An entrepreneur is officially launched when someone makes the transition from employee to self-employment. An entrepreneur is ready to operate and design a business for consumers. One of the key characteristics a business owner must have is innovation. A successful business owner is not afraid to introduce new ideas and goods.
Ordained minister, college professor and small-business owner named Aisha Taylor-Issah organized a business venture that advocates entrepreneurship at a much higher level. She continues to extoll the virtues of entrepreneurship. She developed the Sistahs in Business Expo, an excellent platform for entrepreneurial women of color. Aspiring entrepreneurs from all walks of life can network and grow with each other. Taylor-Issah is taking the expo to the Dekalb Conference Center in Atlanta Oct. 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The expo’s mission is for women of color to grow their businesses, earn profits, network and promote the brand.
The Amsterdam News spoke with Taylor-Issah about the event and her role as a successful entrepreneur.
AmNews: Let’s talk about your journey in entrepreneurship and creating the Sistahs in Business Expo.
Taylor-Issah: I’ve been an entrepreneur for almost 15 years. My sister and I launched a consulting firm, and I thought of different ways we can expand as a company. I wanted the company to have more exposure at small business events. Vendors’ fees are expensive, which hinders a small business. The fees are at least $1500. So, what we decided to do is create an expo that would help women of color promote their business. Sistahs in Business Expo also offers small businesses a cost-effective option before the event. Different services and business types can attend the expo without any limitations.
AmNews: What were some of the challenges you’ve faced while creating the Sistahs in Business Expo?
Taylor-Issah: I would have to say getting SIBE off the ground, receiving support from individuals that understand your vision, and funding. Not too many people jump on board right away when it comes to your vision. And there’s always a need for sponsors when you’re promoting events. I am proud to say we faced and overcame our issues successfully and still learning the way.
AmNews: How did you figure out guests and destinations for the SIBE?
Taylor-Issah: We’re a multicity small business expo and visited three other cities to our latest expo. We held them in Newark, N.J., Columbus, S.C., and Philadelphia, Pa. In the past, we had MC Lyte, Vivica A. Fox and other elite individuals who succeeded in entrepreneurship. We want guest speakers and celebrities that really support the mission. Next month, at our fourth expo, we have entrepreneur and television personality. Nicole Walters and Miko Branch, co-founder and CEO, Miss Jessie’s LLC. We just want guests to make connections with the right people. We want them to leave feeling empowered, informed and [to] have a good time.
AmNews: Why did you select Atlanta as the fourth location for the expo?
Taylor-Issah: Before we selected Atlanta, we completed a great deal of research on cities that will be suitable for entrepreneurial women of color. We don’t have enough of these events, so it’s our job to figure out cities that would allow women of color to gain more notoriety in entrepreneurship. Atlanta wasn’t a hard choice because we considered excellence, cost and area. The area we’re going to have the expo is not in Downtown Atlanta, it’s in the Decatur area, so we can reach a wider audience. People often forget about this area in Atlanta, which is why chose this area for more visibility.
AmNews: What should people expect when they’re visiting the expo for the first time?
Taylor-Issah: They can expect a full day of information, inspiration and networking with other vendors and business owners. There will be different vendors attending to different cities. We have 70 diverse vendors in products and services and they each can share their experiences in business. Guests can support, shop and network at the expo. Women of color can interact with other powerful women that can have a positive influence over their lives and work.
AmNews: What would be your words of advice that would motivate others to become entrepreneurs and attend events in their field?
Taylor-Issah: I would encourage women of color to soak up as much information as they can like a sponge. Network with other entrepreneurs that can help you with your goal. I will tell an entrepreneur on the rise to continue to succeed and keep pushing. Establish valuable relationships with people because of first impressions matter. An entrepreneur must have an open mind, but you have to do the work. Then, when you leave the expo, continue to use the resources that were offered to you.