News Column

Boosting Entrepreneurship in Underserved Communities

Jan 14, 2013

James Dowd

Way back in the summer of 2011 -- a lifetime ago in the digital world -- native Memphian, journalist and budding media entrepreneur Sarah Lacy spoke to a packed house here during a forum devoted to global entrepreneurship.

At the conference, Lacy -- a Silicon Valley transplant -- said that one of the most vital ways Memphis and cities like it can promote entrepreneurship is through boosting technological savvy.

Especially among youngsters.

Here's what she said: "Every school in Memphis should be offering classes in coding. You can teach a young person how to use this technology to create an app or apply it in other ways. That's just as important in today's global market as any other subject."

Well, it's taken a while, but another Memphian -- also now living on the West Coast -- is making inroads in that arena.

Kimberly Bryant is launching a chapter of her "Black Girls Code" movement right here in her hometown.

Local coordinator Meka Egwuekwe, an information architect and co-director of development at Lokion, has been spearheading efforts to get a chapter here to benefit girls of color, like his daughters. The idea is to reach out to girls aged 7 to 17 from underrepresented communities, and offer after school and weekend computer coding programs. Making coding fun and "cool" is the aim, along with encouraging young women's studies in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

To get things started here, there'll be an informational meeting from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at EmergeMemphis, 516 Tennessee. There's no cost to attend, all that's required is a desire to help promote the STEM fluency of some great girls and future entrepreneurs in our community.

For female entrepreneurs at more advanced levels, the local chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners will host "How Can a Woman Succeed as a Builder?" from 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. on Tuesday at Napa Cafe, 5101 Sanderlin. Featured presenter will be Karen Garner, president of Magnolia Homes and Oak Grove Realty. Cost is $18 for NAWBO members, $20 for guests and includes lunch.

To learn more, visit nawbomemphis.org or call 901-328-8842.

On Wednesday, the Sales and Marketing Society of the Mid-South will host "The Importance of Integrated Messages Throughout a Company" from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Racquet Club, 5111 Sanderlin. Speaker will be Kim Cherry, president of corporate communications for First Horizon.

Admission is free for members, $25 for guests who pay online or $30 for those who pay at the door.

Deadline to register is Tuesday at noon, so be sure to visit sms-midsouth.org/event-registrationand reserve your seat.

Also on Wednesday will be the 33rd annual banquet and silent auction sponsored by the Association for Women Attorneys. The event will be held at the Tower Center, 5100 Poplar.

Cocktail hour begins at 5:30 p.m. and dinner follows at 6:45. Admission is $40 for law students, $60 for AWA members and $70 for guests.

To purchase a ticket, contact Keating Lowery at KeatingL@lawrencerussell.com or call 901-844-4438.

Thursday brings the first round-table discussion of 2013 sponsored by the Society of Entrepreneurs, from noon to 1 p.m. at Jim's Place, 518 S. Perkins.

Bob McEniry chairman of nexAir will be guest speaker and seating is limited, so be sure to reserve your spot by 3 p.m. Tuesday. Cost is $25 and more information is available at http://2013januaryroundtable.eventbrite.com.

And on Friday, the Greater Memphis Chamber's Small Business Council will host a lunch and learn seminar featuring keynote speaker Dr. Martin Regalia, chief economist for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Martin will discuss emerging trends and offer an economic outlook for small businesses in the year ahead.

The event will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Memphis Marriott East, 5795 Poplar. Cost is $35 for Chamber members, $40 for guest and registration is required.

To learn more, visit memphischamber.com.



Source: (c)2013 The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.). Distributed by MCT Information Services.


Story Tools






HispanicBusiness.com Facebook Linkedin Twitter RSS Feed Email Alerts & Newsletters