CHICAGO, IL — The legacy of Black entrepreneurship is often untoasted and uncelebrated. WDB Marketing and BLUE1647 are changing that. The two companies will collaborate for the 2nd Annual L.E.G.A.CY. Awards Gala to celebrate the impact of Black entrepreneurs on Saturday, February 24, 2018. The event takes place from 6p-10p at BLUE Lacuna Lofts, 2150 S. Canalport, Chicago, IL.
Together, WDB Marketing and BLUE1647 have worked with over 3,000 Black-owned businesses throughout the nation, witnessing firsthand the enormous impact Black businesses are having in their communities. From job creation to leadership, to generating hope – small businesses are integral to the growth of the community.
“Our city has seen tremendous economic growth in the last few years. Unfortunately, much of it has been concentrated downtown and on the near west and north sides,” says Keeana Barber, founder, and CEO of WDB Marketing. “As black business owners, we’ve come to understand that we have to be the change in our communities. We have to buy homes and open businesses in our neighborhoods. And we have to make meaningful business connections with our neighbors.”
Five business owners and community leaders will be honored for building L.E.G.A.C.Y which represents Leadership, Education, Growth, Advocacy, Community and Youth. Awardees will be announced on January 29th.
New this year is the BLUE40. The BLUE40 represents a group of trailblazers that are making noise in their respective industries. In addition to Leadership, Education, Growth, Advocacy, Community and Youth this group of professionals is catalysts for social and economic change.
“We are thrilled to partner with WDB Marketing on this amazing event highlighting Black Entrepreneurs and change-makers,” says Emile Cambry, Founder of BLUE1647. “Being an award recipient last year and seeing the amazing turnout, we had to be a part of the 2nd Annual LEGACY Gala and we expect to have a night recognizing amazing people, but also use the gala as a catalyst to ensuring black businesses grow and thrive.”
The gala will feature a keynote address by Miko Branch, National Best Selling Author and Co-Founder of Miss Jessie’s LLC. As the pioneering brand of the natural hair industry, Miss Jessie’s disrupted the hair industry by empowering women of color to embrace their natural curls. And became the first black-owned natural hair product to make it to shelves of Target, Wal-Mart and many more.
In addition to the awards, emerging youth entrepreneurs have the opportunity to will a prize valued at $5,000 – including a cash prize coupled with professional consulting and marketing service to support their business dreams and sustained success. The top 3 finalists will pitch live during the ceremony and be chosen by the audience “Shark Tank” style.
The L.E.G.A.C.Y. awards are a culmination of over a decade of hard work and reflection by the Barber family. After the tragic murder of her brother, Bobby Barber in 2004, Keeana decided to use her pain to continue his legacy in entrepreneurship. Shortly after his passing, she took over her brother’s promotional company, What’s Da Bizniz and began hosting events in his honor. 11 years later, a business borne of personal tragedy has triumphed as a resource for businesses that foster community service, wealth building, and impacts a new generation of entrepreneurs.
Last year’s inaugural event attracted over 500 entrepreneurs. This year’s grand celebration will connect more than 600 start-up and seasoned business owners together for an exchange of ideas and strategic networking.
Early Bird Tickets are available now at www.LegacyAwardsGala.com. Early Bird General Admission Tickets are $35 and Early Bird VIP Tickets are $50. Members and supporters of the entrepreneurship movement are encouraged to join the conversation by using hashtags #BuildALegacy #LegacyAwards2018 #TheBlue40.