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The 20th annual Black Enterprise Entrepreneur Summit began on Wednesday, bringing together business owners and soon-to-be business owners from around the nation for a three-day event in Atlanta, GA.

On Thursday, Alfred Edmonds, Jr. spoke with Roland Martin on NewsOne Now via Skype to discuss this year’s event, which is designed to provide attendees with strategies and network opportunities that could prove critical to their businesses and help them reach the next level.

Edmonds, Jr. explained that the Black Enterprise Summit is “critically important” because “the big key of entrepreneurship is connecting the right people with the ideas and the resources to make those ideas reality.”

He continued, saying the Black Enterprise Entrepreneur Summit is not just to “talk about it, we’re here to actually do it and we’re getting you in the right places with the right people to make that happen.”

Edmonds, Senior Vice President/Chief Content Officer of Black Enterprise, said one of their goals is to bring together venture capitalists, angel investors, and other resources who have often claimed that they “can’t find qualified entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to invest in.”

Edmonds told Martin and the NewsOne Now panel that a big part of the job of Black Enterprise is to,

“…take smart entrepreneurs from the Black community who have innovative ideas but need capital and support and then find people from the small business ecosystem who may not be Black, by the way — often most times are not, but to say ‘you need to be here, because if you are interested in making money and funding great businesses, we need to bring these two groups together.'”

Watch Roland Martin, Alfred Edmonds, Jr., and the NewsOne Now Straight Talk panel discuss this year’s Black Enterprise Entrepreneur Summit in the video clip above.

Portions of this year’s Black Enterprise Entrepreneur Summit are being streamed online – visit Don’t miss Roland Martin’s appearance at this year’s conference, Thursday evening from 7:30 – 9 PM streaming live at

Be sure to watch “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, weekdays at 9 a.m. EST on TV One.

Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.

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