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Magic Johnson to Address
Urban Entrepreneurship in Lexington

By Dan Adkins

 

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"Magic Johnson has proven that neglected urban neighborhoods are in fact renewed frontiers that are starving for business enterprises. We hope he will start the conversation for how we can mirror his economic development success for Lexington and other communities across the state."

-- Lee T. Todd Jr.,
president,
University of Kentucky

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Lexington, Ky. (Nov. 15, 2002)-- National Basketball Association Hall of Fame inductee Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. is coming to Lexington on Wednesday, Nov. 20, to advocate his business philosophy of investing in projects that have redeeming social value.

The event, to be held at the Hyatt Regency Lexington, is called "Investing in Urban Entrepreneurship -- An Evening with Magic Johnson."

Johnson, through Johnson Development Corp., focuses on projects and investments such as supermarkets and movie theaters in underserved urban neighborhoods. The company's business model seeks to foster economic growth and financial empowerment in urban areas.

Lee T. Todd Jr., president of the University of Kentucky and one of the event's hosts, said, "Creating a dynamic economy in today's world involves a number of important elements from education to technological innovation and access to capital. It also includes the creation of an open, diverse economy that provides opportunities to a broad cross-section of all citizens. Magic Johnson has proven that neglected urban neighborhoods are in fact renewed frontiers that are starving for business enterprises. We hope he will start the conversation for how we can mirror his economic development success for Lexington and other communities across the state."

"Having an international name like Magic Johnson here in Lexington puts the spotlight on our efforts to promote diversity as an important tool in the larger effort to build an entrepreneurial economy in Lexington and Kentucky," said Kris Kimel, president of Kentucky Science & Technology Corp., another event sponsor.

P.G. Peeples, president of the Lexington-Fayette County Urban League, said, "This event is being held to learn and discuss in greater detail the business strategy of the Johnson Development Corp., as well as to establish a dialogue with the company that could possibly lead to similar work in Lexington and Kentucky."

The Kentucky Science & Technology Corp., the University of Kentucky and the Lexington-Fayette County Urban League are hosting the dinner. Sponsors hope the event will draw several hundred business and community leaders from throughout the state.


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