NEWARK, NJ - The state will host a summit in Newark to connect businesses owned by minorities, women, veterans and LGBTQ people with $1 billion in contracting opportunities. 

The NJ Connects summit is being organized by the state Office of Diversity and Inclusion, which was created by Gov. Phil Murphy when he first began his tenure. The summit will take place Sept. 20 at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Purchasing representatives from New Jersey-based corporations are expected to attend. The summit will feature panel discussions, business boot camps and workshops. 

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“It’s important that diverse business owners have a seat at the table,” said Chief Diversity Officer Hester Agudosi. “NJ Connects will provide a forum for business owners to showcase their products and services, while connecting them to key public and private sector procurement decision makers.”

The summit is geared towards minority, women, veteran, and LGBTQ business owners interested in working with the state or New Jersey-based corporations that offer diversity programs. 

NJIT's Wellness and Events Center will be filled with panel discussions, business boot camps and workshops. More than 750 individuals are expected along with about 150 exhibitors from the public and private sectors.

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“Our goal is to ensure that everyone who wants to do business, both with and within the great State of New Jersey, has the tools and support they need in order to succeed,” said Murphy. “This summit will provide critical resources to connect diverse businesses with economic opportunities in order to further our goal of creating a stronger and fairer economy.”

Exhibitor space is available for government agencies, non-profit organizations, and private corporations. Any public or private entity interested in serving as a sponsor or an exhibitor should contact Emogene Mitchell at or 908-899-0229.

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