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Black Enterprise 2008 Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo Hosted by General Motors Begins May 14 in Char

BLACK ENTERPRISE (BE), the nation’s premier business resource for African Americans, will launch its 2008 Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo hosted by General Motors, May 14-17, at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. The nationally renowned convention consistently attracts more than 1,500 of the nation’s most prominent business power players.

According to recently released data from the U.S. Census Bureau, revenues generated by the nation’s 1.2 million black-owned businesses increased 25% between 1997 and 2002. During that same time frame, the number of black-owned businesses grew 45%. “With the number of businesses owned by black entrepreneurs growing more than four times the national rate, this is a very exciting time,” says BE President & CEO Earl “Butch” Graves Jr. “Since its inception, the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference has brought together the nation’s most influential corporate executives and black business owners to make deals. Our four-day leadership event has proven itself, time and again, to profit emerging and established minority-owned businesses.”

“General Motors is proud to once again serve as title sponsor of the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo. We’ve been a conference sponsor since 1996-the very beginning,” says Rod Gillum, GM Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Diversity. “The Black Enterprise banner is what attracts many of our nation’s best entrepreneurs and top corporations to this conference, and we at GM appreciate the vision and leadership of our partners.”

In light of the astounding upswing in black business ownership, the conference is introducing the Small Business Boot Camp this year. From developing a business plan to getting started to marketing and financing, this intense, two-day track covers it. The Elevator Pitch Competition encourages entrepreneurs to showcase their salesmanship and communication skills. Additional highlights include sessions on digital technology, strategies for improving customer service and surviving a recession, pitching your idea to an investor, and finding the right franchise fit.

The 2008 Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo hosted by General Motors is presented by Aetna, OPEN from American Express, Ariel Mutual Funds, Cadillac, EMC, ExxonMobil, Frito-Lay, Pepsi, SAM’s CLUB, and Wachovia. Platinum sponsors include American Airlines, FedEx, IBM, State Farm(R), Wendy’s International, and Verizon Wireless. Corporate sponsors include Bank of America and Kodak.

For more information and a schedule of events, call 800-209-7229 or visit

BLACK ENTERPRISE, your ultimate source for wealth creation, 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 3.9 million readers with information on entrepreneurship, careers, and financial management. A multimedia company, BE also produces radio and television programming, business and lifestyle events, Web content, and digital media. BLACK ENTERPRISE is the definitive source of information for and about African American business markets and leaders, and the authority on black business news and trends.

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