Michael Blake was born and raised in the Bronx, but he now makes his living in Washington, D.C. as an associate director at the White House’s Office of Public Engagement.
The Dewitt Clinton alum got a trip back home, however, thanks to one of his most successful professional projects. On Monday, August 1 The White House Urban Entrepreneurship Forum, which Blake worked to create, came to Monroe College.
The all-day event featured guest speakers and panelists from private and public sectors who discussed the future of small business in the United States.The main goals of the event, according to Blake, were to “increase awareness of resources,” such as government assistance programs for local entrepreneurs, and “build coalitions that will be sustained after the event.”
It was the fourth such forum since the program began in early June and the first in New York. Blake said the forum furthered the Obama Administration’s goal of using grass-roots entrepreneurship in the country’s most populous areas to turn around the national economy.
Blake told the crowd of over 300 that the biggest challenge to their potential success would not be local, but from countries that have economies which are growing faster than the United States.
“We know that in the Bronx, you’re not competing with people on your block, you’re competing with people around the world,” Blake said.