The Women of Influence Breakfast and Awards ceremony at the 11th Minority Business Summit in Baltimore on Feb. 19, 2010 experienced an uplifting message of faith, as successful woman entrepreneur, Catherine Hughes, founder of Radio One, Inc., in her keynote address, spoke about how spirituality can play a role to success and turn fortunes around even in a challenging economy.
Also bringing humor to the stage, Ms. Hughes challenged entrepreneurs to not be discouraged as a result of the economic downturn, but to be inspired and work hard until they see their business thrive.
“I honestly believe that faith is one of the key elements in achieving your entrepreneurial goals,” Ms. Hughes said, adding that having faith in God and yourself, and to know and to feel that if you truly do everything that you can humanly do to make your venture a success, then God will bless you.
Making reference to the week, which marked the beginning of the 2010 Christian season known as lent, Ms. Hughes said it is a time that churches encourage people to give up something.
Ms. Hughes added that as a reader of the daily Word, she came across a message about belief, and the teaching for the day was about inspiring us to focus on positivity.
“The message of the day was telling us that what we should give up for lent is failure,” Hughes said.
Talking about crippling the competition, Ms. Hughes spoke on the need for minority businesses to unite in business ventures.
“I do not believe that black-owned and women-owned businesses are large enough to as of yet to be in competition with each other,” Hughes said. “We are in competition with majority-owned companies, not minorities.”
“If there were ever a time when business women needed a partnership, to bond and look out for each other in deals and in opportunities, that time is now,” Hughes said.
Ms. Hughes is Chairperson of the board of directors and Secretary at Radio One, the largest African American-owned and operated broadcast company in the U.S.
She founded the company which now has 53 radio stations in sixteen markets and a cable network – TV One.
Ms. Hughes said there are more than 11,000 licensed radio stations in the country and 240 of them are owned by blacks.
While mentioning the importance of black radio to people of color, Ms. Hughes that the above mentioned statistics is nothing to be proud of, adding that it is “shameful.”
Ms. Hughes concluded her keynote by reminding everyone to give up failure and make that for life.
The Women of Influence Award winners are as follows:
Business – Sheila Dews Johnson, McCormick & Company
Politics – Lisa Harris Jones, Esq, Harris Jones & Malone
Education – Senator Joan Carter Conway
Advocacy – Donna Jacobs, University of Maryland
The event was powered by Visionary Marketing Group, Inc. Among attendees were the Mayor of Baltimore, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake; Baltimore City Council President, Bernard C. “Jack” Young; and Special Secretary, Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs, Luwanda W. Jenkins.
Click on video below to watch Ms. Hughes’ Keynote address:
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