Recap: 2017 Black Alumni Networking Expo

Engage, Educate, Implement & Collaborate were the four key components of success for the 2017 Black Alumni Networking Expo. With over 1300 guests, sponsors and vendors in attendance the event was not one to miss. Attendees received valuable insight from leading experts and influencers on topics including, business development, careers in media, health and wellness tips, and heard from speakers who played integral roles during the Obama Administration. A few members of the BBNE team had the privilege of attending the Black Alumni Networking Expo weekend of events and put together key points and quotes from attended sessions. 

The weekend kicked off with the B.L.A.C.K Panel discussion and dinner where panelist covered topics such as entrepreneurship, mentorship, following your destiny and mental health.  Panelists also touched on the need for black enterprises to work together. 

“The partnership that is missing is the one between the black entrepreneur and the black consumer”. - Kezia Williams, The Black upstart. 

The discussion at the B.L.A.C.K Panel and Dinner left audience members with the following takeaways 

  • Don't take no for answer. Make some noise.
  • Take rejections and turn them into an opportunity.
  • Use your day job and inspiration and turn into an opportunity.
  • You don't have to go at it alone. Get help.

The Black Alumni Networking Expo continued on Saturday with noteworthy workshops and seminaries given by experts in various fields.  Walter Ward III, the founder of the Mobile Business School, provided attendees with the tools to build a business from scratch and focused on the importance of learning how to do what you love. 

“Believe it or not a lot of executives grew up in a pipeline of thinking. They don’t know how the rest of business work, they know how their portion works, but they don’t know how the enterprise works.  Which causes a problem for a lot of executives because as they are moving up they can’t go beyond a certain level because they don’t have an enterprise view,” – Ward said. 

The Mobile Business School provides a "pop-up" MBA experience, for entrepreneurs, non-profit leaders, and creative professionals.From the session, attendees learned about the 3 core components of building a business; the customer, the narrative, and the numbers walking away with valuable tips and advice to continue to do what they love. 

With the rise of technology, BAN Expo offered A Career in Tech Panel Discussion to discuss trends in the tech industry, shared economies, entry barriers, being a tech entrepreneur, and career advice that reflected the audience's interests.  

The key focus of this year’s BAN Expo encouraged guests, vendors, and panelist to effectively create opportunities and collaborations within our community. The event brought together not just HBCU alumni but alumni who attended PWI's to create better partnerships for our businesses to succeed. For more information about the BAN Expo visit  Continue to follow our social feeds this month as we will be highlighting many of the businesses who were in attendance.