Vision 2020: Small Business Symposium Goes Virtual This Year

Vision logo forging a strong, equitable path in entrepreneurship

Kristy Johnson headshotVision 2020: Small Business Innovation Symposium was held virtually this year on October 15th.

This is the 6th year for this event. It is also the largest and only inclusion innovation conference celebrating, educating and supporting women, people of color and foreign born emerging entrepreneurs and existing business owners.

The event kicked-off with an opening speech from Kristy Jackson, CEO of DK Solutions, LLC presenting on the topic, “The Real Entrepreneurship Journey.”

“Vision is where your purpose really begins,” said Jackson. “Dreams require thinking beyond your imagination.”

Attendees were also able to visit virtual booths to learn about different companies whose focus is to help entrepreneurs. Colleen Mulvihill, Client Support Coordinator Manager at the STL Partnership and SBDC Counselor hosted a virtual booth and was on the planning committee. “The VISION 2020 event was a great success and because this was the first virtual event, it was all very new and exciting,” said Mulvihill. “It was a great day of celebration, education and networking for all.”

Kesha Kent headshot


Breakout sessions were also available to emerging entrepreneurs and attendees to network and share ideas. Suzanne Sierra, Senior Program Manager at the St. Louis Mosaic Project and Kesha Kent, CEO and Founder of MrsKeshSpeaks  joined together to discuss the topic of “Networking- It’s Your Superpower.”

“Using Whova’s virtual platform, it truly made everything easy,” said Kent “I loved the virtual setup and the care and attention along the way. It was absolutely amazing!”

Other breakout sessions included topics on marketing/branding and business strategies. To conclude the event keynote speaker Winnie Caldwell, Chief Operating Officer at Books N Bros  presented on “Doing Business as a Black Woman in America” which was moderated by Gabriella Ramirez Arellano, Business Counselor for the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Keynote by Winnie

Winnie Caldwell, Chie Operating Officer at Books N Bros

Caldwell also has over 5 years of experience working with youth to not only empower them but teach them how to profit via blogging/media relations. “As entrepreneurs, we need to continually show up for each other,” said Caldwell.

For more information about this event and all the presenters, visit the Vision St. Louis website here.

Check out a few entrepreneur stories from the event below.