Week ahead offers diversity supplier workshop, NFIB forum and plenty more for entrepreneurs and small business owners

Of the trillions of dollars spent each year by government agencies and corporations in this country on goods and services, small business owners — particularly women and minority entrepreneurs — constitute a small percentage of vendors bidding on and receiving contracts to supply those needs.

Fortunately, growing numbers of public and private sector entities are boosting diversity supplier efforts, but there’s still much work to be done.

To help level the playing field and generate a paying yield for women and minority business owners, local entrepreneur Natasha Donerson will host “Partnering to Profit” from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday at EmergeMemphis, 516 Tennessee.

The workshop is aimed at women and minority entrepreneurs and will focus on the challenges and rewards of becoming diversity suppliers.

Keynote presenters will be Donerson, founder of Success Unlimited, and company president Shayna Rattler.

Cost is $195 for individuals, but group discounts are available. Seating is limited and registration is required. For details, visit partneringtoprofit.com or call 901-328-8842.

For entrepreneurs not at that level yet, but for those who’d like to be, check out the next Founders Toolkit workshop beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Launchpad, located in suite 127 inside EmergeMemphis.

The classroom-style program will feature business professionals leading participants through a series of scenarios and exercises — and yes, there’ll be homework — on ways to create a stronger startup foundation. The focus this month is on marketing and branding and as always, the program’s free, but registration is requested in order for organizers to get an accurate head count.

And for more established business owners, the group offers “Office Hours” from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday and from 2 to 5 p.m. on Thursday. These individual sessions pair entrepreneurs with successful business executives in an learning environment devoted to issues such as administration, finances, management and marketing. This program is also free, but it’s a good idea to call ahead to reserve a time period.

To learn more, send an email to info@launchmemphis.com or call 901-213-7795.

On Wednesday, U.S. Representative Stephen Fincher will discuss “Critical Issues Facing Small Businesses” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Regions Bank, 6200 Poplar.

The event is sponsored by the Memphis Area Action Council, the local arm of the National Federation of Independent Business.

The program is free and includes lunch, but registration is required and deadline is noon on Tuesday.

To reserve your seat, send an email to leanne.durm@nfib.org or call 615-872-5331.

Also on Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. will be “Leveraging Partnerships to Further Your Mission” held at the Racquet Club of Memphis, 5111 Sanderlin.

The workshop is sponsored by the Sales and Marketing Society of the Mid-South and will feature key presenter Steele Ford, director of sports marketing of ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Admission is free for SMS members, $25 for guests who pay on line or $30 for those who pay at the door. Registration is required and deadline is 5 p.m. Monday.

Visit sms-midsouth.orgto save your place.

On Thursday the Society of Entrepreneurs will host a round-table discussion featuring Dr. Phil Bryant, assistant professor of Management at Columbus State University and co-author of ” Managing Employee Turnover.”

Bryant will discuss how business owners and managers can maximize employee performance and retention.

The event will be held from noon to 1 p.m. at the Napa Cafe, 5101 Sanderlin in East Memphis. Cost is $25 and includes lunch, but reservations are required and deadline to register is noon on Tuesday.

To reserve your place, visit octoberroundtable2012.eventbrite.com or send an email to pearson@soememphis.com.

Rounding out your week, on Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. the local chapter of national design organization AIGA will host “CSS for Print Designers” at EmergeMemphis, 516 Tennessee.

Cost is $40 for AIGA members, $55 for guests and seating is limited, so if you’re interested then it’s advisable to sign up right away.

For more information, visit cssforprintdesigners.eventbrite.com.

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