The Atlanta-based serial entrepreneur and master business strategist Dr. Felicia Phillips is a powerhouse connector of women and leader of the international conference, MogulCon.
It is nearly a century since the 1921 Tulsa race massacre that brought a fiery end to Black Wall Street. White residents were deputized by city officials and given authority to attack black residents and their businesses. Today, there are businesses burning and windows being smashed, but much of it has to do with continued race relations in America. Coupled with a seemingly endless pandemic and minority businesses are threatened once again. While minority-owned businesses were on the rise overall before the pandemic, the number owned by Black women has dropped sharply in 2020. Fortunately, Black women do what they have always done for centuries, make the best out of a bad situation.
Dr. Felicia Phillips is doing just that. As the mastermind behind MogulCon, the premiere event for female entrepreneurs, Dr. Phillips is an authority on entrepreneurship, leadership, diversity and more. She is using her 30 years of experience as a business owner to help women achieve more in life and business. Kontrol Magazine had the pleasure of talking with the mogul herself in an interview just before her big MogulCon event.
Dr. Felicia Phillips knows what it means to be a Black woman in a corporate world. From an early age, she was surrounded by entrepreneurs. “I come from a family where just about everybody was an entrepreneur and, more specifically, my great grandmother—Mattie Hutchinson. She was a serial business owner: a childcare center, a beauty salon, and a real estate owner.”
This upbringing helped solidify one solid refrain: “You can do anything you want if you put your mind to it, seriously.” Featured in The Huffington Post, Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Rolling Out, Sheen, Black Enterprise, and Upscale Magazine, just to name a few, Dr. Phillips is truly serious about raising the bar in her life. She’s produced a number of mega-events and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars in sponsorships that support women’s initiatives by collaborating with major brands such as Delta Air Lines, Microsoft, IKEA, State Farm, Wells Fargo, East West Bank, The Small Business Administration, and others.
While many have moments that change the course of their lives, none was more vivid than Dr. Phillips’ moment with her grandmother Mattie. “When I was turning sixteen, my grandmother said, ‘I see you. You are different, and I believe in you.’ After that, she went to the bank and she opened an account, depositing $500 in there just for me,” Dr. Phillips said. “It was a defining moment not just to believe in myself but how to give back to others.”
This desire to give back is the source of inspiration for MogulCon. “I’ve seen that companies who make under $1 million are often overlooked for money and other resources because they don’t have the infrastructure that larger companies do. Companies simply don’t want to take the risk on them. That’s why I started MogulCon.” Dr. Phillips tells the story of driving down I-75 and coming up with the name and vision for MogulCon with the express purpose of helping female minority small business owners. A short time later, a dream was a reality.
“I created MogulCon to show these small businesses how to get corporate ready, getting into the supply chain of a corporation and being prepared to make big moves.” And since 2016, MogulCon has been the #1 business conference for black women in business where attendees can walk away with the plan, tools, and resources needed to accelerate their business and become “corporate ready.” This conference attracts some of the best experts in the world, who provide knowledge, experience, and value. Women like Janice Bryant Howroyd, CEO of Act 1 Group and the first black woman to run a billion-dollar IT solutions firm, Pinky Cole, Founder of Slutty Vegan, Beatrice Feliu-Espada, Founder of The Honey Pot, Cornell McBride, President of Design Essentials and many others!
“MogulCon is more than a conference,” Dr. Phillips said. “It’s a sisterhood that reminds me of a homecoming of black female business owners. And these women thrive on knowing that they’re going to see each other on an annual basis.” With the pandemic still raging, the question arose about how this major conference could go on. “Black women are strategists, right? We will develop a plan on the fly. I got with my team and we made it happen anyway. Now, we are able to expand our reach worldwide, beyond our specific region.”
A virtual conference with an in-person stage. It’s something we’ve seen at the 2020 Democratic convention. This ingenuity highlights the true power of Black women and the joy they bring to everything they encounter. But what brings her joy? “My greatest joy is watching the lightbulb come on when a woman recognizes the opportunity that she didn’t know was there and now realizes that she can take advantage of it. Because the thing about success is that you aren’t truly successful until you can make other people successful.”
“Women are traditionally going to get less than one percent of venture capital. We all know it takes money to run a business,” Dr. Phillips said. “Then women have distractions like a relationship, being a parent, or being a caregiver. MogulCon is here because women need to believe that they can still thrive. They don’t have to live mediocre lives or settle for less. We all have to suit up and be prepared to fight so we can be successful and find our space in the world.”
MogulCon is arming Black women with the tools needed to fight and win. This year’s conference has some notable speakers including actress and comedian, Kim Whitley, multi-media personality Rashan Ali, radio personality and host Ramona DeBreaux, CEO of Canvas Beauty Brand Stormi Steel, motivational speaker Raven Magwood and many more. Some of MogulCon’s sessions include:
- Girl Thrive! How To Grow & Scale Your Small Business
- How to Monetize Your Social Media
- Dare To Lead: Vulnerability, Bravery & Courage
- Business-To-Corporate Matchmaker: Pitch Your Business
- The Pandemic Proof Launch System
Even beyond this conference, Dr. Phillips is planning some amazing things. “We are launching and enrolling in the Black Belt Academy (a 6-month program to help entrepreneurs). Then we are planning a four-city tour to see what’s happening in our communities when it comes to black women-owned businesses.” Then Dr. Phillips shared an exclusive project release with Kontrol Magazine. “I am starting the $1 Million Dreams Foundation for Black Women and Girls. We are teaching them how to get venture capital, with an attached tech program by partnering with some universities. There will be a girls’ summer program on entrepreneurship and classes on how to come back into the marketplace if they lost a job.”
For the last 5 years, MogulCon has changed lives and shows no signs of slowing down. To learn more about the conference on November 6-7, 2020 please visit www.mogulconlive.com and get your tickets. Join the conversation on social media and follow MogulCon on Instagram @themogulhq, on Twitter @themogulhq or LIKE on Facebook at www.facebook.com/themogulhq with the hashtag #MogulCon #MogulCon20.