Created in 1998, the Economic Summit seminar began as a way to provide eduction in financial literacy to minorities, nonprofits, low- to moderate income individuals and families and interested citizens. Topics include managing money and setting and meeting financial goals and creating and passing on generational wealth. Now it services all people, with emphasis on equipping youth to make smart financial decisions. The Economic Summit and Student Leadership Conference has educated more than 1,500 people since its inception.
The Economic Summit portion of the program features instruction from experts in finance, accounting, investing, retirement, insurance, real estate and higher education presenting workshops on topics like opening checking accounts, using credit, exploring careers in finance, applying for college scholarships and student loans, diversifying your portfolio and more. In the afternoon, students participate in an Entrepreneurial Marketplace competition where students run their own businesses.
For the first decade, the event drew between 75 and 150 participants, with high school students comprising the bulk of the attendees. Over the past three years, attendance has increased, averaging 230 youth. Parental workshops have boosted adult participation. The target demographics comprise youth ages 14-18 (high school) and adults ages (24-65). In 2011, the event welcomed middle school students, with a workshop designed on helping them successfully transition to high school.
Each year, a high-profile speaker delivers a keynote address. Speakers are drawn from a variety of backgrounds. Previous speakers include Nevada Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford; Punam Mathur, NV Energy vice president of human resources; and former Urban Chamber president Hannah Brown. Companies that have provided workshop presenters include MGM Resorts International, Wells Fargo, Bank of Nevada, Marquis and Aurbach law firm, Merrill Lynch and many more.
In 2010, the original organizers—Omega Psi Phi Charities of Nevada, the Kappa Xi Chapter of omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and the Theta Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.—expanded the network of groups participating in the event. As such, Las Vegas chapter of the the Urban League Young Professionals and the Urban League Guild are event partners, bringing their skills to bear on parental workshops and an afternoon Entrepreneur Marketplace for students.