As the first Black Entrepreneurs Day at the Minnesota Capitol nears, the event’s creator is encouraging attendance from small business owners of color—and all Minnesotans who want to see them grow and prosper.
“When I talk to white people who would like to join us, they ask, will I stick out? I say you’re not sticking out, you’re sticking up for Black businesses,” said Sheletta Brundidge, whose podcasting platform SHElettaMakesMeLaugh.com is presenting the event.
“Dr. King never walked with just Black people,” Sheletta added. “The allies were with him, white people, Jewish people, Muslim people. Change can only happen with unity.”
Because some Black small business owners would lose money by leaving their work to attend the Capitol event, Sheletta has found allies in the business community to offset such losses. Three Black entrepreneurs who attend will receive a $1000 grant. The grant money was generously donated by allies
Hylden Law and Advocacy, Grey Duck Vodka and the St. Paul Saints.
Attendees can register at SHElettaMakesMeLaugh.com.
Among the business owners, state government leaders, elected State Representatives and State Senators and other dignitaries in attendance at the Capitol Rotunda on Feb. 3 will be Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan.
“Sheletta is a total powerhouse. I’m proud to stand with her in the people’s house where the issues of Black business owners can be lifted up,” Lt. Gov. Flanagan told the Spokesman Recorder.
“Black Entrepreneurs Day is right on time as we are in this moment to push a budget grounded in equity. Minnesota’s economy has long faced disparities between white and Black citizens. We have the power to change that in this session and for generations to come.”
Flanagan said supporting measures and money to strengthen and invest in Black businesses will have a far-reaching impact.
“Our administration’s One Minnesota budget prioritizes equity in its vision to make Minnesota the best place to live. This investment is right and just, but breaking down barriers is also good for our whole economy,” she said. “We have an historic opportunity to invest in the Black community. It’s within our power to make right a history of wrongs.”
A member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, the lieutenant governor is the nation’s highest ranking Native woman elected to executive office. Flanagan noted that the newly elected legislature is the most diverse in state history.
“Diversity is good for democracy and decision making,” she said. “As an Indigenous woman I know that when Black businesses are successful, it’s good for my community and other communities of color. Our small businesses are job creators and as important to the state as our Fortune 500 companies,” she said.
Flanagan said she is looking forward to meeting Black entrepreneurs and listening to their concerns, then joining them for lunch in The Vault in the Capitol Basement.
“I hope a lot of people come and celebrate the culture we have and should invest in,” she said. “And we’ll be with Sheletta so of course that means it will be fun. You can’t not have fun when you’re with her!”
ShelettaMakesMeLaugh presents BLACK ENTREPRENEURS DAY AT THE CAPITOL
Feb 3, 2023
10:30 Program, speakers in Rotunda
11:00 to 12:00 Participants visit legislators in their offices
Noon to 1:00 Lunch in The Vault
To register to attend go to SHElettaMakesMeLaugh.com
Three Black entrepreneurs who attend will each receive a $1000 grant generously donated by Hylden Law and Advocacy, Grey Duck Vodka and the St. Paul Saints.