The Spirit Of The Entrepreneur

In celebration of Black History Month, Henry Ford Community College’s very own African American Association (AAA) presented their first annual business forum called “The Spirit of the Entrepreneur.” The business forum was held on Wednesday, February 13th, 2013 in the Andrew Mazzara Administrative Services and Conference Center (ASCC) on campus.
The forum was brought about to inspire future entrepreneurs and to learn from the success and shortcomings of local business leaders. It was structured as a lecture then followed by a Q&A so the audience could absorb the lecture and then get personal feedback. There was a brief introduction on the forum from the President of the AAA, Clinton Topp, and Student Activities Coordinator, Mrs. Fluker. The forum’s speakers consisted of a panel of Entrepreneurs who all have roots in Michigan but more importantly, Detroit.
The panel consisted of three very different entrepreneurs who were eager to share their knowledge with the audience: Harlan Bevins, Barry Ross of Serman’s Clothes, and Zarinah El-Amin Naeem who established Niyah Publishing and Creative Living.  Each panelist gave an introduction about who they are and elaborated on their personal experiences about being entrepreneurs.
They offered profound advice on how to run a business and balance out the hectic life it leads into. Mr. Ross went into detail about rules on how a business should be run, which consisted of proper time management, proper budgeting, and the acceptance of competition. Even though he gave a list of rules that every entrepreneur should follow, he emphasized that simple common sense and passion were the real triggers for success in any business endeavor. Mr. Belvins added something that captured the attention of the audience; he said that “Anyone who is serious about business should be in business.” Meaning if someone is serious about their professional life and ambitions, they’re meant for entrepreneurship.
Each entrepreneur stressed that work ethic must match ambition. Mr. Ross stated “Always be innovative and creative and stay on your game!” More so than anything, they stressed how a real entrepreneur doesn’t have secret tricks, but an undying sense of passion matched with a consistent sense for preparation and flexibility. The panelists also shared some of their own stories of struggles. However, they all maintained a strong sense of perseverance and faith that saved them from failure and delivered them into the arms of success. The panelists gave profound advice and established a connection with the audience. Judging from crowd reaction and feedback, the forum was a complete success and the goal of the business forum was complete. The audience walked away with lessons and teachings from the encouraging panelist that will surely contribute to the audience’s future success if they choose a path of entrepreneurship.  

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