African Caribbean Business Council co-host African Heritage & Cultural Night with NBA  

The second annual African and Caribbean Business Council Heritage Night event was held at Wells Fargo Arena, on March 29, 2017,  in conjunction with the NBA's 76ers and other local and international organizations. Mounting on the success of the first event, which was held in 2016, the thrust is to expand interaction and business collaborations between the ACBC and the NBA and their 76ers Franchise.  The event was held at the Wells Fargo Arena and started prior to the game between the 76ers and the Atlanta SeaHawks, in a small private meeting room adjacent to the stadium. Hosted by the Hon. Stanley Straughter, and Co-coordinated by Nick Toland, 76ers director of public affairs,  participants from Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Philadelphia City Government, parts of the Caribbean and African American participants were brought up to date on developments in different parts of Africa and the Caribbean subsequent to the 2016 election; as well as business opportunities and options in Philadelphia. 















The African and Caribbean Business Council (ACBC) has organized the Ghana Chamber, the Mali Chamber, The Ivorian Chamber, works with the Haitian community, and also the Camarounian Chamber, as well as the Jamaican Trade Council of Greater Philadelphia. According to Straughter, "We were trying to organize the event in such a way that our entire collaborative effort, along with the African Diasporian effort in Philadelphia, is not only meaningful, but substantive in the fact that we can get things done. We can get to almost any country in Africa; we have also signed a MOU with the African Union, the African Diasporian Forum  that will give us access to many countries.  So we are making this happen for all our people and traveling with us and have them set up businesses and offices in Philadelphia.

Ms. Natalie Jackson spoke about what Mayor Kenney is doing to enhance international business relations in Philadelphia, "We at the City of Philadelphia, not only under the leadership of Mayor Kenney, but Harold Epps, take the international population very seriously.  The thing is that people of color were not applying to some of the commerce profit programs.  If they were applying, they were not getting the grants.  Either it was the translation, they didn't know the information - so what we have done is develop a program that's targeted at immigrants. 

It's a $50,000 grant, forgivable grant to either the instore or the business; we also have a storefront improvement grant, which is $15,000 with a 15% match - to improve the appearance of the storefront of the business. What we have done is hire a coach to go out to the business and look at their marketing, their business plans; look at their finances.  For as long as they apply for these programs they are awarded these grants - one of our first cases is on Woodland Ave., we have completely redone the storefront, we've spoke into marketing; and now she's had an increase in revenue, we're looking at next steps.  So I just want to let you know that we are taking this very seriously.  We want more people who look like us to get some of this money because it's green; and we want them to participate in the City of Philadelphia programs.  I as the director of Business Technical Assistance and Program Training, would be the person who has to run that program, and would be the person that, if you have any questions.  I thank you from the City of Philadelphia, and the Department of Commerce. "
She contented  "Dr. Azuka mentioned Camaroun, and Douala, Philadelphia's sister city. And this year, we're having an inbound delegation to Philadelphia with the Mayor of Douala and other business leaders. The director of commerce, Harold Epps, has agreed to a return visit to Ghana with Dr. Quartey - we're working out the mechanics and logistics of that.  I will keep everybody informed - say listen Stan, I want to go; so it's up to us.  On April 13 and 14, the incumbent vice president of Liberia will be here - we're trying to get him arranged to go to City Council meeting, so I'll keep you posted.  We will also a little business round table with him as well, about who we are and what we're doing.  We're asking for $150,000 to match our African Caribbean resource center that we're putting in; so that's pending and I keep talking to them.  They know that we're interested, but giving us a letter of support that Dr. Azuka's taken we can't say anything bad about him."     Rebekar Marler of Mastermind Coaching Solutions, is engaged in an initiative in Ghana, Liberia, and other places, is serving as one of the co-sponsors of the ACBC/NBA Heritage Event.   According to Marlowe, "We were asked to go to some large financial training firms in the area in the fall.  We fell in love with the clients, had a great experience, and as an outgrowth of that we're been working with them in leadership coaching and consulting.  


 She continued, "What's different about us in terms of executive coaching - but people believe that no matter where you go people need more in their lives than work. The research is showing what people are looking for, even though jobs are so hard to come by people are looking for a place where they can make meaning. Where they actually feel invested, and feel like more of their needs are met - it's not just about the money. It's not just the carrot at the end of the stick.And what's interesting is how millennials are creating this push in that direction. So this is the first time in history we have four different generations in the workplace at the same time; and it's creating an opportunity to really help people see what it means to work together in teams - to actually work with each other. It's a people-first philosophy. And it's great to have coaching - but how do you actually coach and create a culture in a way so that everyone, people on the front line, middle management, and the streets get the benefit.The reason our name is coaching solutions, not just coaching individuals - helping people create cultures where everyone feels like they matter. The way that we meet our needs is not so hard to come by - it's how we connect to other people and how we feel supported and valued in our work.

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