on government projects because they don't understand the process.
And that's where the MBDOC comes in.
To explain procedures and highlight local resources for women and minority business owners interested in doing business with the City, the commission will host a forum from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Wednesday at City Hall, 125 N. Main, in the City Council conference room on the fifth floor.
There no cost to attend and the meeting is open to the public. For more information, visit cityofmemphis.org in the Business/MWBE section.
Early stage entrepreneurs who could use some free advice and counseling about how to launch or grow an enterprise, should make a date to take advantage of "Office Hours" sponsored by LaunchMemphis. The twice-weekly sessions are held from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday and 2 to 5 p.m. on Thursday inside the Launchpad at EmergeMemphis, 516 Tennessee.
Successful business owners and executives volunteer to teach up-and-coming entrepreneurs how to develop solid business plans, improve financial skills and implement marketing strategies.
There's no cost to attend and you're welcome to drop by as your schedule allows, but if you'd prefer to arrange a specific time to meet with a business mentor then send an email to email@example.com.
Also on Tuesday the Greater Memphis Chamber presents "Strategic Planning: A Must for Growing a Business Built to Last." Keynote speaker will be Shayna Rattler, president of Success Unlimited.
The program is part of the Chamber's Lunch and Learn series and will be held from 11:30 to 1 p.m. at the Baptist Memphis Education and Conference Center, 6027 Walnut Grove.
Admission and parking are free, but reservations are required. To sign up, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 901-543-3511.
On Wednesday be sure to check out Memphian Duncan Williams, who created a viral sensation earlier this year with his videos promoting the Live at the Garden music series that his firm sponsors. Williams will be keynote presenter at a forum sponsored by PRSA Memphis and he'll be offering advice on how companies can develop clear core values and create positive change in communities.
The program, which includes lunch, will be held from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the University Club, 1346 Central and reservations are required.
Admission is free for members, $15 for students and $25 for guests and deadline to reserve a spot is 3 p.m. Tuesday. To learn more, visit prsamemphis.org.
Get your Thursday started out on a positive note by taking part in HR for Executives: Values-based Leadership sponsored by HRO Partners and Lipscomb Pitts Insurance. The event will feature University of Memphis professor Bob Taylor and it will be held from 8:30 to 10 a.m. in the first floor conference room of the Lipscomb Pitts building, 2670 Union Ave. Extended.
Admission is free, but seating is limited. Call 901-737-0123 or send an email to email@example.com to reserve a spot.
Thursday evening brings "How to Start and Finance a Small Business," a free program beginning at 6 p.m. at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar.
Presenter will be Saundra Jackson, who directs the local office of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Admission is free and registration is not required.
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