Melinda29Melinda F. Emerson, known as SmallBizLady, is America’s #1 Small Business Expert. She has been a thriving entrepreneur for nearly 15 years and is an internationally known keynote speaker. Melinda’s small business advice is widely read reaching more than 3 million entrepreneurs each week on the internet. A pioneer in social media marketing, she is the creator and host of #Smallbizchat, the longest running live chat on Twitter for small business owners.

In addition to being a regular columnist for the New York Times, she is frequently quoted by other media organizations including The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, MSNBC and Fox News. Forbes magazine named her the #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She is an expert on what it takes the start a successful small business, marketing pitfalls to avoid, and how to become a brand in demand using social media. She is the publisher of her resource blog www.succeedasyourownboss.com, which is syndicated by the Huffington Post and is the bestselling author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months and the ebook How To Become a Social Media Ninja. She is also a regular contributor to Essence magazine and the lead instructor for the Black Enterprise Small Business University.

Melinda is the founder and president of the Quintessence Group, an award-winning marketing consulting firm based in Philadelphia, PA. Her company works with Fortune 500 companies on to build marketing campaigns and social media strategy to engage small business customers. She advises her clients on how to create a path to purchase with entrepreneurs and women business owners. Notable Clients Include: Pitney Bowes, American Express, Dell, Staples, Sam’s Club, Chase Bank, Facebook, FedEx, IKEA, Verizon, Wells Fargo, and Xerox.

In 2012, she created the Melinda F. Emerson Foundation for small business success. The focus of the organization is to provides training materials for small organizations and schools to teach her Become Your Own Boss business curriculum, provide mentoring and business training for minority and women entrepreneurs through the Reinvention Weekend Program, and scholarships for existing entrepreneurs to attend executive education programs.

Melinda is a graduate of Virginia Tech and the proud mother of her amazing son. Her favorite message to small business owners; You never lose in business! Either you win or you learn.