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Prestigious Group of Organizations and Agencies to Hold E-Procurement Training for The Small Businesses in Metropolitan Detroit

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

For Immediate Release:
September 3, 2002

Contact: Jennifer Kopp
(517) 335-4590

Prestigious Group of Organizations and Agencies to Hold E-Procurement Training for The Small Businesses in Metropolitan Detroit

          The Metro-Detroit Advisory Committee of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Office of Economic Independence and Entrepreneurship will hold its first conference, “How to Secure Contracts on the Internet: Sharing E-Procurement Approaches that Work,” on October 3, 2002, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the University of Detroit Mercy Ward Conference Center, 8200 West Outer Drive, Detroit, Michigan.  This event is a collaboration of over 30 agencies, organizations, educational institutions, health care institutions and government entities that over the past two-years have worked together to identify and determine strategies for meeting the needs of small business owners in the Detroit Metropolitan area. “The Office of Economic Independence and Entrepreneurship (OEI&E) is honored to be a stakeholder in an unprecedented collaborative effort of partners in Southeast Michigan to launch a focus on e-procurement training for the micro-small businesses,” stated Director, Betty Appleby.

            “How to Secure Contracts on the Internet: Sharing E-Procurement Approaches that Work” is designed to expose small, minority and women owned businesses on the use of technology, particularly how e-procurement, can make them more competitive in the marketplace.  The Technology Sub-Committee of the Advisory Committee distributed a technology usage survey last year to over 6,000 small businesses in the Detroit Metropolitan area to determine how extensively small business owners use technology in their business operations.  The survey was administered by the Center for Urban Studies at Wayne State University.  “As a result of the survey, it was determined that while over 90% overall and nearly 90% of those businesses with five or fewer employees use the Internet, there was a third overall and less than a third respectively that use e-commerce.  When asked what technical assistance was most needed, over 50% overall and 64% of the small businesses with five or fewer employees answered bidding and procurement assistance. “The Technology Subcommittee and the Metro-Detroit Advisory Committee agreed with the Technology Survey Results.  Thus, the idea was born for the first in a series of trainings on doing business through the Internet; and the planning of the first e-procurement conference began in January 2002,” stated Dr. Adrian Lottie, Technology Sub-Committee Chairman.

          The event will address bidding on procurement needs through an overview of e-procurement with an actual demonstration, a discussion of certification and how it can make a small business more competitive, a panel of Internet technology experts and small business owners, hands-on demonstrations, Internet technology workshops, and exhibits that will provide the conference attendees with strategies to take their businesses to another level.  The keynote speaker for the luncheon is Sam Hamdan, Chief Solutions Architect with WebSoft Corporation.  There will also be a Network Reception in honor of Minority Business Month.  “Entrepreneurs who attend this conference will leave with a better understanding of how information technology affects their bottom line.  A sizable amount of their prospecting, presentation and collection activity is simply a few clicks away,” says Verna Green, President of the Black Chamber of Commerce and Metro-Detroit OEI&E Advisory Committee member.

          Small business owners wanting to learn more about the Internet and e-procurement will not want to miss this conference.  The registration fee is $50.00 that includes meals and the Network Reception.  For more information and complete registration, go to the Detroit Entrepreneurship Institute’s Web site: www.deibus.org.  Vanessa L. Rush at 313.961.8426 or Betty Appleby at 313.256.9311 may also be contacted for registration, Monday thru Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Registration deadline is September 27, 2002. 

          The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.