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Business

For MBWEs, gaining City biz not simple

(The New Tri State Defender is exploring the behind-the-scenes work in building more minority- and women-owned businesses. This is installment two.)

The revolution would be televised if the City of Memphis lost much-needed funds because its Division of Finance used vendors that were not up to snuff – minority- and women-owned businesses or not.

Avoiding potential mistakes in the process of finding qualified MWBEs is part of the job assigned to the city's Office of Contract Compliance. That work is being carried out amid periodic expressions of sheer dissatisfaction, such as voiced at the Minority Business Development Oversight Committee (MDOC) last week (April 17). In that instance the rub was unhappiness about the level of MWBEs the Division of Finance uses to assist in managing the city's $2 billion pension fund.

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  • Written by Tony Jones

Bank On Memphis event at Court Square April 26

Bank On Memphis' celebration of National Financial Literacy Month culminates Friday (April 26) with a series of financial literacy workshops at Court Square downtown.

Several Bank On Memphis partner financial institutions and credit counseling services will discuss savings and checking account options, as well as tips for credit repair.

The National Foundation for Credit Counseling recently released the results of its annual Consumer Financial Literacy Survey noting that only 40 percent of adults have a budget and track spending. Research from credit data management firm TransUnion Interactive Inc. shows that the Memphis metro area had the lowest consumer credit score among major metropolitan areas.

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Ron Busby – U.S. Black Chamber president – to keynote 2013 Benny Awards

Ron Busby – U.S. Black Chamber president – to keynote 2013 Benny Awards

Ron Busby, president of the U.S. Black Chamber, Inc., will be the keynote speaker at the 2013 Annual Benny Awards Lucheon sponsored by the Black Business Association of Memphis (BBA).

BENNY is an acronym for Black Entrepreneurship and Networking Need You. The BENNY Awards recognize "superior achievement in business by minority- and women-owned businesses and by supportive corporations."

The luncheon event will be held on June 21st at the Memphis Marriott, 2625 Thousand Oaks Blvd., from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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Ekundayo Bandele & the Business of the Arts – Part 1

Ekundayo Bandele & the Business of the Arts –  Part 1

As the owner of the Hattiloo Theatre, Ekundayo Bandele is bringing the arts to a community that just may need a reminder of its great history. The productions coming from his stage rival those in other metropolitan cities, including Chicago and New York and maybe even London, England.

Carlee McCullough: What brought you to Memphis?

Ekundayo Bandele: I first moved to Memphis in 1994 with my youngest daughter, Hattie, and then in 1995 Lou was born. I moved here to care for my father who was then ill. My father died in 1996. I left Memphis and returned to New York. I traveled through Europe. I was in Spain, France and England before I returned to New York as an art broker. I moved to Memphis in 2004 permanently to be closer to my girls.

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Do ‘moving goalposts’ threaten African-American businesses?

Do ‘moving goalposts’ threaten African-American businesses?

One of the city's least known – but arguably most important – committees held its most recent meeting on April 10th.

Mandated by city ordinance, the Minority Business Development Oversight Committee is charged with assuring that the city's minority- and women-owned businesses (MWBEs) get a fair chance at gaining contracts from both the public and private sectors.

The meeting's agenda called for evaluating a report (from the city's financial management office) that outlined local and MWBE firms' inclusion in managing the city's pension fund. Also on tap was a review of the Memphis Police Department's business plan as an example of forward-thinking MWBE inclusion. A third item related to refining the committee's mission and vision statements.

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  • Written by Tony Jones

Business expo features young – but ready – entrepreneurs

Business expo features young – but ready – entrepreneurs

Kustom Kosher, Treasured Collections, Thirtyone22 Boutique, Corn Cases and Elusive Expressions! are businesses that share a common trait. Each has an owner in the 16-to-25 age range.

Gregory Taylor, owner of iStylez, brought the young entrepreneurs – and several more like them – together for an Outdoor Business Expo at Audubon Park last Friday (April 12).

A 20-year-old student at the University of Memphis, Taylor too shares the young-entrepreneur trait. His company specializes in Apple product repairs, including iPhones, iPads and iPods. He describes the idea of creating iStylez as "a gift from God that I came across at 3 a.m. while watching videos on YouTube."

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