PITTSBURGH FITS IN—Former Pittsburgher, Robert James mingles with father and son Black Enterprise executives Earl G. Graves Jr., left, and senior. (Photos by Diane I. Daniels)


For more than 40 years Black Enterprise Magazine has served as the guru of business magazines in the African-American community. It has provided essential business information and advice to professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and decision makers. Known as the ultimate source to build “Wealth for Life,” the magazine is considered the premier business, investing, and wealth-building resource for African-Americans.

Throughout the years the organization has expanded into a multimedia company that produces television programming, business and lifestyle events, Web content, and digital media. Its lifestyle activities include one day events, the annual Golf and Tennis Challenge, the Women of Power Summit and the Entrepreneurs Conference and Expo.  

“I am so excited to kick off the 2013 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference and Expo,” proclaimed Earvin “Magic” Johnson during his opening remarks.

“This is an amazing conference because it provides a great platform for African-American entrepreneurs to share ideas, network and ultimately grow their businesses,” he said during the 18th annual conference recently held in Columbus, Ohio.

The three day conference provided the estimated 1,200 attendees with tools and resources to build grow and manage their businesses through intensive sessions, hands-on instruction, a networking reception, an awards luncheon and dinner, and a business-to-business expo.

“As a Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference participant, the benefits to attendees included access that will extend well beyond the experience gained while here,” pointed out Black Enterprise President and CEO Earl “Butch” Graves Jr.

Pleased with the speakers, presenters, and overall conference, former Pittsburgher Robert James pointed out that as a business owner the conference was beneficial to him.

“The conference lived up to its theme to Accelerate Your Business. Dennis Kimbro’s message was right on point. He set the pace and painted a picture for how business should be conducted in today’s economic times. I concur that this is a good time to be an entrepreneur,” he said.

James is the CEO of Idea Driven Strategies, LLC and an attorney-advisor of the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, now residing in the Washington, DC area.

Kimbro, an educator, business school professor, lecturer and author of four books including “Think and Grow Rich: A Black Choice” served as an encourager, motivator and enforcer during his presentation.

“Entrepreneurship starts with a dream and we all need to be dreamers. Then you have to believe and not be afraid,” he said. “You have to think outside of the box. Create the box. It is not about sitting in the back of the bus. It’s about owning the bus. Don’t show one how to fish, it is time to buy the pond.”

In the seven years of researching his last book, “The Wealth Choice: Success Secrets of Black Millionaires,” which Kimbro said started at a Black Enterprise conference he said he learned that a 52-year-old male is the average Black millionaire, that they have made their money through 90 percent entrepreneurship; 30 percent real estate and that their average debt not including mortgage is less than $10,000.

Known as a serial entrepreneur, 67-year-old Robert L. Johnson, founder and former owner of Black Entertainment Television and currently founder of RJS Cos. concurs with Kimbro that you cannot be afraid of success. “Look at it as a part of a movement and move forward,” he said.

During a fireside chat, Johnson identified being on time, dressing and talking to people the right way, keeping up with technology, thinking globally and being comfortable in a multicultural environment as good attributes to entrepreneurial and business success. He also suggested creating a value system of working hard, being serious and committed to what you do and knowing how to bring people together. He also said you have to be willing to take risks.


ENCOURAGING—During the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference and Expo, Dennis Kimbro excites a crowd of more than 1200 entrepreneurs and business professionals.

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