Madison is a motivational speaker, poet, and self-proclaimed “socialpreneur,” and her May leadership conference sold out in eight days. She said in a recent interview that after the conference, she was asked several times about the vendors at the event. That gave her the idea to create the business expo, which is intended to encourage people to learn about and patronize black-owned businesses, clubs, organizations, and service providers. It’s also intended to give those businesses a space to network.
The event will take place noon-4 p.m. at the Urban League of Greater Madison, 2222 S. Park St. It is free, family-friendly and open to the public. Summit Credit Union is the primary sponsor.
“This Black Business Expo feels different from other expos,” said Barbara Boustead of Mary’s Daughter, one of more than 40 businesses scheduled to be at the event “It feels like it's encouraged more that the businesses network and build relationships with each other.”
Mary’s Daughter is a Madison-based business that does money management, primarily for veterans and the elderly.
Local business software company Adorable IO will be at the expo Saturday, but founder Jim Remsik said he’s primarily looking to recruit participants for YWCA Madison’s YWeb Career Academy, which “helps people prepare for a job in computer programming and shows them those types of jobs are not as hard and out of reach as they seem. I want to help demystify the world of computer programming as much as possible.” Adorable is one of more than a dozen tech partners for the academy.
Another featured booth at the expo will be New Hope Youth and Family Services. The Milwaukee-based nonprofit will be launching workshops and offering education at substantially lower prices for social workers and community workers who need further education.
Others vendors scheduled to be at the expo include:
• Candles by CT, a new Milwaukee-based company that sells wickless candles created with organic and natural ingredients.
• Handmade Breea Butter, a new local product for women with natural hair and men who need beard moisturizer.
• Divine Design & Organization, which helps people clear the clutter from their offices, businesses and homes.