August 21, 2019
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The Nation's Leading African American Entrepreneurs Summit Is Moving Forward With A New Name For It's 24th Annual Gathering Of F

The Nation's Leading African American Entrepreneurs Summit Is Moving Forward With A New Name For It's 24th Annual Gathering Of Founders, Creators, And Innovators In Charlotte

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Feb. 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- BLACK ENTERPRISE will return to Charlotte, North Carolina, with FWD—the revamped, rebranded summit for entrepreneurs hosted by Nationwide on Wednesday, June 19 to Saturday, June 22, 2019, at the Charlotte Convention Center. In its 24th year, the four-day conference will bring together more than 1,200 of the nation's leading entrepreneurs, innovators, creators, and founders of color with a special focus on tech-driven innovation, and separate tracks for established firms and startups, respectively. "FWD: Business on Your Own Terms," will provide the array of diverse entrepreneurs in attendance with networking, partnership, financing, and other business-building opportunities. 

Over the course of 23 years, the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit has earned the reputation as the premier conference for black business owners, and FWD builds on that foundation, which is tailored to the needs of creators, innovators, hustlers, and next-generation entrepreneurs. We recognize the need for founders at all stages of business development to connect, learn, gain inspiration, and most importantly—receive access to the necessary tools and resources for success.

BLACK ENTERPRISE President and CEO Earl "Butch" Graves Jr. will officially announce the rebranding and our return to Charlotte, at the press conference scheduled for Feb. 18, 2019. The Charlotte business community is critical to job creation and innovation, which is why FWD seeks to drive the growth of black entrepreneurship and economic development in Charlotte, and nationwide. The 2018 Summit welcomed a record number of over 1,200 attendees to the Queen City with headline speakers Mark Cuban, Tip "T.I." Harris, Janice Bryant Howroyd, Bryon Allen, and many more. The Summit also attracted over 200 million impressions via livestream, social media, and press.

"After 23 amazing years of hosting the Entrepreneurs Summit, we are very excited for the relaunch of one of our signature BE events, and there is no better city to do this than Charlotte," says Graves Jr. "FWD is designed to show millennials and seasoned business leaders innovative strategies, networking opportunities with like-minded attendees, and show them how to think tactically to reach the next level of profitability."

What's different about FWD?

  • Tracks for Startups and Established Business Owners
  • Leave each session with a FWD Plan – Your next steps and to-do's to get your business on track now.
  • Attendee-driven content – Short, pre-event polls and live Q&As will allow our speakers to structure the conversation to provide the information you came for. And it all happens in our app!
  • An a la carte experience – Enjoy flexible programming, opportunities to network, downtime, or time to put in work.
  • Greater tech integration – Simply put, if you're doing business without technology, you're doing it wrong.
  • Huddle in the Hub – the BizHub will be the center of everything! Sessions, networking pods, workshops, coaching, sponsor activations, small businesses making coin; it all happens here!
  • Make yourself comfortable – Show up as your best self in whatever makes you feel most like the boss you are.

"Nationwide is proud to continue our sponsorship of the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit, now being rebranded as FWD and our commitment to supporting minority businesses and diverse communities," says Nationwide's Associate Vice President of Diverse and Cause Marketing, Lu Yarbrough III. "Whether you're thinking about starting a business, looking for ways to build on it, or wanting to meet other entrepreneurs, this conference has something that will benefit all who attend."

"We are very fortunate to be hosting the FWD in Charlotte, in 2019. The new name reflects the direction the City would like to move the African American entrepreneurs," says Councilman James "Smuggie" Mitchell. "Forward (FWD) on building capacity, access to capital, and securing opportunities. Focus with Determination."

FWD is hosted by Nationwide. For updates, search the #BEintheQC hashtag on Twitter

BLACK ENTERPRISEyour ultimate source to build Wealth for Life, is the premier business, investing, and wealth-building resource for African Americans. Since 1970, BE has provided essential business information and advice to professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and decision makers. Every month, BLACK ENTERPRISE magazine provides 6 million readers with information on entrepreneurship, careers, and financial management. A multimedia company, be also produces television programming, business and lifestyle events, web content, and digital media. Visit for more information.

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor's. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Nationwide, Nationwide is on your side and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

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