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The third Annual Black-Owned Business Symposium will celebrate, educate, and inspire Black business owners and kick off Black History Month in the State of Washington. These free virtual events will take place on Monday, Jan. 31, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Tuesday, Feb. 1, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There is no charge to attend but registration is required.

· Register for the third Annual BOBE Symposium on Tuesday, Feb. 1, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

· Register for the pre-event: Black Dot’s Mastermind Monday, on Monday, Jan. 31, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.


This year’s symposium will include a keynote about the impact of technology from pioneer Roy Clay and his sons. Morning panel discussions will focus on businesses that recovered and organizations involved in helping our community thrive together. Afternoon breakout sessions will focus on a variety of topics including financing, business credit, marketing, health and well-being, and more.

See the full schedule and speakers, and register, at Attendees may enter to win a grant of up to $1,000. Five grants will be given at the virtual after-party. All small business owners who are registered in the state of Washington are eligible to enter.

Participants are invited to a kick-off event at Black Dot’s “Mastermind Mondays” on Monday, Jan. 31 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The evening will focus on “Using Other People’s Money to Fund Your Business,” with presenter Tierra Bonds of Take Charge Credit Consulting. Most businesses fail within the first few years due to lack of funding, and this is much more common for minority-owned businesses. The workshop will help participants identify five funding options and identify the requirements and steps to obtaining these funds.


Black-Owned Business Excellence (BOBE) is a collaboration of organizations and individuals coming together to support, educate, inspire and elevate businesses that are owned by underserved business owners in Washington State.


This event is made possible in part by generous donations from Business Impact Northwest, Craft 3, Seattle Credit Union, Verity Credit Union, and Washington State Microenterprise Association.


The Library believes that the power of knowledge improves people's lives. Our Library to Business program offers great resources for you to use for free, including dozens of classes and workshops every year in partnership with local organizations, as well as one-on-one virtual meetings to get specific help for your business. The Library has been on the planning committee for the Black-Owned Business Symposium, and will present at a breakout session on using information to build your business, including how to navigate free databases available through your local library to help you make informed decisions in your business planning, marketing, site location and market analysis.

Contact the Library’s Ask Us service by phone at 206-386-4636 or by email or chat at Staff are ready to answer questions and direct you to helpful resources and information.