Local business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs are invited to attend the 2011 Entrepreneurs Forum at the Southfield Civic Center.

Southfield Mayor Brenda Lawrence will welcome entrepreneurs from across Southeast Michigan for a day of information and networking.

The day-long event, which will take place Friday, March 18 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., will feature educational workshops, panel discussions with leading experts in the fields of finance, business development and internet marketing, as well as networking opportunities with local leaders and business owners.

Panel guest speakers include Nancy Grose from the Small Business Administration, Brad Wyatt from Dickinson Wright PLLC, Derrin Leppek of TechTown, Pierre LaVoie from the Small Business Association of Michigan, Sharon Blumeno from Automation Alley and Walt Bender, Tim Horton’s franchisee. The panel will be moderated by Kenneth L Harris, Vice President of Business Development for the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council.

The afternoon session will feature breakout sessions, with relevant and informative topics for business owners such as “How to Find Capital for Your Business,” “Using Internet Marketing and Social Media to Explode Your Business,” “The Power of Email Marketing,” “Time Management,” “Three Steps to Unlimited Clients” and “The Secrets of Savvy Networking.”

The event, organized by the South East Michigan Entrepreneurs Association in conjunction with YMB Training Solutions, was developed “to give business owners a voice in the community. It addresses the needs of area businesses in an effort to increase awareness and survival rates,” said SEMEA board member and conference speaker ZaLonya Allen.

Registration is $25 in advance and $50 at the door. Registration fees include access to panel discussion, breakout sessions, exhibitor and vendor displays and lunch with invited guest Irv Lowenberg, Southfield city treasurer and keynote speaker Sylvia Jordan, former Southfield city council president. Attendees will also have an opportunity to participate in Speed Networking to connect with other area business owners to grow their businesses.

For additional information and to register, please visit www.semea.info or call (248) 491-3146.

The South East Michigan Entrepreneurs Association is designed to encourage Michigan residents to develop and grow area businesses. The group meets the fourth Thursday of each month from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at YMB Training Solutions at 18444 W. 10 Mile Road in Southfield.

For more information visit www.semea.info.

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