2021 Innopower Minority Business Week

2021

Conference

June 14th – 18th, 2021

InnoPower, LLC and Recorder Media Group will host the 2021 edition of their annual conference on June 14-18. Now in its third year, the expanded InnoPower Minority Business Week presented by Eleven Fifty Academy and JPMorgan Chase (IMBW) will feature five days of virtual programming. The conference convenes entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, educators, investors, workforce development organizations, and community advocates to identify frameworks and action guidelines on how innovation initiatives can accelerate economic development and wealth generation for MVPs (Most Vulnerable Populations) in Indiana and Sub-Saharan Africa.

We know COVID hit MVP communities and economies across the world hard. We also know that opportunity is not shared equally in MVP communities.

Our vision is for Indiana to become one of the best places in the nation for the Most Vulnerable Populations to work or start and grow a business.

We believe that education and entrepreneurship are the best routes out of poverty for our state’s Black and brown communities. Therefore, we have centered our conference around pillars that will accelerate the closure of this wealth gap. 

The 2021 IMBW introduces participants to economic development at the regional level and how to compete and win at each level of the game successfully: i.e., education and training, and entrepreneurial startup, existing small business owner, growth-stage business.   

Five (5) Conference Pillars

Competitiveness, Talent Development, Talent Attraction, Entrepreneurship, and Global affairs.

Day 1 – COMPETITIVENESS

Diversity makes our workforces more competitive. By 2044, the Nation’s prosperity will rely even more on minorities. Companies that attract and retain a diverse range of talent today will see an increase in innovation, customer loyalty, and brand strength tomorrow. We must build a more equitable ecosystem for innovation because everyone deserves a seat at the table.

Focus:

  • Create an environment that cultivates successful minority-owned firms to foster economic activity in local communities
  • Close the wealth gap and increase wealth creation that secures personal and family well-being
  • Position minority leaders and minority-owned firms to perform in high growth industries, emerging markets, and corporate supply chains
  • Demonstrate the minority business community as a vibrant and growing business sector

Day 2 – EDUCATION

For more than a generation, we have focused on improving the education of poor and minority students. Real gains have been made, but many gaps still exist. To increase the achievement levels of minority and low-income students, we need to focus on what really matters: high standards and visionary school leaders. Our education system is ripe for disruption and innovation.

Focus:

  • Entrepreneurship: teaching education entrepreneurs how to start and scale their programs and schools
  • Social Innovation: championing new practices that meet student needs better than existing solutions
  • Recognition: celebrating the education entrepreneurs that are positively disrupting the system 

Day 3 – WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

The nature of work is transforming rapidly in our ever-changing world. As community leaders and organizations choose the path forward, it is imperative they rethink deeply held orthodoxies in order to shape a more inclusive future of work. Decades of systemic racism and many structural challenges underscore the underlying economic fragility of underrepresented groups, including the Black and Latinx communities. Generating innovative pathways to employment for marginalized populations has never been more critically needed by so many.

Focus:

  • Skills: expanding people’s capabilities and employability for a rapidly changing economy
  • Equitable Working Environment: improving personal lives, hiring practices, and personnel development
  • Social Capital: creating infrastructures that help minorities connect to people and resources
  • Politics: leading change to create thriving communities for all

Day 4 – ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Entrepreneurship is the key to economic growth for global and local economies. Yet, too many people still face significant, systemic barriers to entrepreneurial opportunity. In a time of changing demographics in the United States, it is important to include diverse communities in all economic development strategies. The local entrepreneurship ecosystem should mirror the diversity in the community that fosters it. The inclusion of communities of color in the entrepreneurship ecosystem is especially important because of the power entrepreneurship has to create jobs and close the racial wealth gap.

Focus:

  • Entrepreneurship: teaching essential skills and frameworks for starting and scaling a business
  • Finance: developing avenues that lead to better access to capital for minority businesses
  • Innovation: increasing access to and knowledge of new and creative methods for problem-solving
  • Social Impact: embracing new practices to meet community needs better than existing solutions

Day 5 – GOING GLOBAL SUMMIT

The old narrative of an Africa disconnected from the global economy is fading. A wave of transformation driven by business and modernization is thrusting the continent from the world’s margins to the global mainstream. On day 5 of Minority Business Week, InnoPower’s Going Global Summit presented by Business Africa Online, in partnership with Afrigrants, intends to amplify, connect, and support emerging leaders in Africa and beyond who design, launch, and scale businesses making an impact across the world. Ticketing for the Going Global Summit is separate. Learn more and register for free HERE.

Focus:

  • Amplify: enabling emerging African leaders and businesses
  • Entrepreneurship: providing African entrepreneurs with access to resources, training, and finance
  • Connection: introducing US-based businesses and service providers to Africa’s innovators
  • Advocacy: increasing the viability of Africa as a region for economic development partnerships

Conference Team

Robert Shegog
Chair, Partnerships
Rupal Thanawala
Chair, Organizing Committee Managing Director, Trident Systems
Jason Williams
Chair, Programming and Planning
Brandi Sasore
Marketing & Branding / Speaker Engagement Partner
Trey Hester
Marketing & Branding Partner/ Tech Strategist
Thelma Ekiyor
Chair, Going Global
Kim Pennycuff
Partnership, Speaker and Sponsor Support
Chellvie Mbalia
Conference Partner

Speakers | Conference 2021

Kristian
Andersen
Partner
High Alpha
Rona
Asuncion
Co-Founder and Director of Product Design
MetaCX
Ted
Baker
Regional Director - Great Lakes
VMware
Tiffany
Benjamin
Sr. Director, Social Impact
Eli Lilly and Company
Stephanie
Bothun
Vice President and Co-Founder
Ascend Indiana
Leslie
Bowles
Senior Director of Philanthropy and Community Engagemen
Women's Fund of Indiana at Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF)
Oseye
Boyd
Editor
Indianapolis Recorder Newspaper
Dr. Jamie
Bracey-Green
CEO
National Institute for Inclusive Competitiveness
Mark
Caswell
Chief Executive Officer
KSM Consulting
Rod
Cotton
Chief of Staff & Senior Vice President, Strategy & Transformation
Roche Diagnostics
Claudia
Cummings
President & CEO
Indiana Philanthropy Alliance
Brandi
Davis-Handy
Chief Public Relations Officer, US Utilities
The AES Corporation
Emil
Ekiyor
Founder & CEO
InnoPower LLC
Dr. Lorenzo
Esters
Chancellor, Indianapolis campus
Ivy Tech Community College
Angela
Freeman
Partner and Intellectual Property/Patent Attorney
Barnes & Thornburg LLP
Mike
Green
Chief Strategist
National Institute for Inclusive Competitiveness
De'Niece
Harrison-Hudson
Program Director
OneAmerica
Karrah
Herring
Chief Equity, Inclusion and Opportunity Officer
State of Indiana
Kamaria
Hill
Government Sales Executive
LinkedIn
Andrea
Hutchins
Vice President
Thomas P. Miller & Associates
Aleesia
Johnson
Superintendent
Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS)
Scott
Jones
President & Founder
Eleven Fifty Academy
Todd
Khozein
Co-CEO
SecondMuse
John
Kuykendall
Dean, School of Education
University of Indianapolis
Joy
Mason
President, Senior Business Strategist
Optimist Business Solutions LLC
Blake
Nathan
CEO
Educate ME Foundation, Inc.
Kimberly
Neal
Executive Director
BELIEVE Schools
Mathew
Palakal Ph.D.
Senior Executive Associate Dean, School of Informatics and Computing
IUPUI
Amar
Patel
Executive Director
Teach for America
Earl Martin
Phalen
Founder & CEO
Phalen Leadership Academies
Dana
Pittard
Vice President, Defense Programs
Allison Transmission
Ellen
Quigley
Vice President of Programs
Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation
Rebecca
Rahschulte Ph.D.
Vice President of K-14 Initiatives & Statewide Partnerships
Ivy Tech Community College
Dr. Ronald S.
Rochon
President
University of Southern Indiana
Joyce Q.
Rogers Esq.
Interim Executive Vice President for Development
Indiana University Foundation
Emily
Scott
Senior Program Manager
LISC Indianapolis
Robin
Shackleford
Indiana House District 98
Indiana House of Representatives
Mariama
Shaheed
CEO / Head of School
Global Preparatory Academy
Jamal
Smith
Owner
The FLOWens Group
Geneva
Taylor
President - Managing Director
Tellis Executive Search
Rupal
Thanawala
Managing Director
Trident Systems
John
Thompson
President
Thompson Distribution Co.
Dr. LaTonya
Turner
Dean, Fred S. Klipsch Educators College
Marian University
Bill
Turner
Executive Director, Skillful Indiana and National Alliance Delivery, Markle Foundation
Skillful Indiana
Sunny Lu
Williams
President
TechServ Corporation
Shannon
Williams
Senior Vice President
The Mind Trust
Marshawn
Wolley
President and CEO
Black Onyx Management
The Honorable Todd
Young
U.S. Senator
State of Indiana

2021Videos