Students get down to business at Bayou Classic’s Vendor Village

Chantal Smith, Campus and Community Liaison of the Community Development Action Coalition, talks with a potential customer about benefits to Our Money Matters, a program that she said makes an impact on the next generation of HBCU and MSI students, organizations, and community individuals with an innovative financial wellness platform funded by the Wells Fargo Foundation. (Photo by Damien Fairconetue)


By Damien Ishamel Fairconetue

NEW ORLEANS — On Friday, Nov. 25, 2022, on the second level at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in downtown New Orleans, Louisiana, several business representatives showcased their companies’ and agencies’ assets to multiple visitors.

Ron Butler; Chief Executive Officer of Community Development Action Coalition and Chantel Smith, Campus and Community Liaison; offered information about Our Money Matters (OMM) that they said helps individuals reach financial freedom and take control of their finances, so they can become higher wage earners, financial and social entrepreneurs, investors, and future philanthropists.

In addition, Rocsean Spencer, a Small Business Program director from the Earnest N. Morial Convention Center, offered information about powering small business growth that was committed to ensuring equity in economic opportunities.

Representatives of Kandles by Treavi in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, sold items, including a coffee mug illustrating the rivalry between Grambling State University and Southern University.

Because Grambling is in north Louisiana and Southern is in south Louisiana, the state is predominantly split for fans for the universities, and fittingly, several students from each school competed for Vendor Village “bragging rights.”

However, the Vendor Village was also a community of supporters from both schools that supported one another through supply and demand.  Several other organizations advertised their goods and services at the event.