ENTREPRENEUR FORUM: Importantly, we announced the agenda for this year's dynamic "AABE Energy Entrepreneur Forum" on Thursday, April 16 from 1pm -4pm at the Rosen Shingle Resort in Orlando, FL. Not only is the entrepreneur energy forum top notch, but the forum will have a large contingency of energy entrepreneurs and representation from your peers in the supplier diversity and supply chain realm. In addition, your registration for the day gets you access to the entire day's activities-- complete with the largest number of CEOs in the energy industry presenting throughout the day, robust industry subject matter area panel discussions, networking breakfast, and reception. Agenda AttachedFor more information, please contact the AABE Philadelphia Chapter Entrepreneurial Committee Chair, Nancy Mifflin (PECO).
§ Link to Conference registration: http:///www.aabe.org; Please see attached agenda and save-the-date card
LINK TO CONFERENCE AGENDA: http://www.aabe.org/index.php?component=news&id=158
· CAPITAL FINANCING: It was suggested that education be provided to both the entrepreneur, as well as the capital market participants in this year's energy Entrepreneur Forum. It was stated that it is important for entrepreneurs to know all of the various capital financing options afforded them, i.e. venture capital, debt-equity financing, traditional financing, etc., in order to make the right decisions for future growth and sustainability of their business. However, it was pointed out that it is also important to educate the capital market representatives on the energy industry and where the growth and investment opportunities are for them. With that said, we shared on the call that the AABE Entrepreneur committee has already begun to provide to the capital financing industry education on the fundamental of the energy industry.
· BUSINESS RESUME: Along the same line, it was suggested that in our periodic conference calls with our AABE Entrepreneurs that we recommend that each entrepreneur be equipped with a "business resume" to present at the matchmaking session during the AABE energy Entrepreneur Forum on April 16. you all expressed that this style of resume is helpful in distilling the service or product offering, as well as immediate identification of other business partnerships and references the entrepreneur may have listed.
· CERTIFICATIONS: A discussion with supplier diversity representatives yielded guidance on ensuring that qualified AABE energy entrepreneurs are equipped with the necessary certifications needed to meet your organization's vendor requirements and standards. It was suggested that we identify the various certifications needed to successfully bid for corporate , as well as governmental contracts and business opportunities to ensure that AABE Entrepreneurs as prepared to qualify at every stage of business selection process. AABE Entrepreneur committee will use one of its quarterly meetings/forums to bring in a specialist in the field to discuss needed certifications and requirements for securing large-scale contracts.
· REFERENCE LIST: It was also suggested that a reference sheet be created that lists the "Dos and Don'ts" of bidding for business contracts and projects with your corporations and agencies. We were accepting volunteers from the phone group and beyond to assist us in preparing this very helpful list. This list and the appropriate execution of it will benefit not only the entrepreneurs, but you, the supplier diversity and supply chain representatives, as well.
· AABE ENTREPRENEUR COMMITTEE INITIATIVES: We shared on the call the new initiatives that AABE has undertaken due to the needs you identified in past meetings and conference calls. As a result of last year's Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference "Energy Brain Trust" hosted by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX), where several CEOs of the largest energy companies participating in a panel discussion identified the need for a database that identifies African American entrepreneurs that operate in the energy space, AABE has taken that task on. We have a compilation of data that is being packaged and developed into an interactive web-based database for you and your colleagues, as well as entrepreneurs to access. On past calls with this group, the consensus was that such a database would be very helpful for you to have an one-stop shop of entrepreneurs that only provide energy-related services. This would minimize the efforts to comb through thousands of names and businesses that do not service this industry primarily.
§ As AABE leverages its relationships with the governmental sector at the highest levels, we are ensuring that the AABE Entrepreneurs benefit, too. The feedback from you all was very positive on this issue. The economic stimulus bill just signed into law by President Obama has billions of dollars in incentives for energy-related efforts. Many of these areas, i.e. smart grid technologies and renewable resource development and integration have tremendous opportunities for our businesses to capitalize. We are in a era of great opportunity, and all we have to do is seize the moment. It is our hope that you will take a close look at your business and see how you can support these emerging industry areas, and how the traditional lines of energy businesses, e.g. oil, gas, and electric can benefit from AABE Entrepreneurs' product and service offerings. You all recognized the importance of the new influx of federal dollars in many energy growth areas. DOE will likely be the lead agency in allocating these funds to small businesses, and AABE is uniquely positioned with its relationships at DOE and other relevant federal agencies to assist you in finding qualified businesses to assist in meeting your corporation's diverse spend goals.
To that end, we are going to help identify how AABE entrepreneurs can do business with the federal government-
(1) what certifications are needed; safety records needed; liability and insurance needed, capital financing expectations, etc
(2) We will leverage our relationships to help identify the right contact at DOE,EPA and other state governmental agencies to help entrepreneurs navigate through the process and not bounced from one department to another.
(3) We, AABE, will make the case that we are here to assist the agencies in meeting their needs of procuring products and services from a diverse pool of suppliers in the energy industry. So, this is not a hand out rather a mutually-beneficial business opportunity for the AABE Entrepreneurs and the federal/state/local governments.