By Brittany Bailer
Continuing its commitment to access and education for minority business owners, The Howard University and PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship will hold its inaugural HUxPNC Black Commerce Conference: The Future of Entrepreneurship June 14-16, 2023, at the Renaissance Downtown Hotel in Washington, DC (999 9th Street Northwest Washington, DC 20001).
The event will feature celebrity entrepreneurs Lamman Rucker (Green Leaf, Queen Sugar), Kim Roxie (Lamix Beauty) and Camille McDonald (America’s Next Top Model/Signature Walk Marketing), along with business leader Richard Bynum (EVP and chief corporate responsibility officer, PNC) and a number of Historically Black College and University (HBCU) presidents and venture capital lenders.
The goal is to create and design innovative experiences for Black entrepreneurs and their supporters and empower the current and next generation of business owners with resources, tools, and opportunities to launch and scale their operations locally, nationally and worldwide.
“As our nation prepares to celebrate Juneteenth, it’s important to also recognize the work still to be done. Bringing Black entrepreneurs together, in the spirit of supporting and advancing Black business is a natural connection,” said Erin Horne McKinney, national executive director for the Howard University and PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship. “Our program is commitment in action and seeks to serve as a leader in addressing the systemic barriers that hinder underrepresented communities.”
Registration is still open and includes three days of fireside chats and panel discussions, as well as a fashion show, vendor marketplace and awards gala, all dedicated to scaling, growing and elevating Black entrepreneurship.
- “The Game Night: HBCU Edition” welcome reception (Wed. June 14, 7 to 10 p.m.)
- “Reshaping Black Futures” fireside chat w/ Lamman Rucker and Richard Bynum (Thurs. June 15, 8 to 9:30 a.m.)
Howard University and PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship will also host the Inaugural HUxPNC Black Commerce Conference.
- “The Moment and The Movement: Forming a Black Business Support Collective in Minnesota in the Wake of George Floyd” fireside chat (1:30 to 2:30 p.m., June 15)
- “Mecca Mainstreet” vendor marketplace (noon to 6 p.m., June 15 and 16)
- “Fashion Forward: Styling the Future of Culture” panel discussion w/ Camille McDonald (2:40 to 3:40 p.m., June 15)
- “Fashion Forever: An Immersive AfroFuturism Showcase” (7 to 10 p.m., June 15)
- “Digital Distortion: Transforming the Face of Beauty” panel discussion w/ Kim Roxie Lamik (3:20 to 4:20 p.m., June 16)
- The Black Commerce gala and awards (7 to 11 p.m., June 16)
The Howard University and PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship was established in 2021 through a five-year, $16.8 million grant from the PNC Foundation, as part of PNC’s $88 billion Community Benefits Plan focused on bolstering economic opportunity for low- and moderate-income (LMI) individuals, communities and people of color. The mission of the center is to support expanded opportunities for Black entrepreneurship with educational, leadership and capacity building resources and programs nationwide, sharing resources through four regional hub schools and their network of more than 100 HBCUs nationwide.
“The conference is an opportunity to help Black entrepreneurs shape their futures with education and resources that will help them grow and scale their enterprises,” said Bynum. “Black-owned businesses are critical to thriving communities, and strategic efforts like these are critical steps in breaking down the obstacles they face so that they can fairly compete, succeed and build generational wealth.”