KNOXVILLE — Supporting and growing Tennessee’s small businesses—especially those owned by minorities, women and service-disabled veterans—is the focus of the 2016 Diversity Business Marketplace, to be held April 28 at the Knoxville Convention Center.
The unique networking event is designed to connect diverse-owned and small businesses with purchasing officers from state and local government agencies and large companies within the automotive, office supply, industrial and medical services industries that have strong supplier diversity programs.
More than 500 business representatives are expected to attend the day-long event, hosted by the Governor’s Office of Diversity Business Enterprise (GoDBE) and the University of Tennessee. This is the first time the annual event is being held in East Tennessee.
Activities will include training workshops and on-site application for registration with the GoDBE—the first step toward certification as a minority-owned, women-owned, service-disabled veteran owned or small business enterprise. Businesses already certified and registered in the state’s online notification and bidding system can participate in on-the-spot procurement opportunities at the event.
Guest speakers include Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett and Doug Minter, business development manager for the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce.
Keynote presenter, award-winning professor and journalist Sybril M. Brown will offer insight and tips for business development drawn from her research on innovation, civility and digital media. Brown is a professor of journalism at Belmont University and the author of “Innovate: Lessons from the Underground Railroad.”
On-site registration will be available, but attendees are encouraged to pre-register by April 22. More information about the event, registration, fees and accommodations is available online.
Questions can be directed to B.J. Roberts with the UT System Office of Procurement Services at 865-974-2569 or firstname.lastname@example.org.