Cynthia Daniels, Michael Ferrera, Andrea Johnson

If you’re an entrepreneur hesitant to make a leap of faith, or a business owner in need of an extra push, then this year’s Level Up conference should be on your growth-and-development list.

Created by Cynthia Daniels & Co., the Oct. 13-14 conference is set for the Hilton Memphis, 939 Ridgelake Blvd. It will feature 40-plus speakers, 12 panels and what organizers describe as “game-changing information spread out over 4 tracks that will take your business, career and personal life to the next level.”

The conference unfolds amid Blacktech Week’s 2017 list of the Best Cities for Black Owned Businesses. Memphis, which ranked third in 2015, had risen to the top spot, supplanting Atlanta. The narrative with Memphis’ ranking included this:

“With an average annual revenue almost equal to that of Atlanta, Memphis has a lower unemployment rate (the lowest among the top 10), lower cost of living index, and higher percentage of black owned businesses (2nd nationwide). The city has its own Black Business Association and has a powerful cultural life, with recent growth in showbiz, manifested in a significant number of major motion pictures filmed in the area and bio science and manufacturing.”

“With Memphis leading in black entrepreneurship, this is a great opportunity to connect and establish relationships with the same like-minded people,” Daniels said.

Daniels said attendees can expect a series of relationship panels catered and designed for both men and women.

“The males will have an all-female panel, and the women will have their own male panel,” Daniels said. “It’s just to see what it’s like maintaining personal relationships while trying to obtain and reach your business goals from both sides.”

The keynote speaker is Michael Ferrera, founder and president of Michael Ferrera Clothing, which features custom-made clothes for athletes and entertainers. The author of “The Perfect Gentleman’s Pocket Guide,” Ferrera will share his journey to success, with pointers on how others can navigate their own paths.

Special guest speakers will include Andrea Johnson, CEO of Bubble Bistro; Terrell Monger, motivational speaker; Megan Turner, senior manager, advisory servies at Ernst & Young; Cedric Brooks, principal, CMB Capital; and Joann Massey, director of Business Diversity & Compliance for the City of Memphis.

That basic format will be employed by other guest speakers.

At the end of the two-day event comes the Elixir Cocktail Party at Opera Memphis. The mixer will consist of four rooms, six DJ’s as well as food and tons of networking opportunities.

Title sponsor: First Tennessee Bank. Sponsors: FedEx, New Memphis Institute, City of Memphis-Office of Business Diversity & Compliance.

(For more information, visit Cynthia Daniels an& Co. on Facebook; www.level17.eventbrite.)