TechTown Detroit hosts conference to prepare Black-owned businesses for success

A square graphic on the event "Preparing Black-Owned Businesses for Success"

Free, one-day virtual business conference features panel discussions, breakout sessions and keynote speaker author Maggie Anderson


Feb. 7, 2022

DETROIT – In honor of Black History Month, TechTown Detroit will host a free, one-day virtual conference to prepare Black-owned businesses in metro Detroit for success through the global pandemic and beyond. Individuals who run Black-owned businesses, who are part of the business service ecosystem or simply curious how to support Black-owned businesses in metro Detroit are encouraged to participate. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, and is in partnership with Build Institute, Great Lakes Women’s Business Council, Invest Detroit, Minerva Education and Development Foundation, Michigan Small Business Development Center and ProsperUS Detroit.

The inaugural Preparing Black-Owned Businesses for Success conference will include breakout sessions, panel discussions with business service providers, small group networking and a keynote address by Maggie Anderson, author of “Our Black Year.” Anderson will share lessons learned from the economic empowerment project of marginalized Black businesses in the 21st century. Breakout sessions throughout the day will range from the importance of maintaining personal relationships while building a business to the history of Black-owned businesses in Detroit and understanding political power and its role in local politics.

“TechTown understands the importance of ensuring the success of Black businesses in Detroit, so we teamed up with our partners for Black History Month to provide an extraordinary amount of business support,” said Lawrence Jackson, entrepreneurial education director at TechTown Detroit. “We are working together to provide the resources, funds and visibility for businesses owned by Black women and men to build wealth and reduce poverty levels in the city.”

As part of the conference, TechTown has also partnered with Minerva Education and Development Foundation, an organization that provides scholarships and funds to Detroit youth and families, to launch a TikTok video challenge. The video challenge is open now through February 15 for 11th and 12th grade high school students who are Detroit residents. Students must creatively address topics including why they support Black-owned businesses or what Black-owned businesses mean to their community for a chance to win up to $2,000.

“The goal of the video challenge is to raise awareness among our youth of the importance of supporting Black-owned businesses in their community,” Jackson continued. “It is crucial to the economic growth of Black-owned businesses to use our buying power to keep jobs and services in the community.”

Additional information about the TikTok video challenge can be found at Registration for the Preparing Black-Owned Businesses for Success conference can be found at

Preparing Black-Owned Businesses for Success is made possible with support from Bank of America, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, New Economy Initiative, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation and Walters Family Foundation.