Some business professionals of color have said for historically underserved communities, such a black, brown, veterans, and LGBTQ communities, certain business and networking resources have been harder to navigate.
From that need came the Black & Brown Connect Mixer (B&B Connect).
"We wanted to create a space where folks could come together and not only share their experiences, but also share their insights and things that they've learned, in an environment that's a little more relevant to this community," Clarence Lloyd, Chamber Director for Southwest Michigan First, said.
"We want to point them in the direction they need to go to succeed," Lloyd said.
B&B Connect is part-professional networking, part-social, and all about creating a collaborative network where we can connect and share and make an impact together.
The public is invited to join host Southwest Michigan First and the community at the next B&B Connect on Thursday, July 21 at The Xperience in downtown Kalamazoo.
The conversation Thursday will focus on building your personal or business brand; something experts said should be a priority for professionals.
"Your brand represents you before you even walk in the room," Lloyd said.
To register, visit the upcoming events page on Southwest Michigan First's website.
Event partners include Stryker, Southwest Michigan First Chamber, the cities of Kalamazoo and Portage, Kalamazoo Community Foundation, and The Foundation for Excellence.
According to its website, Southwest Michigan First is an organization of privately funded economic development advisors who act as the catalyst for economic success in Southwest Michigan. It was founded in 1999 on the principle that "the most powerful force for change is a well-paying job."
The organization works across all industries throughout the seven counties that make up the Southwest Michigan Region.
On its website, Southwest Michigan First said, "Our team is passionate about creating jobs and cultivating a strong economy in Southwest Michigan."
Editor's note: This story is part of a partnership with Southwest Michigan First's "First & 42" digital news platform. Additional stories can be found on News Channel 3's First and 42 web page.
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