9th Annual State of African American Small Businesses: Activating the Black Community to Build Wealth through Entrepreneurship
Sep 22, 2023
Newark, N.J,— The Institute For Entrepreneurial Leadership (IFEL) announced today that CEO Jill
Johnson will moderate Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr.’s business issues forum, “Activating the
Black Community” at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 52nd Annual Legislative
Conference (ALC) on Friday, September 22, 2023, from 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the Washington, DC
“I’m honored to return to the Annual Legislative Conference for the ninth year to guide this
important conversation of how the business founders of color can get the capital and resources they
need to thrive from the greater business community,” said Johnson. “It starts with growing our
personal networks and expanding the list of people we know and trust within the greater
entrepreneurial ecosystem. I want to thank Congressman Payne, Jr. for his leadership in this area.”
The panelists for this year’s forum include Hugh W. Allen, Regional President, TD Bank; Devon Oakley,
CEO of Gymble, Inc.; Dr. Randal Pinkett, Chairman and CEO of BCT Partners; John Robinson, CEO of
Gotta Go Gaming; Melonie Parker, Chief Diversity Officer of Google; and Danyel Surrency Jones, Director,
Black Business Accelerator at Amazon.
"I host this forum because we need to have a better understanding of the capital constraints Black
business owners face as they try to grow their businesses,” said Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr.
“One of the most important factors for this growth is community ownership of our local businesses.
When the Black community supports Black Businesses, it helps these businesses grow and helps put
more wealth into Black communities. My issue forum helps start and continue the conversation to
encourage more support for Black Businesses in the Black community as a way to bring out positive,
long-term change in the Black Business community."
Johnson is a nationally-recognized and award-winning business leader who is dedicated to
cultivating an inclusive entrepreneurial environment for individuals from historically-marginalized
communities. For more than 20 years, IFEL has leveraged the power of relationship capital to create
pathways of success for minority entrepreneurs and small business owners.
The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF) is committed to developing leaders,
informing policy, and educating the public to advance the global Black community. Those interested
in participating in the conference can secure their spot from September 20-24 at the Annual
Legislative Conference website here: Annual Legislative Conference website.
ABOUT THE INSTITUTE FOR ENTREPRENEURIAL LEADERSHIP
IFEL is a nonprofit organization that leverages the power of relationship capital to increase inclusion
and equity within the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Founded in 2002, IFEL’s mission is to eradicate the
systemic barriers that prevent people from historically excluded populations from being able to
access the knowledge, networks, and capital required for entrepreneurial success and wealth