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Fired Up! Summit to help minority-owned businesses grow in N.J.

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A daylong conference to help launch new small businesses and encourage existing ones to grow is being held Saturday in Newark.

Fired Up! New Jersey Business Empowerment Summit is sponsored jointly by the New Jersey chapters of the National Black MBA Association and the Spelman College Alumnae Association. It will be held at the PSE&G headquarters at 80 Park Place from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Open to new and existing businesses, as well as aspiring entrepreneurs and teens, the program will include workshops led by industry veterans on how to start a business, how to market products and services to increase sales, and how to register as a minority-owned business in order to qualify for certain government contracts.

The keynote speaker is Gene Waddy, chief exeuctive of Diversant, the leading African-American owned staffing and consulting firm. Other speakers will include Tod Wilson, owner of Mr. Tod's Pie Factory who appeared on the "Shark Tank" television show.

"A key part of our efforts focus on promoting entrepreneurship, both in practice and in spirit, throughout our community by means of education, mentorship and the pooling of numerous available resources with creative programming," said Michael Fleming, president of the New Jersey chapter of the National Black MBA Association.

Fleming said the collaboration with the alumnae from Spelman, a historically black university in Atlanta, "is an outstanding example of how the combined energies of two professional organizations, both serving the community, can effectively work together."

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