CLEMSON – Clemson University expects the company of business leaders from around the world Tuesday and Wednesday at the Madren Conference Center.

The Carolinas Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council/Minority Business Enterprise Summit brings together successful minority business leaders from Virginia, South Carolina and North Carolina and the national and international partners they do business with: companies like BMW, Michelin, Boeing, Fluor, Denny’s and many others.

The 2017 summit officially begins Wednesday and includes, for the first time, a workshop for college students of color who are interested in starting their own businesses. Speakers for this session are Kenston J. Griffin and Phebian Davis.

Dr. Kenston Griffin Summit speaker

Kenston Griffin Summit speaker

Griffin is the founder and CEO of Dream Builders Communication Inc. He also is one of the nation’s most sought-after keynote speakers, a best-selling author and top-performing trainer and coach. Davis is a clinical professor of accounting in Clemson University’s School of Accountancy in the College of Business.  She brings to academia more than 14 years of corporate experience in the field of accounting.

Dr. Phebian Davis Summit Speaker

Phebian Davis Summit Speaker

“The Next Generation of Our Work” is the name of the student workshop,” said Jerry Knighton, director of the Clemson University Office of Access & Equity. “We invited students from historically black colleges and universities across the state of South Carolina, as well as students who attend other two- and four-year colleges and universities.”

With the theme “From Contracts to Wealth,” a central goal of the summit is to help minority business enterprises expand their capacity through strong corporate partnerships that will lead to wealth-building.

Speakers include Marshal A. Geiger, CSX chair in management and accounting at the University of Richmond; Dean Derrick Collins, School of Business at Chicago State University; and Gregory M. Pickett, senior associate dean, College of Business at Clemson University. The speakers will address:

  • Operational finance for business owners,
  • Funding resources and
  • Innovative ideas for capacity expansion

Pre-summit activities kickoff Tuesday and include golf on the Walker Golf Course at the Madren Center, a campus tour and a reception in the President’s Suite at Memorial Stadium.

“This is a great event that allows for great sharing of ideas and networking,” said Knighton. “We are excited to host the summit at Clemson and we look forward to seeing how the event benefits MBEs and aspiring entrepreneurs of the future.”