City of Buffalo kicks off Minority and Women Owned Business Week

Sep 25, 2017

The City of Buffalo is marking Minority and Women Owned Business Week. Several events are planned to help stimulate entrepreneurship.

The week began with a proclamation presented by Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown outside City Hall, declaring "MBE/WBE Week." At his public appearances, Mayor Brown has stated that the city has experienced more than $6 billion in economic development and credits businesses owned by women and minorities are valuable parts of it.

Janique Curry, minority and women business compliance coordinator at ECMC, speaks during a brief ceremony Monday kicking off a week recognizing minority- and women-owned businesses in Buffalo.
Credit Michael Mroziak, WBFO

"We know how important small business and minority- and women-owned businesses are to the growth and development that we're seeing in the City of Buffalo," Brown said. "And we know the importance of these businesses to the American economy."

The various activities marking the week begin on Tuesday. A vendor fair will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. On Wednesday, beginning at 6 p.m., Erie County Medical Center will host a workshop to educate entrepreneurs about how to properly respond to a Request for Proposals. 

Janique Curry, the minority and women owned business compliance coordinator at ECMC, says many would-be bidders make mistakes in their responses to RFPs including adding information that was not requested.

"We're actually taking an ECMC RFP and we're walking the members of the audience step-by-step through how to respond, what kind of responses are we looking for, what are things that make their proposals successful," Curry said. 

On Thursday, a $10,000 prize is on the line at a business pitch competition to be held at the Buffalo Museum of Science, hosted by 43North. 

Finally on Friday, Buffalo State College's Small Business Development Corporation will host a conference, "Big Opportunities for Small Businesses," at the Burchfield Penney Art Center, beginning at 8 a.m. 

"This event will showcase some effective strategies for building your small business firm as a way to further compete in government contracting, as well as contracting opportunities with prime contractors, as well as institutions including Buffalo State and the City of Buffalo," said Dhannayia Johnson, a certified business advisor at Buffalo State's SBDC.