Sixth Annual Cape Fear Region MED Week Goes Virtual

Monday, September 21, 2020

The Cape Fear Region Minority Enterprise Development Week is returning for its sixth year, offering more than 20 programs over six days on various platforms.
The weeklong virtual event features a business expo and workshops, including attracting customers post-COVID-19, learning how to become an effective leader, and gaining insights on becoming a military-friendly business. There are also sessions for Latinx and women business leaders and entrepreneurs, with several programs being offered in Spanish.
Cape Fear Region MED Week illustrates the commitment of UNCW and its community partners to equal opportunity and economic inclusion by focusing on the growth and achievement of local minority- and women-owned businesses. MED Week recognizes the impact of these businesses and provides opportunities for networking, interaction with purchasing agents, as well as business development workshops.
This year, the virtual conference is being presented by the UNCW Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in partnership with UNCW’s Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion and numerous community partners and sponsors.
“We wanted to bring in community partners and business owners with the expertise and to listen to the minority business owners to understand what they need,” said Laura R. Brogdon-Primavera, CIE manager of programs and operations. “The planning committee worked together to build an incredible agenda of programs.”
Donyell Roseboro, interim chief diversity officer at UNCW, hopes the collaboration with CIE will lead to innovative ways that eliminate poverty, “in ways that open up opportunities and expand our problem-solving capacity.”
“This partnership represents the best of UNCW, the city of Wilmington, and the region – it serves as one example of our collaborative strength as we work with collective purpose,” she added.
MED Week aligns with the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce’s vision to “position our community for prosperity by encouraging business growth,” said Natalie English, president and CEO. The chamber launched its African American Business Council in 2018 and a Latin American Business Council in 2020.
“The African American Business Council had a passion for growing MED Week and led the push for the expansion,” she continued. “The virtual format of most of the programming this year, due to the pandemic, may accelerate the exposure. There are so many offerings this year at so many different times, we’re very optimistic that minority business owners will find content that will aid in their growth.”

Organizers explored various technologies to bring business owners, experts and potential clients together, all from the safety of home, said UNCW Historically Underutilized Business Program Coordinator Kelly Baugher, who led the planning for the virtual business expo.

“COVID-19 changed how we had to think about networking and how we could give our minority business owners an opportunity to promote their services during a time when they may need it the most,” she said.  “Doing nothing simply wasn’t an option.”

Throughout the week, entrepreneurs will be honored during Minority Business Enterprise Spotlight presentations. This year’s recipients are Kirley’s Bread and Pantries, Emerging Business; Vida Familiar, Woman-Owned Business; Hunter Family Co., Minority-Owned Business; and Trucks Chicken and Fish; Community Champion.

Registration is open and early sign-up is encouraged. Visit for the full program schedule and registration details. For more information, email

-- Venita Jenkins