Corporate Connections Looks to Match Small-Business Services with Corporations

ertified women business enterprises can pair their small-business services with corporate-level brands-thanks to Corporate Connections events offered by Women's Business Enterprise Council-Great Lakes (WBEC-GL) in Grand Rapids and Detroit.

What benefits can these events offer?

"Let's say you provide a certain product you think the Big Three would be interested in," explains Robin Kinnie, business development manager at Center for Empowerment and Economic Development, or CEED-a group focused on empowering Michigan women and minorities, which runs the WBEC-GL initiative. "Instead of calling and email, we have asked our corporate members to attend our Corporate Connections events. It's a matchmaking event."

By eliminating the red tape that comes between people with ideas and corporate decision makers, WBEC-GL hopes to expose corporations to more minority business owners. At these events, attending corporate brands include Chrysler, Ford, Kelly Services, Kellogg's, Herman Miller Inc. and more.

"What we like mostly about Corporate Connections is that you get the instant feedback," says Kinnie.

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Detroit Branch hosts the eastern Michigan Corporate Connections event on Thursday, May 16, and Grand Rapids Community College hosts the western Michigan event on Thursday, May 23.


Tickets are $65 and only certified women businesses nationally recognized as 51 percent owned, operated and controlled by a woman or women are able to participate in Corporate Connections.

CEED, a nonprofit organization, also helps women and minorities economically with business development training, supplier certification, business-to-business networking and accessible capital assistance programs.

For more information on how to register and complete event details for the Corporate Connections event, visit the BLAC Detroit calendar listing for details.

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