WRITTEN BY CORPORATE PARTNER, KATHLEEN DERINGER OF TRULIANT
Over nine years ago, Reginald McCaskill, himself an entrepreneur and minority business owner, along with his wife, Aimee, saw a need in the community – and decided to address it. That need was for greater exposure and access to support for minority and women-owned businesses.
“We minority businesses don’t have the same infrastructure that most businesses have. I’ve always been a person focused on bringing folks together – so it seemed like a good way to use my talents to get the community engaged and shine a spotlight on minority-owned businesses,” shared McCaskill.
The first six years of the Minority and Women’s Business Expo were in Winston-Salem. However, since the awareness issue was really a Triad-wide challenge, three years ago, McCaskill expanded the event, holding expos in Winston-Salem, High Point, and Greensboro.
About the Expo
The Triad Minority and Women’s Business Expo is for all minority business owners – including any women-owned businesses. The goal is to connect these businesses with the support they need while increasing their opportunities to grow throughout the Triad.
“Although women-owned businesses get some publicity and support, they are still not ‘there’ in terms of getting what they need. They need the leverage that non-minority businesses get. Aimee and I look at our event as a community celebration of all minority businesses with an added bonus of an opportunity for the businesses to support each other,” McCaskill explained.
Business owners will create, connect, and cultivate through the expo. Create – build new relationships. Connect – establish links to businesses and community. And Cultivate – grow previously established relationships. Everyone who attends will get to experience shopping, sampling, learning, and relationship building with hundreds of businesses.
A Place for Kid-preneurs
The expos will also feature something called Kidzbiz for the second year. Focusing on young entrepreneurs has always been a passion of McCaskill’s – developing and training young people to see entrepreneurship as a path for themselves. He wants young people to know that they can pursue a path of business ownership and find success for themselves. Kidzbiz entrepreneurs participate for free, promoting their own business, authorship, artisanship, etc. The organization expects to have 10-20 young people participating in each expo location.
The Future of the Expo
While the expo is helping to change the landscape, there is much still to be done. Resources are missing, access to funding is hard to figure out, marketing expertise is lacking, and of course, visibility is needed. McCaskill said he hopes the expos will provide that bridge to connect the businesses to the resource providers.
In the future, McCaskill wants the event series to be like any other major event in the community where people look forward to it when it comes around each year.
“We want people to see this as a community celebration for all of Winston-Salem, High Point and Greensboro. I’d love to expand both attendance and business participation and reach a broader audience. All are welcome – y’all means all!” shared McCaskill.
The Winston-Salem expo is Saturday, August 27. If you want to participate as a business in any of the Triad locations, or simply attend an expo, visit
https://triadminorityandwomensbusinessexpo.com/ for details on each event. The expo event is FREE for attendees.
“Truliant is proud to be a long-time partner with Mr. McCaskill and the Triad Minority and Women’s Business Expo. We are also honored to support this event because we understand that local, minority-owned businesses are an integral piece of the economic ecosystem, and their success is critical to the vitality of the communities we serve.”