2009 Forum theme...



Washington, D.C., May 11-12, 2009
2011 Theme: From the Margins to the Mainstream            May 2011, Washington, D.C.
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Welcome to the 2009 Capital Access Forum

The Forum is a venue that brings us together as an economic community to develop strategies to improve our collective and individual economic circumstances.  Commencing during Black History Month, the theme of this year’s two-day conference is “Charting the Way Forward to the Economic Mainstream and Honoring the Contributions of Our Leaders.” 

The conference will bring together leading entrepreneurs, private equity firms, investment and commercial bankers, major corporations, institutional investors and other key players who influence entrepreneurship and the flow of capital. It will provide a place for participants to network and share ideas and opportunities.

The timing of this year’s forum is not lost on the organizers. In difficult economic times and just after a historic presidential election, the stakes are high and the environment puts a premium on entrepreneurship and the success of businesses in every stratum of the economy.

Challenges to entrepreneurs

The first decade of the third millennium had already presented us with the challenges brought to the economy by globalization, further exacerbated with the current credit and financial crisis. The small business and entrepreneurial segments of the economy, however, have always been reliable, providing the economy with healthy growth margins.

Moreover, the entrepreneurial sector has invariably been the dominant source of our innovation and competitive advantage as it creates new industries and develops new markets.  Although, the private equity and banking establishments have played major roles in financing the American dream, the lack of access to capital has significantly hindered the growth of minority businesses.        

While domestic emerging market entrepreneurs are still greatly underrepresented, geographies that are not within the capital flow are also undercapitalized. The Southeast, with its impressive economy, is an example of an area with a significant potential to increase its share of capital investments.

We would do well to tap into the energy represented by the domestic emerging market. We can accomplish this by deploying institutional capital into this market at a higher rate than we currently do. The institutional investment community can make a difference.

Honoring our leaders

Finally, the forum will hold an awards dinner to honor those in business, politics and academia as well as organizations that have contributed most to the economic advancement and capital formation in the entrepreneurial segment of our economy.

Michael Granger and Kenneth Feltman, Co-Chairman
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