Meeting of the Minds Business Network

Dozens of business owners participate in ‘networking on steroids’ and roundtable discussions

African-Americans are finally waking up to the fact that in order to succeed in America, Black business owners need to begin working together. There have been many recent efforts launched to encourage networking and economic growth. The most recent effort was the “Meeting of the Minds”, held on Thursday, September 14.

The Meeting of the Minds was designed to unite Black business owners and help them develop so that they can compete with any other business on any level. Dozens of business owners attended the inaugural meeting. Meeting of the Minds founder Tammie Smith said that she was very pleased with the turnout.

“It was amazing,” said Tammie Smith, who hosted the event. “I am pleased with the launching of the Meeting of the Minds Business Network. “There was a lot of information, and I think everyone was able to make connections with new businesses and opportunities that they need in their businesses. They also got a chance to learn from experts who had expertise in fields that they do not.”

The Meeting of the Minds consisted of three main segments: (1) Roundtable discussion, (2) Conversation on how to invest in black businesses, and (3) a discussion of solutions and economic development.

Smith says that the goal of the meeting was not to just discuss problems, but to also offer solutions and implement a plan of action. Multiple topics were covered including: finances, politics, marketing, media and economic empowerment.

Smith says that African-Americans already have everything they need to build businesses that can compete with any business worldwide.

“We have resources in our community,” said Smith. “We spend $1 trillion each year outside of our community, then say we don’t have the resources to do this or do that. But we have a lot more wealth than we think we have. We don’t need outside resources to help us if we do what we need to do collectively.”

Participants said that they got a lot out of the meeting. Darriel Council, owner of Council’s Furniture, praised Smith for bringing together such a dynamic group of business owners, and told her that he was already committed to the next meeting. Kenneth Shuler of Suit Yourself Menswear also praised Smith.

“I really liked the format of the Meeting of the Minds,” said Nate Abraham. “And the networking component, which Smith referred to as ‘Networking on Steroids’ was very well done. I met several business owners that I didn’t know.”

That, emphasized Smith, was the objective.

“What is wrong about bringing Black businesses together in order for us to start educating, promoting, developing and networking within our own communities?” Smith asks. “This is the launch of something that I hope will grow throughout the Carolinas and nationwide.”

The next Meeting of the Minds event will be held on November 9, 2017. If you would like to attend the next Meeting of the Minds, contact Tammie Smith at (803) 587-2917 or (803) 587-2533, or via e-mail at

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