This year’s HOPE Global Forum annual meeting was timely and added not only inspiration but initiative and information for small business owners and entrepreneurs in general. The yearly event never fails to disappoint and is considered the global leader for financial dignity. So it’s not unusual to rub elbows with such luminaries as Bill Clinton, John Hope Bryant (founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of nonprofit Operation HOPE), Ambassador Andrew Young, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Tom Brokaw (television journalist and author), Earl Graves, Jr. (President & CEO of BLACK ENTERPRISE), Thomas W. Dortch, Jr. (Chairman Emeritus of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. and President and Chief Executive Officer of TWD, Inc.), Mark Becker, (President Georgia State University), Ed Bastian, (CEO, Delta Air Lines), Cassius F. Butts (Chairman & CEO of Capital Fortitude Business Advisors), Randal Quarles (Federal Reserve Vice Chairman), entertainers Chris Tucker, T.I., Emmanuel Lewis, Chaka Zulu, and #SheToo among others.
The weekend summit was primarily about job creation and economic growth. The general consensus was to focus on a rare opportunity to be in a place where people are thinking about the big picture with the chance to take a step back and look back at bigger trends and challenges.
Cassius F. Butts @CASSIUSBUTTS says about the small business owner’s take-away on the forum, “Be afraid not to be afraid. Would you rather not take on that opportunity or rather stay where you are? Just think about it: I’m not going to be afraid to sit back and think about it. I can do that, I can start this business, and I can actually make a change in my environment. The question is how and that’s what this summit is all about. We’re showing you how to do that, how to get connected, be aggressive and appropriate about what you do not only in your life but other people’s lives.”
Still, there were many timely topics and questions that the summit focused on, wespecially when it comes to how the digital world is primed and intertwined in the business world.
“Taking advantage of social media opportunities because it doesn’t cost anything right now. You can be the only person needed to man the social media outlets. Social media is about free marketing, and if you’ve taken advantage of, or already paid marketing through your taxes (for example), make sure you do it the right way.”
Not to be overlooked is the inclusion of diversity and inclusion, two key ingredients in the success of many small and large businesses. According to Agatha Achindu @AGATHACHINDU, a food and health advocate and summit panelist, “The key is to find something you are passionate about. Look for something you would walk to the ends of the earth for. It’s hard work owning your own business because not every business is scalable.”
Being an annual event, the HOPE Global Forum gives the global perspective and accessibility to those individuals who not only want to get financial gain, but have the mindset to want to make a difference in the footprint they make upon the world markets and communities.
For more information, go to http://hopeglobalforums.org/
– Joseph Walker, III