"My goal is to empower women at the conference," said Kelly. "Women, particularly African-American women, need a little encouragement every now and then, especially when it comes to opening your own business or being self-employed."
"Small businesses are the backbone to stabilizing communities, so more are always needed," Kelly said.
The workshop is part of Bright Star Church's three-day conference, themed this year "Not Pitiful But Powerful," which begins Friday. In keeping with that theme, the "Twelve Towers of Power" workshops also will feature panels aimed at helping women become better parents, marital partners, career professionals and improving other aspects of their lives.
A $50 registration fee is required to attend the conference, held at 4414 S. Evans St., at Carter G. Woodson School in Bronzeville. Other conference panelists include Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), Melody Spann-Cooper, president and chairman of WVON-AM, and Mahalia Hines, a Chicago School Board member.
The entrepreneurial workshop runs from 8:30-11:20 a.m. and will be co-moderated by Spann-Cooper.
The Rev. Chris Harris, pastor of Bright Star Church, 735 E. 44th St., encourages women to register online even though there will be on-site registration.
"The benefit of registering in advance is to secure a spot before classes fill up. I don't want anyone to miss out on their blessing," Harris said. "At this conference, women of God don't just come here to shout but to learn how to live freely."
Harris said Bright Star Church has been around for 56 years doing God's work, and the conference is an extension of the church's effort to help people. His wife, JoJo, will be a panelist for the professional development workshop.
"Every thing we do at Bright Star is based on what God has called us to do. I am a believer of the Bible and everything it says," he said.
Constance Sherrod, CEO of The Sherrod Law Firm, is a Bronzeville resident, and said the conference will help women who want to make positive professional and personal changes.
"Anytime I can fellowship with my sisters in Christ and my fellow small business owners, I try to be available," Sherrod said. "The conference sounds like a winner because it will be filled with a group of motivated women determined to be successful in their careers and marriages. I too share that same desire."
An 11 a.m. worship service on Sunday will be held across the street from the conference at Bright Star Church.