Issa Rae Headlines National Express’ Company School LIVE 2022 In New York City. Fear of a recession and the rising cost of living has small business owners considering how they may make shifts earlier rather than later.
For the tenth anniversary of the program American Express, a steadfast patron of small-scale enterprises, is returning to the fabled Business Class LIVE conference. On the 20th of July, the event took over an entire day. Held at the Javits Center in New York, The event was open to all, and participation in person or on the web was completely free. The free event was designed to encourage and assist small-scale business owners and leaders from every walk of life with solid connections and expert knowledge. It is a great way to see the excitement and energy of interactive panels and workshops featuring experts in managing cash flow and strategies for marketing, contracting options, and wellness at work for small-business owners from across the nation.
Its Business Class LIVE event series provides you with business owners, enables you to get advice from experts in the field and entrepreneurs, and gives you the edge you need to tackle the future with confidence. Check out some clips from previous sessions below, and check back for updates on our next event.
A stellar lineup of panelists and speakers, women and minority-owned business leaders, and small-business owners. They included:
- Rae, the producer, actress, and entrepreneur spoke about her business ventures (Hilltop Cafe + Kitchen Sienna Naturals, and Radio) and her upcoming television and film projects as she addressed the elements of authenticity in a panel discussion.
- Jay Shetty, best-selling author, life coach, author, popular podcaster, and author, moderated a conversation about perseverance and harmony.
- Maria Duenas Jacobs, the creator of Super Smalls and a former director of accessories at ELLE, was a participant in an open discussion about becoming a self-made boss as well as managing the aspects of running a business, with strategies for marketing as well as human resources and scheduling time-outs that you deserve.
- Lo Bosworth, former reality TV star, the director and founder of Love Wellness, and the author of Love Yourself Well participated in a panel discussion about the integration of work and family.
- Nicole Parker of the ELOCEN Group, a provider of project and program management services for the built environment aimed at improving the quality of life for our residents, was a participant on a panel regarding the diversity of suppliers.
The Culture could talk about the conference with Clayton Ruebensaal, executive vice president of global B2B marketing at American Express, about what the panel included, and the famous Insecure creator and actress Rae.
Ruebensaal talked about how the company is dedicated to supporting small businesses and can discuss the status of small-sized businesses, particularly regarding supply chain issues. The availability of jobs and the potential of recession.
As per Ruebensaal, Amex aims to help companies grow their business. “To tackle the biggest challenges small entrepreneurs face, we developed Business Class. We realized that when the pandemic hit, it was imperative to up our efforts as small-sized businesses were confronted with previously unexplored issues and lacked details. That convention, free to attend, is an exciting international effort that redefines what business education means by providing small-business owners with opportunities and resources that align with their daily lives. The goal is to increase access to crucial information.”
Rae shared her thoughts about the importance of Business Class Live and expressed her delight at the chance to represent small-business owners.
“Just considering someone in the eyes is thrilling for me. There’s nothing more rewarding than being able to interact with people and look into their eyes. I emphasized building relationships with the people who live in the same area. As small-scale business owners, we could learn from each other and give each other suggestions because, in a way, we’re all in the same boat. I own a small e-commerce business. It was a pleasure to gain knowledge through the conversations I participated in with small-scale business owners who are a minority,” said Rae.
Ruebensaal is adamant that the event provides an excellent opportunity to make lasting connections, gain new techniques, and create an established network that will be useful in the years following the event.
“It will allow small businesses to meet one-on-one with representatives from governmental organizations or large corporations to discuss concrete business opportunities that could help them in significant ways.”
Rae fervently advocates making it simple for customers to locate black-owned companies. She also talks about how minority and women-owned companies should work together to support each other.
“Other businesses can’t threaten you. Hilltop is a safe place to be. Hilltop is situated near another coffee shop owned by Blacks. We are not charged to promote the other shop and advise customers to visit it as they are; in exchange, they take the same approach for us. A Sweet Life is the name I chose for my show. Sip & Sonder and Hilltop were used as locations and Haron coffee. The support we give each other as Black companies will only benefit our companies. While it’s nice that we are competitive, it’s equally important to support each other,” Rae says.
While Rae is well-known as a champion of everything and every single person Black, The goal is to get the other major corporations, including American Express, on trend to push the needle forward.
Rae says that American Express has been very conscious over the past few years and focuses on black-owned companies.
“For many years, they have supported small-scale companies for a long time. I think other companies should learn from this model and make this an ongoing program rather than simply something only available on Black History Month. Amex has been extremely deliberate in keeping in contact with business owners that I would recommend them to. This is vital and could be the difference between enough to feed your family or be able to provide an opportunity to bring new customers and fresh eyes to their products or businesses,” expresses Rae.
Rae hopes to grow her small company, Hilltop Coffee, to LAX. The cafe has three locations currently: Los Angeles, Inglewood, and Eagle Rock.
“I’m overjoyed right now. We’ll be in LAX as the place to go for those who are hungry or need espresso or snacks. Being a part of LA on the runway as a local company is an amazing experience. We’ll be next to Randy’s Donuts and other popular spots in Inglewood. It’s a great feeling knowing that customers will be aware that the place they’re purchasing from is an LA Black-owned establishment. I’m grateful for this opportunity. There isn’t always the scenario that we can access these stores in this manner. This was the motive behind this move by the City of LA. We are honored to be here,” explains Rae