TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –
Some say 17,405 kilometers. Others say 10,815 miles. Either way, it’s the distance Florida A&M University (FAMU) School of Business and Industry (SBI) Professor LaTanya White traveled last fall to spread her message of entrepreneurial education and access. Her trip to Bali, Indonesia, was a life-changing experience for White that took her advocacy to the global stage. She’ll share highlights of her journey in a presentation titled, “THE POWER OF ‘CAN’: One Woman’s Challenge to the Global Entrepreneurial Community” scheduled for Tues., March 4 at 9 a.m. at the President’s Coffee, a quarterly business meeting hosted by the Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce. The event will take place at the Pittman Conference Center at the Riley House/Museum, 419 East Jefferson Street.
“Entrepreneurism is a hot topic again,” said White, who is also the successful owner of 71 Proof; a beverage catering company that services the southeast region of the United States. “We need to make sure that minorities realize equal access to educational and business opportunities in this new entrepreneurial ecosystem that’s being constructed around the world.”
White says access to entrepreneur-focused networks where research, learning and development take place must be inclusive.
In September of last year, White took advantage of a four-week study abroad opportunity in Bali, the tropical paradise island that is part of the Republic of Indonesia. She was one of only a select group of participants from around the world and the only participant from the United States. White was challenged to explore the concepts of entrepreneurism as a tool for social innovation. Undeterred by the rigor of the curriculum and the obvious language and cultural barriers, she found a global platform there for strengthening her message of equal access and equal opportunity. In doing so, White forged new friendships, found new business partnerships and pledged to help others find their voice.
“As I listened to the entrepreneurial interests and stories of the other participants, I was gratified by the rare opportunity to place my experiences against this powerful backdrop of the entire world,” says White. “Our stories all shared the familiar theme of inclusion…of using entrepreneurism, business startups, and the like, as a tool to empower the citizens in the communities where we live.”
White says she intends to be supportive of other enterprises as she works to build entrepreneurial education in Florida.
"Professor White lives, breathes and sleeps her passion for ensuring that all students and adults are exposed to and engaged in global entrepreneurship,” said FAMU SBI Dean Shawnta Friday-Stroud. “Her presentation will not only leave you inspired, but more important, it will force you to think outside of the box about how you can contribute to her movement, her passion of Global Entrepreneurism."
Windell Paige, president and executive director for the Big Bend Minority Chamber of Commerce, has championed minority inclusiveness and access as it pertains to opportunities for small business enterprise, which are issues that he has focused on for many years in the state of Florida. He calls White a young entrepreneur, business owner, educator and thought leader.
“The fact that LaTanya has now taken the message into the international arena can only help boost awareness and support here at home,” said Paige. “She has an amazing story to tell and we’re delighted to provide her with a platform through our quarterly President’s Coffee event.”
The President’s Coffee event is free and open to the general public. For more information, visit www.mybbmc.org