( ENSPIRE Community Spotlight ) Elevating Businesses, Building Communities, and Embracing Bold Wins at Higher Purpose’s Annual Summit
Higher Purpose Co.’s 8th annual Money Purpose Success Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit took center stage on Saturday, August 19, at the Vicksburg Convention Center in Vicksburg, Mississippi. This extraordinary conference brought together Black women business owners from various industries across the Mid-South, equipping them with the essential tools and knowledge to elevate their businesses and foster stronger communities. Dr. Tim Lampkin, the driving force behind this transformative event, and his team emphasized that the MPS summit is not just a conference; it’s a safe space for Black women to be vulnerable to their challenges and bold about their wins.
Shequite W. Johnson is the Chief Program Officer who works alongside Dr. Tim Lampkin, a visionary leader, the Founder and CEO of Higher Purpose Co.®, a renowned 501c3 economic justice nonprofit. This nonprofit is committed to building community wealth with Black business owners throughout Mississippi by championing the ownership of financial, cultural, and political power. With over a decade of invaluable experience in community development and entrepreneurship, Higher Purpose Co. is making an impact.
We had the chance to speak with Shequite W. Johnson about their most recent summit and the impact of this summit on Black women business owners.
What inspired the creation of the Money Purpose Success Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit, and how has it evolved?
The Money Purpose Success Women’s Entrepreneurship Summit drew its inspiration from the visionary leadership of Dr. Tim Lamokin, Founder and CEO of Higher Purpose Co. Driven by the noble intentions of creating a platform that not only supports and empowers but also provides a secure space for vulnerability and boldness among Black women entrepreneurs. As the years passed, the summit underwent a transformation, evolving into an eagerly anticipated annual event that served as a launching pad for Black women-owned businesses. Each passing year I’ve witnessed an increase in attendance, consistently astounding us with the determination and drive of the women who graced the event.
What specific tools and resources can Black women business owners expect to gain from attending this summit?
Within the heart of this summit lies an empowering narrative for Black women business owners—a story of transformation, growth, and support. As they step into the world of this event, they embark on a journey filled with promises because they become involved with the company of accomplished speakers from diverse fields, and attendees gain access to expert insights. These speakers become beacons of knowledge, illuminating pathways to success that attendees can apply to their own ventures.
Within these summit walls, connections come to life. Attendees find mentors, collaborators, and potential clients amidst a sea of like-minded individuals. These connections become the building blocks of lasting partnerships and friendships. The summit doesn’t just inspire; it fuels ambition. Grants and financial support stand ready to help businesses thrive. They represent the much-needed push that turns dreams into tangible, profitable realities.
A strong online presence is vital in today’s business landscape. Here, attendees receive the royal treatment for their personal brands—professional headshots that elevate their digital image, making them stand out in the virtual world. Beyond the sessions, a bustling marketplace awaits. Diverse resources are at their fingertips, offering tools and insights for business growth. It’s a treasure trove where solutions meet ambition.
The journey doesn’t end with inspiration. Professional development and skill-building sessions ensure attendees leave not just inspired, but also equipped with practical skills to conquer their entrepreneurial challenges. This summit is more than an event; it’s the embodiment of empowerment, the promise of growth, and the embodiment of a community ready to lift Black women entrepreneurs to new heights.
You mentioned creating a safe space for vulnerability and boldness. How does the summit achieve this, and what benefits does it bring to participants?
I feel that the summit achieves a safe space for vulnerability and boldness by fostering an inclusive and supportive environment. It encourages open dialogue and sharing of experiences, allowing attendees to discuss challenges and successes without judgment. This safe space empowers participants to be authentic, seek advice, and form connections with peers, ultimately boosting their confidence and resilience.
In the embrace of this secure environment, participants experience a profound transformation, gaining not only confidence but also valuable insights and practical wisdom. Here, they weave a vibrant network, uniting with kindred spirits—other Black women who extend a helping hand in the form of guidance and mentorship, fostering both personal and professional growth. As a Black woman, I understand the hunger we have for resources. It is a privilege to know that I played a part in fashioning a space that embodies inclusivity and warmth, beckoning and embracing Black women like myself.
Could you highlight the significance of this year’s lineup of speakers and their contributions to the summit’s goals?
The significance of our esteemed speaker lineup this year could not be overstated. We curated a roster of accomplished professionals and experts, each with a distinct contribution to the summit’s overarching goals. Dr. Joy Harden Bradford delivered a powerful keynote address, emphasizing the importance of mental health in entrepreneurship. She shared insights on how Black women entrepreneurs could prioritize their well-being while navigating the demands of business.
Dr. Amber L. Wright set the tone for the conference with her expertise in communication and relationship building. Her presentation equipped attendees with essential communication skills, empowering them to forge authentic connections and foster positive relationships in their professional endeavors.
Britteny “Yoga Bae” Floyd-Mayo enlightened participants on holistic self-care and wellness. Her engaging session encouraged attendees to embrace self-care practices that aligned with their unique lifestyles, emphasizing that self-care was a personal journey.
Tremaine Wills, MBA provided valuable financial insights. She discussed investment strategies and financial planning tailored to the needs of Black women entrepreneurs, helping them grow and protect their assets.
Alanah Joseph, as Head of Creator Partnerships at HubSpot, shared her expertise in marketing and content strategy. Her session focused on leveraging digital platforms and content creation to enhance brand visibility and reach a broader audience.
Ellen Collins, the executive director of The Mississippi Alliance of Nonprofits and Philanthropy, discussed community engagement and the role of nonprofits in supporting entrepreneurs. Her insights highlighted the importance of collaboration between businesses and nonprofits for community development.
Rukayatu “Ruky” Tijani, Founder of Firm for the Culture, emphasized the significance of intellectual property protection for social entrepreneurs. She provided comprehensive trademark education and strategies for scaling social impact through licensing.
This diverse lineup of speakers covered essential topics ranging from mental health and communication to financial planning, marketing, and entrepreneurship. Their collective expertise enriched the attendees’ knowledge and provided practical insights to support their personal and professional growth in the summit held this year.
How have networking opportunities, grants, and personal brand investment positively impacted past summit attendees?
Networking opportunities have allowed past attendees to connect with potential collaborators, mentors, and clients, expanding their business opportunities. Grants provide financial support to help entrepreneurs grow their businesses, and personal brand investment enhances their online presence and credibility. These combined resources have empowered past attendees to advance their businesses and careers.
How does the summit align with Higher Purpose Co.’s mission to build community wealth with Black residents in Mississippi?
The summit aligned perfectly with Higher Purpose Co.’s mission, which placed paramount importance on uplifting and empowering Black women entrepreneurs in Mississippi. By steadfastly supporting us remarkable women, the summit catalyzed our economic empowerment, a resounding amplification of our voices, and a significant boost to our businesses.
What struck me most profoundly was the rich tapestry of Black women who graced the event—diverse in age, achievements, aspirations, and backgrounds. The gathering was a powerful testament to the strength of our community, reflecting both seasoned entrepreneurs and those on the journey of self-discovery and business development. The experience was nothing short of extraordinary, and it has left me eagerly anticipating the planning of the next chapter in this remarkable journey.