2015 was a good year for us at the Minority Networking Exchange. One of the highlights for me was being elected to the inaugural slate of the Homewood Brushton Business Association’s Board of Directors. With the Minority Networking Exchange I hosted and co-hosted a variety of business connecting events including “Connectically Speaking” which is a venue for adults wanting to experience something a little different on a Friday night once a month. After an eighteen month break I produced this unique spoken word event with a goal to provide a platform for Western Pennsylvania’s talented artists.

In the Spring of 2015 #ConnectingKing Corner Facebook group was launched. Currently there are over 850 entrepreneurs who have an opportunity to connect with each other and network. Numerous partnerships and business opportunities have been created from the members of the group. Our intention was to connect with business owners in the Western Pennsylvania region, however, we are excited to report that there are members of this group who are outside of this geographical region! As a Trustee for Kiva Zip, I have endorsed ten people who have obtained loans from this online lending program. Nine of the ten entrepreneurs raised $34,200 for their businesses and all of them have a 100% repayment record. The other lender is currently working to raise an additional $5,000 for their business. I was able to raise $5,000 for my brand using Kiva Zip with your help and I thank you.

Another bright spot of our year was assisting Urban Innovation 21 with promoting and recruiting entrepreneurs for the Hill District and Homewood Business Grant Competition. I am proud to announce that my network produced $35,000 from the Homewood Competition. This does not include all of the B2B and C2B revenue generated from my social media pages and direct referrals.

Thank you for helping me produce a successful year for entrepreneurs in Western PA. We are looking forward to what 2016 will bring to the Minority Networking Exchange and those we serve.



Vernard Alexander