MEDWeek 2020 is Virtual January 24-29, 2021

(top row l-r) Senator Brenda Gilmore, Sharon Hurt, Former Nashville Mayor David Briley, (bottom row l-r) Davita (Brown-Miller) Taylor, Michelle Hernandez Lane, and William Michael Cunningham

The pandemic has caused many headaches across the nation and in our community. One is that Nashville MEDWEEK 2020, originally scheduled for December, 2020, has been delayed until this month, and will be held Sunday, January 24 through Friday, January 29, 2021. The theme is: “Contracting for Equity in Tennessee – Part II.” Minority Enterprise Development Week (MEDWeek)  is an annual national celebration in recognition of the contributions made by minority businesses to the Nation’s economy.

The 2020 Minority Enterprise Development Week hosted by the Nashville Minority Business Center’s goal is three-fold: 1) Develop a legislative agenda that eliminates systemic barriers and creates sustainable economic development opportunities for diverse businesses in the state of Tennessee and 2) prepare companies to effectively bid for public contracts and identify alternative sources of financing through crowdfunding. 3) Attendees can expect to hear from local public administrators at the city and state levels on economic equity and inclusion.

Minority Enterprise Development Week (MEDWeek) Speakers include Davita (Brown-Miller) Taylor, Michelle Hernandez Lane, Senator Brenda Gilmore and Minority Leader State Representative Karen Camper, and William Michael Cunningham.

Register online (Donations requested); RSVP at WWW.MEDWEEKNASHVILLE.ORG


Monday through Thursday events run from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. daily online.


Minority Business Recognition Sunday — Minority businesses and entrepreneurs will be highlighted and honored throughout Middle Tennessee on Sunday, January 24 during virtual worship services.


Where is the Money? | Big Opportunities Dedicated for Historically Under-Utilized Businesses powered by Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority.

Share your business and vision with the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority. Nashville projections reveal that by 2035, the population of the Greater Nashville Area is expected to surpass 2.5 million people, and Nashville International Airport’s passenger traffic will grow from 12 million today to more than 20 million. The projects comprising the BNA Vision are designed to meet the demands of this growth and address everything from international travel, to improved security wait times to more gates, parking, and ease of access – all with passenger safety and convenience in mind. Learn how small, minority-owned businesses can share in this massive growth opportunity. This is a “Report to the Community” presented by Davita (Brown-Miller) Taylor, CPPO, CM, MCA, Chief Procurement Officer, Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority.


Metropolitan Nashville’s Equal Business Opportunity Programs – A “Report to Community Leadership”

Mayor David Briley committed to ensuring equity in all Metro purchasing during his administration. On July 5, the new equal business opportunity program, more commonly known by the acronym EBO, begin putting race and gender conscious goals on all Metro purchases. The EBO program, the result of Metro Nashville’s most recent disparity study, set out 10-reccomendations regarding the purchasing process. The Department of Finance, Division of Purchases, is implementing these improvements. This is a “Report to the Community” presented by Michelle Hernandez Lane, CPPB, CCA, M.Sc., Chief Procurement Officer Purchasing Agent, Metropolitan Nashville & Davidson County.


Contracting for Equity – Connecting the Dots Through Public Policy

The Small Business Reserve (SBR) Pilot Program aims to increase participation in Tennessee procurements by small businesses. This state legislation sponsored by Senator Brenda Gilmore and Minority Leader State Representative Karen Camper require state agencies to structure their procurement procedures to achieve at least 15% of the procurement unit’s dollars expended directly with small businesses certified with the Governor’s Office of Diversity Business Enterprise at the prime contract level. This program is modeled after the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 8(a) program and the successful economic development state of Maryland Small Business Reserve Program founded in 2004.


The ABC’s of Crowdfunding

In 2012, William Michael Cunningham wrote one of the first books on crowdfunding. Learn how full implementation of the Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act by the SEC in 2016 enables entrepreneurs and SME executives leverage crowdfunding platforms to raise significant amounts of capital for their startups and small-to-medium–sized businesses.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 29  6:00 p.m. – 7:15 p.m.

Minority Business Honors & Awards Black Businesses and the Economic Implications of the 2020 Elections

Speaker: William Michael Cunningham, author The JOBS Act

The World Health Organization proclaimed the coronavirus a global pandemic. Research at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a report by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that 41 percent of Blackowned businesses—some 440,000 enterprises—have been shuttered by COVID-19, compared to just 17 percent of white-owned businesses. William Michael Cunningham, an economists and author of the JOBS Act Crowdfunding Guide to Small Businesses and Startups will give his forecast of where black businesses and other minorities stand in lieu of the global pandemic. His presentation will be followed by an awards and honors program. Even with the pandemic, we have a reason to celebrate the best among us. Wear your best black and join us for the virtual Minority Business Achievement Awards.

National MEDWeek is the largest federal advocacy and education activity sponsored on behalf of minority business enterprise, providing a forum for: Articulating the Administration’s position in support of minority business development; Interacting among corporate America, federal, state and local governments, minority-owned businesses and other private-sector entities to identify potential business opportunities and forge new partnerships in support of minority business development; and Sharing and acknowledging successes and other business-enhancing experiences.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) sponsor National MEDWeek. Activities are held throughout the country under the auspices of MBDA’s network of funded organizations culminating in Washington, D.C. at the National Conference. These activities promote and recognize the achievements of minority-owned businesses and the significant contributions of major corporations to minority business growth and development.

Funding for MEDWeek is provided primarily through contributions from corporate America. Corporations sponsor specific events and provide general financial support to help defray the overall cost of the MEDWeek Business Development Conference and fund the Nashville Minority Business Center programs.