2015 Go Africa Expo


I attended the 2015 African Union Expo that was held at MIST Harlem, NY on November 17th.  The evening’s focus was on the InnovateHer Competition that is sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration.  GoAfrica’s goal was to invite women to participate in this contest and present their business idea to Judges from various backgrounds and the expo audience.  Each participate had to present their business pitch within a five minute limit and have a prepared business plan for Judges to review.  The winner of this leg of the competition would travel to Washington, D.C. to compete again in front of another panel.

The focus of this SBA competition is to find ways to help women and families overcome issues like food desert and  fight wage inequities.  The SBA wants the winner of this business idea to have a national affect and the business model has to have the potential to be replicated or utilized across the nation.

Well the women that presented their ideas did not disappoint.  I even joined in this with my food service company Oasis Unlimited LTD.  The other participants brought top notch presentations on hair care products, global African design website, a book about social media impact, fashion design, charter school for pre-K, new pain medicine product, baby care products, women and wage mentorship and new surgical care updates.

Each women’s presentation was intriguing from a survivor of the Rwandan holocaust, to a beautiful Ethiopian fashion designers struggle to get exposure and a South Carolina women who flew in to participate with her hair care products and her commitment to helping women in Zaire.

The judges had their work cut out for them and ultimately came back with three tech driven companies.  My only criticism is that it is very hard to evaluate the impact of a products potential in 30 minutes.  However, I applaud the ones chosen and I will be following these shining examples of entrepreneurship.  They will be offered additional support to help them get funding and exposure.    To view the competition and learn more about the winners go to www.AfricaTVusa.net .

To learn more about the organizer of this event contact Dr. Dennie M. Beach at info@africanunionexpo.com or 646-502-9778 ext. 8002.


Sheryl Carkhum-Lord is a Business Owner and author of a historical novel called “African Venus” she can be contacted at iloveresearch@hotmail.com