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BuyDetroit’s Passport 2 Procurement 2 Conference focuses on helping Detroit entrepreneurs scale beyond the neighborhoods

Jan 25, 2024

  • Over 200 attendees at second annual Passport 2 Procurement 2 (P2P2) Conference
  • Featured high-profile guest speakers include Mathew Knowles, Karissma Yve, and former Detroit Lions wide receiver Herman Moore
  • Major buyers like DTE, Comerica Bank and Henry Ford Health participate to connect with Detroit-based suppliers and explore potential new partnerships

DETROIT (January 25, 2024) – BuyDetroit, a small business initiative of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC), hosted its second annual Passport 2 Procurement conference today at the Hollywood Casino at Greektown, with over 200 attendees.

The landmark procurement-readiness event, held in partnership with Pure Michigan Business Connect, features workshops, panel discussions and networking opportunities that connect entrepreneurs with decision-makers from major institutions. This year featured high-profile guest speakers like Mathew Knowles, motivational coach and the father and former manager of Beyonce, Gildform CEO Karissma Yve and former Detroit Lions wide receiver Herman Moore, now CEO of Team84 LLC.

Knowles took part in a virtual conversation with BuyDetroit Director Mikki Godfrey, where he offered insights on how Detroit entrepreneurs can strategically grow and scale their business.

“The relationships and knowledge gained at Passport 2 Procurement 2 Conference (P2P2) empower Detroit businesses to compete, create jobs and build generational wealth,” said BuyDetroit Director Mikki Godfrey. “The conference brought together seasoned entrepreneurs across industries to help strengthen economic mobility in Detroit.”

Karissma Yve addresses crowd at Passport 2 Procurement 2 Conference at Hollywood Casino in Greektown.

Yve, who leads an on-demand jewelry and design company and collaborated with major brands like Marvel and Shinola, offered participants strategies for identifying product demand, scaling emerging businesses and spurring growth.

Moore, whose success has translated off the football field and into the boardroom, shared his experiences leading a business conglomerate that offers a suite of companies in manufacturing, fulfillment, technology and marketing.

“I love sharing my journey. Successes and missteps, answering opportunities and hesitations that cost me,” said Moore. “The Passport 2 Procurement 2 Conference is an opportunity for me to help educate and share my journey in hope of inspiring others.

Major buyers such as DTE, Comerica Bank and Henry Ford Health participated to connect with Detroit-based suppliers and explore potential new partnership opportunities. Organizers hope by facilitating these interactions between businesses and major institutional buyers, new relationships will lead to new contract opportunities for conference attendees.

Herman Moore (left) shares the stage with BuyDetroit Director Mikki Godfrey.

In addition, participants attended practical workshops hosted by Detroit Means Business, the City of Detroit, New Economy Initiative and the Detroit LGBT Chamber of Commerce. These workshops equipped entrepreneurs with valuable skills to grow their businesses, including training on business marketing, preparing competitive bids and demystifying procurement processes.

“It’s been incredible to watch this event grow over the past two years,” said DEGC President Kevin Johnson. “The event helps connect diverse small businesses with game-changing partnerships and growth opportunities. It has been incredible to watch diverse local entrepreneurs gain access to the knowledge, resources and connections needed to grow their ventures meaningfully.”

BuyDetroit serves as a centralized hub connecting Detroit buyers, suppliers and contractors across industries to new business opportunities. The P2P2 conference builds on the inaugural event, which featured FUBU Founder and Shark Tank co-host Daymond John.

Audience members engage at Passport 2 Procurement 2 Conference.

DEGC plans to continue growing Passport 2 Procurement year after year. More information can be found at

About Detroit Economic Growth Corporation (DEGC):

Detroit Economic Growth Corporation is a non-profit organization that serves as Detroit’s lead implementing agency for business retention, attraction and economic development. DEGC is led by a board comprised of business, civic and community leaders. Its staff provides services for key public authorities that facilitate incentives and other forms of financing for projects that bring new jobs and investment to the City. DEGC also manages important initiatives to support small businesses and grow neighborhood commercial corridors. DEGC is dedicated to inclusive development and access to economic opportunity

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