The owners of newly launched businesses as well as individuals who are looking to open a firm in this tough economic climate can get insight on how to start or grow a company smartly during a day-long entrepreneurial institute June 6 created by the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA).

The event will be held at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles, and the cost to attend is $35 for non-members and $25 for members.

Called the NBMBAA Entrepreneurial Institute, the program features sessions for start-ups and growing firms.

The start-up seminars include determining the best business model as well as understanding the benefits of being certified as a minority firm, and how the process works.

The growth track will help entrepreneurs understand how to find and keep customers using effective sales strategies, as well as gain access to capital.

In addition to the training sessions, the event will feature an Innovative White Board Challenge for businesses that have been operating for three years or less or those would-be entrepreneurs who have an idea.

Interested individuals should submit their business ideas to or call (312) 236-2622 no later than 5 p.m. June 3 (Central Time). Three to four individuals will be chosen to present their ideas before a panel of business experts, who will then select the best one to advance to a national competition planned for September 22-26, during the 31st annual NBMBAA conference in New Orleans.

The winner of the Los Angeles challenge, who receives $1,000 and an all expenses-paid trip to the group’s national conference, will compete against challenge winners from four other cities–Chicago, Atlanta, Houston and Philadelphia for the top prize of $5,000.

For additional information about the entire event visit the website