Thousands pack 49th Chicago Business Opportunity Fair

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MINORITY STUDENTS AT the fair were given $3,000 in scholarships to pursue their college dreams.

By Erick Johnson, Chicago Crusader

Business mogul and philanthropist Hill Harper kicked off an inspiring weekend for minority business owners, who flocked to Chicago’s 49th Annual Business Opportunity Fair at the Hyatt Regency.

As the keynote speaker at the event’s breakfast Friday, April 22, Hill challenged business executives to push forward with bold and innovative ideas despite the odds against them.

BUSINESS MOGUL and Philanthropist Harper Hill at the annual breakfast, urged minority entrepreneurs to push through tough times with passion and bold ideas.
BUSINESS MOGUL and Philanthropist Harper Hill at the annual breakfast, urged minority entrepreneurs to push through tough times with passion and bold ideas.

In a passionate speech, Hill used the laws of physics to spur on business executives to put more energy and critical thinking skills to grow their enterprise. With challenges still facing many minorities, Hill told a room of about 700 people that more energy and innovative ideas are needed to get ahead as today’s business world gets tougher.

“We bring little energy to move something,” he said. “But are we exhibiting the amount of energy to move the needle.”

Hill, a Harvard Law School graduate, owns several restaurants in New York City and a hotel in New Orleans. A former classmate of President Barack Obama, Hill is the author of four best selling New York Times books. His latest book, The Wealth Cure: Putting Money in Its Place, was given to guests who attended the breakfast.

With many minority businesses in Chicago still struggling, Hill told the crowd that now is not the time to become weak and weary.

FROM LEFT TO right Jerrold R. Hill, Managing Director, Suppli- er Diversity, AGL Resources, Vasanthi Ilangovn, Founder and President of VIVA USA, Inc., Melvin Williams, President/Sr. Vice President of Nicor Gas AGL Resources, Sheila Morgan, Chicago MSDC President/CEO.
FROM LEFT TO right Jerrold R. Hill, Managing Director, Suppli- er Diversity, AGL Resources, Vasanthi Ilangovn, Founder and President of VIVA USA, Inc., Melvin Williams, President/Sr. Vice President of Nicor Gas AGL Resources, Sheila Morgan, Chicago MSDC President/CEO.

“The future is not for those who are fearful,” he said. “It’s not for those who are afraid to go forward with bold ideas.”

Regina Waldroup, television reporter for WMAQ Channel 5, served as emcee for the event, which was organized by Chicago’s Minority Supplier Development Council. The president and CEO, Sheila Morgan, also spoke at Chicago MSDC.

The morning kicked off a weekend- long business expo, where minorities gain valuable knowledge and insight about how to boost their business. Many attended classes and seminars, while thousands perused dozens of booths from various companies.

 

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