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About BTW

Revitalizing Entrepreneurship and Procurement Opportunities in Small Towns and Rural Communities”

October 4-6, 2017 

Tuskegee University Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center, Tuskegee, AL

Start-up and established entrepreneurs from the minority business sector, leaders of trade associations and community-based organizations, collegiate entrepreneurs, government staff working in HBCU and other university service areas, interested parties involved in economic development, etc.

Conference Background

The Booker T. Washington Economic Summit is part of the Community Resources and Economic Development Extension & Research planned program area that focuses on enhancing financial security and better management of available resources for individuals and families, start-up micro-entrepreneurs and communities. Research and/or Extension Team Projects (RETPs) for this program area are: (a) Family Finances, (b) Start-up Businesses and Non-Profits, (c) Heir Property and African American Landloss and (d) Volunteer Leadership Development.

The Booker T. Washington Economic Summit uses the historical and philosophical perspectives of Booker T. Washington to focus on present day challenges and opportunities to promote entrepreneurship and community economic development in small towns, the southern region, and rural America. As a conference, the objectives are:

  1. Provide technical assistance and experiential learning opportunities for individuals and organizations to grow and become eligible for financing opportunities
  2. Provide a forum and a source of information on funding that eligible individuals can access to launch and/or grow their for-profit and not-for-profit business entities
  3. Act as an aggregation point for entities in target industries seeking to improve their profitability through alliances, partnerships and/or cooperatives

Conference participants are expected from the minority business and agri-business sectors, community-based organizations, government, HBCUs and other universities.  They will convene to participate in the Business Pitch Competition; learn more about procurement and funding opportunities; examine best practices, programs and policies; and exhibit success stories and model business programs for new opportunities and growth.

New this year:

We are launching a Community Innovative Idea Challenge around Envisioning City of Tuskegee-Tuskegee University-Macon County-Black Belt (or Small City-Local University-Black Belt or Rural County) Partnership for the Future.

The challenge is for local residents or businesses, community-based organizations, University students/staff/faculty, leaders of organizations, educators and ministers to take up to 8 minutes each and present the ideas you have always wanted to see happen between the city and university and let’s manifest their implementation.

Each presentation will include the idea, who will initiate the process, budget issues, etc. All ideas will be tabulated and evaluated through a summit attendee participatory approach to be developed. There will be a modest prize (TBA) for first, second and third ranked ideas.

Conference Outcomes

1. To educate participants about implications of current trends and policies 
2. To network among small business owners, community leaders, and technical assistance agencies and organizations 
3. To facilitate access to federal, state, and private sector contracts resources 
4. To support advocacy work for better programs and policies

CLICK HERE to download the 2017 Sessions Evaluation Form.


The Booker T. Washington Economic Summit will be held at Tuskegee University from October 5 through 7, 2016.  The summit uses the historical and philosophical perspectives of Booker T. Washington to focus on present day changes and to promote entrepreneurship and procurement opportunities for economic development in small towns, the southern region, and rural America. 

For Registration Form, please CLICK HERE. 
For Credit Card Registration, please CLICK HERE.


Agenda at a Glance

Success Story Nomination Form

Leadership Nomination Form

Photo Gallery