Many of us do not see our dream of a business taking off because we do not have the funds. Join us in learning how to advocate for funding.

Mercedes Diane Griffin Forbes is the Founder of the Mercedes Parra Foundation for Women and Girls, an organization that works to promote gender equity by creating economic opportunity for and strengthening capacity development among women.  She is also the owner of Diane Griffin Enterprises, a marketing and management consulting firm.  Mercedes is an internationally recognized expert in marketing and micro-enterprise development with over 15 years of international perience in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

 Melissa Johnson Smith provides recruitment, selection and hiring support to organizations so they can attract the best talent to grow their organization and maximize their mission.  She is the Founder and Chief Talent Officer of Valiant Strategic Solutions, LLC.  Melissa launched her business in 2013 because she had a knack for finding talent and filtering out new hires with skills and abilities needed to thrive in key positions.   She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Howard University.   Certified Nonprofit Professional  (CNP) and holds a Master of Nonprofit.  She will talk with us about micro-credit loans.

 PNC Bank:  “ We’re often surprised by how many women are amazed by the depth of PNC’s support for women in business. After all, studies agree that women-owned businesses are the fastest-growing business segment in the United States. And, the number of wealthy women is growing faster than the number of wealthy men. Yet, we hear more from women who still feel invisible in conversations with financial institutions.”

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