HARLEM — A neighborhood business conference will combine Eastern philosophy with hardcore capitalism.
Two Harlem business leaders have joined forces to create "DreamLeapers Entrepreneurship Conference," a one-day conference for people who want to be a part of the neighborhood’s business boom — in which morning sessions will include group meditation and afternoon workshops will be on drafting a business plan.
The day will combine aspects like life coaching — like a “dream experience” session to help you identify your goals — and practical business advices — like how to secure financing and low-interest business loans.
“Especially for people who are searching for what they want to do, I think it’s essential for people to tap into their DNA in terms of their passions so that they can access the core of what is driving them,” said Harriette Cole, one of the organizers of the event.
There will also be a “speed dating” type event where people will have one-on-one sessions with experts in finance, branding, marketing, and investing, Cole said.
Cole, who has lived in Harlem since the 80’s, said she wants the conference to help local residents be able to open their own businesses and take advantage of Harlem’s business surge.
“I’ve seen Harlem transform dramatically,” she said. “I’ve primarily worked downtown as Harlem has changed in recent years and I realized that I need to start working in Harlem. My community is blossoming.”
Teaming up with Cole is Nikoa Evans-Hendricks, the founder of Harlem Park to Park. She first saw a need for something like this when someone asked if there was any sort of “starter kit” for people who want to open businesses in Harlem.
“That got me thinking, what about those people who are watching Park to Park businesses and aspiring to that” she said. “They don’t even know how to get started to one day be like that.”
The one-day conference, scheduled for April 2 at MIST Harlem, is for people who have an idea they want to turn into a business, entrepreneurs ready to secure financing, or business owners looking to expand, she added.
The idea of the conference is to make it accessible for people who do not normally run in the same circles as folks in the business world while at the same time offering expert business advice.
“Sometimes during these business conferences you feel intimidated when you are not established,” she said. “It’s going to almost like you are in someone’s living room and you are just having a conversation about your aspirations.”
Tickets will cost $200 or $149 if you buy them before February 6.