12-05-2023  10:08 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
By The Skanner News | The Skanner News
Published: 19 January 2023

The fourth annual Black-Owned Business Excellence (BOBE) Symposium will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the University of Washington Tacoma's William W. Philip Hall (1918 Pacific Ave., Tacoma) as well as online. The Seattle Public Library is a co-sponsor of this event.

This Black History Month kickoff event provides the tools, resources and information to empower entrepreneurs and business owners who are ready to relaunch, revive and expand their businesses in preparation for generational wealth and legacy building. The 2023 theme is “B(l)ack in Business – Building Our Legacy for Our Children.”

Register for the BOBE Symposium through this EventBrite link. The virtual event is free of charge, while the in-person event has a fee of $15. Scholarships are available for those who might benefit from having the registration fee waived; email L2B@spl.org for details. Find information and registration links at www.bobe-wa.org.

Jenefeness Franke, one of the principal collaborators of BOBE, said, “With the help of our generous supporters, the collaborators of BOBE have worked tirelessly to promote a more equitable entrepreneurial ecosystem in Washington. Our goal is to make sure that the business owners that are furthest away from access are aware and eligible for available resources.”


The 2023 BOBE Symposium will feature a variety of panel discussions, workshops and breakout sessions focusing on marketing, financial management, branding, leadership, operations, and nonprofit management. See the full agenda on the BOBE site.

Dr. George Fraser, CEO of FraserNet and founder of the award-winning PowerNetworking Conference, will serve as keynote speaker. Dr. Fraser said, “It would be my dream that within two to three generations we become the number-one employer of our own people. An aggressive path towards entrepreneurial leadership will help us greatly to manifest this dream.”

Regional leaders including Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell, Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards and State Senator T’wina Nobles will provide opening remarks. Panels and breakout sessions will be led by regional business owners and community leaders including Keisha Credit of Your Business Bestie; Darnesha Weary of Black Coffee Northwest; Kennedy Cockrel of the University of Washington; Chauné Fitzgerald of Wow Tri-Cities; Traci Harrell of National Black MBA of Seattle, and Lewis Rudd of Rudd’s R.U.B.B. Initiative.

Prior to the symposium, Black-Owned Business Excellence will award five $1,000 grants to Washington business owners. All small business owners who are registered in the state of Washington are eligible to enter by filling out this application by Monday, Jan. 23. Grantees will be notified on Friday, Jan. 27, and will also receive a ticket to the VIP dinner at the conclusion of the event.

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