The Oklahoma Governor’s Minority Business Council (GMBC) is hosting the first Spark Event, a series of meet and greet events for minority business owners across the state. The first event, sponsored by La Bella Event Center and Utopia Genetics, LLC, will take place in the La Bella Event Center ballroom in Oklahoma City on Thursday, November 14, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, and will bring together minority business owners from across the state, and highlight minority-owned businesses on Historic Route 66.
The GMBC was established in March 2019 by Governor Kevin Stitt and Sean Kouplen, Oklahoma Secretary of Commerce & Workforce Development,to help make Oklahoma a more inclusive and attractive business environment for people of all ethnicities and backgrounds. The council is the first of its kind in Oklahoma history.
“Part of becoming a Top Ten state is ensuring that our state welcomes and seeks input from every entrepreneur, innovator and business owner, regardless of ethnicity or background,” said Governor Kevin Stitt. “The purpose of this council is to discuss how Oklahoma can play a role in helping every person have access to opportunities for growth and job creation in a modern economy, and remove barriers that are unnecessarily holding back the best talent in our state.”
GMBC members will be present at Spark Event to meet with attendees and discuss the council’s mission. In addition to networking and providing information on existing resources for minority business owners, council members will also be asking for ideas on how the state can break down barriers for minority entrepreneurs and provide more opportunities for minority business growth.
“As minority business owners and community leaders ourselves, the council members are well aware of the common issues that minority entrepreneurs run into, like access to capital,” said David Castillo, GMBC chairman and President & CEO of the Greater OKC Hispanic Chamber. “What we really need from the minority business community are ideas to help break down those barriers, to help minority businesses not just survive but thrive in our state. What additional services are needed at the state and local levels? What legislation needs to shift to ensure minority businesses have equal opportunities?”
An online survey for ideas and feedback on minority-owned business services is available now at okcommerce.gov/gmbc
Those interested in attending the Spark Event in Oklahoma City can register at eventbrite.com/e/the-governors-minority-business-council-gmbc-spark-event-tickets-78315980205
GMBC members are Amanda Alvidrez, Layla Bokhari, David Castillo, Angela Chambers, Eran Harrill, Jason Holuby, Jennifer Jezek, Dr. Sada Joshi, Scarlet Le-Cao, Charity Marcus, Ayala Medrano, Fred Mendoza, Wes Mitchell, Tiffany Nguyen, Pete Patel, Sharina Perry, Deemah Ramadon, Gee Rios, Ed Sanchez, James Sanchez, and Bailey Walker.