Business advice from Queen Latifah

Entertainment icon shares tips at 2018 AT&T Business Summit

by Kevin L. Jackson, Founder/CEO, GovCloud Network

Queen Latifah! Hip hop icon. Movie star. Television star. Fashion model. Songwriter. Producer. Entrepreneurial genius!? YES!

Dana Elaine Owens, her given name, is co-owner of Flavor Unit Entertainment, a firm that includes television and film production units, a record label, and an artist management company. She has been managing herself since age 21, and within 2 years of starting her business, she had signed over 17 rap groups (including the hugely successful Naughty by Nature and Outkast). In addition to music and entertainment, Owens has business experience in other industries – she invested in a delicatessen and a video store on the ground floor of the apartment building she was living in at the time.

With her background, you can see why I was really excited to see her on the main stage at the AT&T Business Summit with AT&T Communications CEO John Donovan.

The 2018 AT&T Business Summit in and of itself, was a testament on how AT&T embraces diversity in their business. They seem to realize that diverse businesses bring unique skills and fresh ideas. It is also very refreshing to see how this multibillion-dollar company respects different viewpoints and exercises mutual respect to serve their customers, employees, and communities better.

During their time on-stage, these two business leaders chatted about leadership, entrepreneurship, and how small businesses should not be afraid to seek partnerships with companies like AT&T. This strong statement on diversity was a continuation of the company’s diversity support drumbeat. Over the last few months, this has included:

  • AT&T DIRECTV support of Black Entertainment Network when they tapped Queen Latifah to host its annual Black Girls Rock awards, which celebrate the achievements and influence of black women
  • Their support of Black Girls CODE which is just one of the several organizations AT&T backs to provide coding and entrepreneurship skills to more under-served and underrepresented youths across the country
  • Dream in Black which has been a 2 year AT&T new initiative which sends a call-to-action for Black people to dream big, fully embrace the Black culture, and live their wildest dreams.

AT&T as a corporation is also clearly committed to promoting, increasing and improving the overall participation of minority-, women-, service-disabled veteran- and LGBT-owned businesses by purchasing their materials and services. They actively encourage subcontracting opportunities for these businesses by requiring supplier diversity participation from prime suppliers.

Learn more about how you can partner with AT&T to grow your business by reading their Supplier Diversity topic paper and by visiting their Diversity Supplier Portal.

I, for one, am excited to be a minority business partner with AT&T Business, so when Queen Latifah speaks, I’m listening! Check out the video above to hear her speak in one of the many great and informative sessions at the AT&T Business Summit.

This content was sponsored by AT&T Business.