top of page


IFEL CEO Jill Johnson Moderates Panel on Activating the Black Community at Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 52nd Annual Legislative Conference


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

Convention Center.

“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.


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


bottom of page