11th Annual Symposium
June 15-17, 2022 | Cleveland, OH

Workshop C – 2022

Celebrating and Supporting Black Entrepreneurship in Cleveland: Paving the Way to Success for Adults, College Students and Youth


Lunch, Networking and Keynote followed by Tour and Panel Discussion


Nurturing and celebrating entrepreneurship in the Black community is critical for a diverse city like Cleveland. Challenges include gaining access to capital, creating awareness, and understanding financial literacy. This was the impetus behind LaRese Purnell’s push to develop The Real Black Friday Black Business Expo, founded in 2015. In 2022, the Real Black Friday Black Business Expo collaborated with the 2022 NBA All-Star Weekend in Cleveland to generate more than $600,000 in sales from more than 13,000 attendees in 14 hours. This session will feature a keynote from LaRese Purnell, a tour of Cleveland’s Black entrepreneurship venues and community, and a chance to enjoy cuisine from a local Black-owned restaurant. A panel discussion will follow that will share more lessons learned and suggestions for educators to inspire Black entrepreneurs at the collegiate and youth levels.


12:15 pm
Meet at the hotel to board the bus
12:30 pm
Bus departs for GlenVillage, Cleveland’s Black business incubator
1:00 pm
Lunch and networking. Introduction from GlenVillage entrepreneurs. Lunch is provided by one of the Black-owned restaurants.
1:30 pm

Keynote: The Importance of Black Entrepreneurship and what you can do to support it.

LaRese Purnell, Founder, The Real Black Friday

2:30 pm
Travel to The Box Spot (optional: attendees may get off the bus and check out the structure and businesses open)
2:50 pm
Travel to CornUcopia
3:00 pm
Panel Discussion featuring Black entrepreneurship educators and program providers:

  • Quelina Jordan, high school educator 
  • Tory Coats, founder of Teen Enterprise 
  • Stacey Banks Houston, youth, college and adult entrepreneurship educator 
  • Rep from Black Women Bosses (Kent State) 
  • Ariana Smith (moderator)
4:00 pm
Student entrepreneur showcase and roundtable discussions
4:20 pm
Depart for the hotel