African American business leaders gathered at Riverview Hall in Shreveport Saturday. It was for the 2nd Annual State of Black Shreveport Symposium and Economic Summit. The business community discussed ways to strengthen Black entrepreneurs and businesses. They explored financing, marketing and business creation, among other things. Entrepreneurs were encouraged to create non-traditional, technological companies.
"We do solar installation and we provide people with energy independence through solar panels," James Everett said. He's with renewable energy company Sustainable Environmental Enterprises and was a panelist at the summit. He spoke to attendees about getting different African American generations to work together in the new economy.
"I was talking to them about our inter generational dialogue that's necessary between Generation X and the Baby Boomers," he said. "...and how we look forward to what we can do for the Millennials, and getting them to invest in greener, renewable energy as a job or pathway into a career.
African American Chamber of Commerce Chairman Tanita Baker was the moderator for the credit and financing meeting. There panelists gave entrepreneurs tips on how to better their chances on getting a loan, like having proper paper work and
"Knowing what your credit is or what condition it's in before you go to a bank to get a loan," Baker said. Panelists also encouraged establishing and maintaining relationships with bankers, as well as learning about business.
"Don't just sit back and wait for the information to come to you," Baker said. "Seek out that information."
Baker says one way entrepreneurs can find that information is through the Shreveport-Bossier African American Chamber of Commerce. She says to feel free to call their offices at 318-220-9098.