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We Rise: Black American Entrepreneurs in Action

We Rise: Black American Entrepreneurs in Action

Tuesday, February 20, 2024
6:30-7:30 p.m.

Free headshots 5:30-6:30 p.m.
Panel discussion 6:30-7:30 p.m.

The Business Commons
Milwaukee Central Library
814 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Calling all aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators! Celebrate Black History Month with an event featuring Milwaukee Black entrepreneurs. Hear stories of successful innovators who have made their mark in Milwaukee and learn from their experiences. Connect with fellow entrepreneurs, exchange ideas, and build valuable connections. Learn about MKE Black, a non-profit celebrating and promoting Black business, events, culture, and advancement in the greater Milwaukee area.

Free Headshots with photographer Kalida Williams from 5:30-6:30 p.m. Arrive by 5:30 p.m. to reserve your spot and tour Milwaukee Public Library’s Business Commons co-working space!

Event moderated by Asha Sawyers,
Board member and Development Officer for MKE Black

Asha Sawyers is also a Business Owner and Milwaukee native who speaks on Goal Setting and Business Development. 



Featured panelists include:

Elzie D. Flenard, III
“The Mayor” founder of Podcast
, and author of Flame Starter

As the founder of Podcast Town, and author of Flame Starter, Elzie has carved out a distinctive niche in the business world. His entrepreneurial journey, which has seen him work in roles as diverse as janitor, fast food worker, electronics technician, electrical engineer, and operations manager, has honed his business acumen and leadership skills. Today, he channels these experiences into his work, helping other entrepreneurs chart their paths and realize their dreams.


Carla Gooseberry
owner of CSG Custom Creations

A creative entrepreneur who turned her passion for crafting into a thriving business. During the pandemic, Carla started a home-based crafting business to help cope with her stress and anxiety. Her crafting quickly turned into a viable business as she received requests from friends and family to create custom designs for them. 


Brandon Hawthorne
co-owner of Twisted Plants

A 3x award-winning vegan restaurant with locations in Cudahy, Milwaukee, and soon-to-be West Allis. His responsibilities include handling day-to-day operations and ensuring customers have a great experience.



Cetonia Weston
founder of Niche Book Bar

She is a lover of speculative fiction and that new book smell. Cetonia is also the Author of The Misadventures of Toni Macaroni children’s book series and hopes to spread the joy of a good book!