How to survive and
succeed in business was the focus of the DuBois Business
Summit in Prince Georges County, MD on November 8. More than 150
Washington area business persons participated in the educational and
networking event including B. Doyle Mitchell, Jr., President and
CEO of the fifth largest Black bank in America, Industrial Bank of
Washington, and Brother Simba,
cofounder of the country’s largest Black-owned bookstore, Karibu Books.
Commenting how a business can increase it chances of successfully
getting a bank loan, Mitchell advised, “You should come to the
table with some [assets].” Simba, commenting on what Black
businesses must do to succeed, added, “The key to Black business
development is based on our ability to rely on us.”
Joshua Smith, the business savvy and humorous founder,chairman, and CEO of The
Maxima Corporation; and
chairman and a managing partner of The Coaching Group, LLC opened the
daylong session emphasizing the importance of personal relationships in
business. “I don’t do business with brochures, but with people,”
he said. “People in business do business with people in other
businesses,” added his friend, Mike Little, President and CEO of
Many of the other entrepreneurs also talked about the building of their
businesses and their business philosophies including Kathryn Freeland.
She believes that society teaches women to be multi-taskers, which is a
that many agree that a successful business person must
have. She recalled
having to maintain her business while losing a child and an executive;
battling breast cancer within a very short period. “I fell down,
to get back up,” said the CEO of RGII Technologies.
Dorothy Bailey, founder of the Harlem Renaissance
Remembrance Foundation, hosted the event and talked about the event’s
namesake, W.E.B. DuBois, and his belief that the talented 10% of the
race would take on the responsibility of reaching back and pulling the
others along. During lunch, Smith introduced keynote
speaker former D.C. mayor and councilman-elect Marion Barry, Jr. as an example of one who reached back into his community by increasing the share of contracts
that Black businesses got from the District government from 3% to 47%
his tenure as mayor.
When Barry reached the podium, he reminded the talented tenth, “Don’t
be ashamed to talk Black.” On the flip side, said Berry, “You
have to make sure
that the [Black-owned] business [that you hire] can do what it said it
Photographs: B. Doyle Mitchell, Jr.
Bank and Brother Simba of Karibu Books.
Effi Barry and Port Of Harlem publisher Wayne Young.