Columbus to host 2013 Black Enterprise Conference + Expo

One of the nation’s largest events for African-American business owners is coming to Columbus in 2013.

The Black Enterprise Conference + Expo will be held at the newly constructed Hilton Columbus Downtown May 15-18. It is expected to draw more than 1,500 entrepreneurs from across the country.

“Bringing the Entrepreneur Conference to Columbus and the Buckeye State is special to us for a lot of reasons,” said Earl “Butch” Graves Jr in a statement. “Last year, 12 of the BE100s, our list of the most successful African American-owned businesses in the nation, called Ohio home. Columbus is a city that breathes economic and entrepreneurial potential, not only for those who live here, but for our nation.”

Understandably, Columbus Mayor Michael Coleman is excited that Black Enterprise, established in 1970, chose to hold its annual conference in the capital city.

“We are proud to host the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference + Expo in the city of Columbus next year,” said Coleman. “This will be an outstanding opportunity to showcase our city as a great place to visit and an even better place to live.”

The conference features networking opportunities, information sessions, and speeches by prominent entrepreneurs.

Speakers for the 2013 conference have yet to be announced, but speakers at the 2012 conference in Chicago include Rosalind Brewer, president and CEO of Sam’s Club; Chris Genteel, business development manager at Google Inc., and Beverly Johnson, the first black model to appear on the cover of Vogue and founder of Beverly Johnson Hair Collection.

Additionally, the conference’s Elevator Pitch Competition awards $10,000 for the best new business idea.

To learn more about the Black Enterprise Conference + Expo, visit