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Upcoming economic summit offers individuals, businesses financial best practices

September 12, 2018

Contact: Brittney Dabney, Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing

Top portion of Booker T. Washington Statue
Booker T. Washington monument on campus.

An upcoming economic summit hosted in Montgomery by Tuskegee University will provide individuals and business representatives alike with practical best practices for their long-term financial stability.

The theme for this year’s 22nd Annual Booker T. Washington Economic Summit is “Small Business, Economic, Entrepreneurship and Development in Underserved Communities: A Reality Check.” The summit is offered by the Tuskegee University Community Resources and Economic Development Extension & Research, and will be held at Montgomery’s Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center from Sept. 19 to 21st.

This year’s summit will focus on enhancing financial security, providing technical assistance and experiential learning opportunities for individuals and organizations, and highlighting eligible financing opportunities that eligible individuals can access to launch and or grow their business entities. Concurrent sessions throughout the three-day program will address such topics; procurement contracting opportunities, financial literacy, and business financing opportunities.

Dr. Youssouf Diabate, director of Tuskegee University’s Business Economic and Entrepreneurship Program, said the summit is a way for the community and students to come together to meet business leaders and celebrate working with business development and entrepreneurship.

“One of the best parts of the summit is that it gives our students best practices and true-life experiences from professionals in the economic development sector. We want to uplift them and show them the possibilities and opportunities that are out there,” Diabate said.

Previous summits have attracted more than 300 guests, ranging from university students, residents of Macon and Montgomery counties, and representatives of various business operating in extension and economic development services.

For Garry Quinn, director of the university’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprises program, the summit also provides information for those seeking to improve their profitability through alliances, partnerships and cooperatives.

“For example, if you work in construction, we want to help you look into ways to be a prime construction contractor, as opposed to a subcontractor. And, if you’re into farming, we want to show you how to market your products and add value to your business,” Quinn explained.

New to this year’s summit will be a community innovative idea challenge around envisioning the City of Tuskegee, Tuskegee University, and the Macon County-Black Belt — or other similar partnership — into something that exhibits a best-practice model for new opportunities and growth. Those participating in the challenge will be eligible for a modest prize, ranked accordingly.

“The challenge is for local residents or businesses, community-based organizations, university constituents, organizational leaders, educators and ministers to take up to eight minutes each to present the ideas they have always wanted to see happen,” Diabate explained.

More information about the summit — including a list of presenters, an agenda and online registration links — is available at

© 2018, Tuskegee University