Entrepreneur, small biz conference features powerful speaker lineup

SOUTHFIELD – The National Entrepreneurs Association and Lawrence Technological University have teamed up to host the 2018 Entrepreneur and Small Business Conference on Wednesday, Oct. 3 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on LTU’s Southfield campus.

With the theme “Small Business Doing Big Business,” the one-day event is designed to train entrepreneurs to grow their businesses successfully.

The conference will feature networking, keynote speakers, panel discussions, and breakout sessions on a variety of topics, including funding, government contracting, corporate contracting, overcoming common pitfalls, and digital marketing.

“The importance of this conference cannot be understated, as small businesses have helped to transform the local economy, providing jobs, attracting new talent, and stimulating growth,” said ZaLonya Allen, president and CEO of the Southfield-based National Entrepreneurs Association.

There will be three panel discussions. The first, “Funding and Finance,” moderated by Ken Harris, president and CEO of the National Business League, will focus on financial literacy. Panelists will consist of representatives from area banks, including Comerica, CIBC and Chase.

The second panel, “Women in Business,” will be moderated by Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley, and will consist of successful women entrepreneurs discussing how they overcame obstacles to achieve their success.

The third panel, “Grow to the Next Level,” will be moderated by Camille Walker Banks, executive director of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program, and will consist of entrepreneurs who have graduated from the Goldman Sachs program discussing their experiences.

Marketing and communications expert Mark S. Lee will also interview 13-year-old entrepreneur Alina Morse of Wolverine Lake, Mich., founder of Zollipops, which are sold in more than 7,000 stores worldwide, including Kroger, Meijer, and Whole Foods. Zollipops are natural lollipops that contain sugar alternatives that neutralize acid in the mouth, reducing the risk of tooth decay and cavities.

The conference will conclude with several awards being presented to entrepreneurs who serve as role models in the community. Joseph B. Anderson, chairman and CEO of Tag Holdings LLC, a company that has generated millions of dollars and hundreds of jobs throughout the country, will receive the NEA Lifetime Achievement Award.

The conference will showcase 30 exhibitors and vendors consisting of entrepreneurs and service providers. Sponsors of the event include National Entrepreneurs Association, Lawrence Technological University, CIBC, QT Business Solutions, the Michigan CRA Association and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses. The event is open to the public. Registration is $97 and includes breakfast, lunch, exhibitor showcase, and all sessions. For more information or to register visit www.nationalentrepreneurs.org.

The National Entrepreneurs Association is a non-for-profit organization formed to create a support network for entrepreneurs to connect and receive the training necessary to reach their goals. Meetings are held once a month.

Lawrence Technological University, www.ltu.edu, is a private university founded in 1932 that offers more than 100 programs through the doctoral level in its Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering, and Management. PayScale lists Lawrence Tech among the nation’s top 5 percent of universities for the salaries of its graduates, and U.S. News and World Report lists it in the top tier of best Midwestern universities. Students benefit from small class sizes and a real-world, hands-on, “theory and practice” education with an emphasis on leadership. Activities on Lawrence Tech’s 107-acre campus include more than 60 student organizations and NAIA varsity sports.

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