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Week four recap of Gem City Black Business Month

By Charisse Ponder

Four weeks are now completed in the inaugural Gem City Black Business Month. Here's what local entrepreneurs did to get informed, network and invest in the community during the fourth week of events.

Starting the week was The GROW: Workshop Financial Strategies for Business Owners session, located at The Hub Powered by PNC Bank - The Square. Guest speaker Kenneth Wilson, a financial advisor for Northwestern Mutual, informed attendees on how to financially prepare to become a full-time business owner.

During the presentation, he shared six points to assess when transitioning on a business journey. Wilson made sure to hammer home the need for entrepreneurs to believe in themselves.

“The number one resource that you have to have buttoned down is a strong belief in yourself,” he said. “You can’t put your faith in the job. You have to put your faith in yourself and continue to develop and improve yourself.”

The week's next two events — the Arcade Market Day and Brews & Black Entrepreneurs — were held on the same day.

Arcade Market Day is a recurring event that was hosted this month by Tae Winston, owner and founder of The Entrepreneurs Shoppe and The Entrepreneurs Marketplace. The day welcomed guests to an entertainment, shopping and vendor experience in the newly-renovated Dayton Arcade rotunda.

Brews & Black Entrepreneurs was a networking event held at Alematic Artisan Ales, the Dayton-area’s first Black-owned brewery. Audrey Ingram, Launch Dayton’s marketing manager for Parallax Advanced Research, hosted the event. Ingram said the event was an opportunity for new business owners to form connections.

“It has been great to watch those business owners connect with each other as well,” she said. “I won’t be surprised to see some great collaborations sometime soon.”

Ending the week was the Pitch Black Competition that kicked off the Dayton Young Black Professionals’ (DYBP) Black Excellence Weekend. Startups pitched their ideas to an audience and panel of judges to receive funding for their businesses. Daj’za Demmings, DYBP cofounder and president, hosted the event, which was located at the Dayton Arcade.

Cerenity Miller, owner of Vegan Melts Ice Cream, said a highlight from the event was listening to others pitch.

“My favorite part was honestly listening to the other competitors,” she said. “The amount of education we had in the room was mind-blowing. We truly are wanting to pour back into our community.”

Here's what in store during the final week of Gem City Black Business Month:

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