ESSENCE Launches ‘ESSENCE + New Voices Entrepreneur Summit’ to Create Cultural & Economic Hub for Entrepreneurs of Color
– Inaugural Summit Will Take Place in Atlanta, GA this Holiday Season to Support & Empower Black Entrepreneurs –
NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ESSENCE, the leading media, technology and commerce company serving Black women, today announced the launch of the ESSENCE + New Voices Entrepreneur Summit, taking place Friday, December 13th through Sunday, December 15th at West End Production Park in Atlanta, GA. Designed to support entrepreneurs of color and cultivate increased economic opportunities for Black-owned businesses, this inaugural Summit represents ESSENCE’s commitment to providing these entrepreneurs the access and tools they need to thrive and transform the global economy. As such, the Summit will also include the first-ever ESSENCE x Target Holiday Market, which will be designed as a holiday market to celebrate and support Black-owned brands and the local community.
“For generations, Black women have been leaders in our communities and our culture, and for nearly 50 years, ESSENCE has served as a safe space for us to connect, share and support each other,” said Michelle Ebanks, CEO, Essence Communications. “Today, Black businesses, particularly women-owned, are continuing to lead as the nation’s fastest growing group but are facing real barriers to success. With the launch of the ESSENCE + New Voices Entrepreneur Summit, we will powerfully convene this enterprising community of entrepreneurs and create a virtuous circle of economic empowerment that expands commerce opportunities and generates beneficial outcomes for Black-owned businesses positively impacting our communities. With the mission of the New Voices Foundation, we are thrilled to embark upon this partnership and particularly to launch this joint effort in the city of Atlanta.”
The 3-day gathering will be a cultural and economic hub for entrepreneurs of color to transact, transform and transcend – helping eliminate barriers to entry by empowering them with a one-of-a-kind summit and marketplace experience. The highly-anticipated ESSENCE + New Voices Entrepreneur Summit will convene today’s leading executives, business moguls, and venture capitalists for masterclasses, panel discussions, and fireside chats, as well as a pitch competition.
The New Voices Foundation, which helps women of color entrepreneurs achieve their vision through leadership development, skills-building, and networking opportunities, currently has more than 10,000 women of color entrepreneurs on its platform. The Foundation has hosted six pitch competitions across the country since July 2018 and will host its first pitch competition in Atlanta during the Summit. The Foundation will grant up to $100,000 in award money to Black women entrepreneurs during the New Voices Pitch Competition and will provide its signature support services including mentorship, coaching and masterclasses to help the winners address some of their immediate business challenges beyond capital.
The jam-packed weekend will also include the ESSENCE x Target Holiday Market, a festive experience where guests can explore themed curations with more than 50 vendors and shop Black-owned businesses across industries and categories for all their holiday gifting needs. Target will also feature a curated assortment of products from its Black-owned business vendors. Important partners in helping Target meet its goals of increasing its number of certified diverse suppliers, their products help meet the needs of all Target guests while celebrating a diverse array of backgrounds, style and creativity.
In addition to interactive and customized activities for the entire family, live musicians and bands, and local food trucks, vendor highlights for the Holiday Market include:
– Beauty Village: Haircare, Skincare, Makeup, How-to Holiday Glam Sessions
– Kids Village: Clothing, Gifts, Books, Toys, Photo Booth, Santa
– Wellness Village: Fitness, Yoga, Meditation and Spirituality products and services
– Fashion Village: Fashion Designers, Clothing, Jewelry, Wearable Accessories
– Food Village: Various Cuisines, Baked Goods, Demonstrations by Celebrated Chefs
“We are pleased that ESSENCE has chosen Atlanta to debut this unparalleled experience,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “Atlanta is home to some of the most innovative businesses, and the ESSENCE + New Voices Entrepreneur Summit is an opportunity to highlight the vast spectrum of entrepreneurs and Black-owned businesses in the city—showcasing Atlanta as a model for commerce while making a real economic impact in our community.”
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit essence.com/market-summit
For information on how to become a Marketplace vendor, visit essence.com/holidayvendor
About Essence Communications Inc.
Essence Communications is the number one media, technology and commerce company dedicated to Black women and inspires a global audience of more than 20.2 million through diverse storytelling and immersive original content. With a multi-platform presence in publishing, experiential and online, ESSENCE encompasses its signature magazine; digital, video and social platforms; television specials; books; as well as live events, including Black Women in Music, Black Women in Hollywood, Street Style and the ESSENCE Festival. Essence Communications is owned by Essence Ventures, an independent Black-owned, consumer technology company merging content, community and commerce to meet the evolving cultural and lifestyle needs of people of color.
About the New Voices Foundation
The New Voices Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization, is building a more inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem for women of color to advance their significant contributions to our economy and society. Driven by its ACE (Access. Capital. Expertise.) model, New Voices offers women of color entrepreneurs capital, leadership development, skill-building, learning and networking opportunities via entrepreneurial summits, accelerators, pitch competitions, coaching/mentorship, master classes and more.
Aisha Becker-Burrowes, ESSENCE
Sheila Harris, ESSENCE