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"Clearing The Pathway For Business" At Executive Networking Conference For Minorities

Willie Deese

Hundreds of people in business, government, and the non-profit sector are meeting in Durham this week to discuss ways to grow minority and women-owned businesses.

This year’s Executive Networking Conference at the Washington-Duke Inn and Golf Club will include congressmen and leaders in supplier diversity.

Farad Ali is a Senior Business Consultant with the North Carolina Institute of Minority Economic Development.  Ali says it’s all about access and options.

“So we’re hoping that this conference will provide some information that will clear the pathway for businesses to go down to be able to participate in the economy, as it grows,” said Ali.

Today's sessions will feature panels on the Business of Energy and the Business of Transportation.

Thursday's presentations will look at the "State of Minority Business" and ways to access federal procurement opportunities.

"There is some idea that this conference is just to speak about diverse populations," said Ali.  "But we are really talking about the impact of policy and numbers and trends on business and how diverse populations participate in this economic growth or downturn."

Friday will feature a listening session on "Challenges and Opportunities for Minority Business."  The panel will include three congressmen, Rep. G.K. Butterfield (NC-1), Rep. David Price (NC-2) and Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (NJ-10).

The conference runs through Friday.

Leoneda Inge is WUNC’s race and southern culture reporter, the first public radio journalist in the South to hold such a position. She also is co-host of the podcast Tested and host of the special podcast series, PAULI. Leoneda is the recipient of numerous awards from AP, RTDNA and NABJ. She’s been a reporting fellow in Berlin and Tokyo. You can follow her on Twitter @LeonedaInge.
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