Best Practices

How to Connect Entrepreneurs at Small Business Week Celebrations

Published May 19, 2016

How can you rally your community around entrepreneurship? Use the buzz of national events to showcase your startups and small businesses—and then use technology—like an app or personalized calendar--to amplify your efforts.

Case in point: in May communities celebrated entrepreneurship during National Small Business Week. Since 1963, the annual event sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recognizes the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs and small business owners from across the nation.

National Small Business Week has spawned a variety of smaller regional celebrations. Here are how two SourceLink affiliates are celebrating entrepreneurs in their communities.

Loudoun Small Business Week

The Loudoun (VA) Department of Economic Development and its Screenshot_2016-05-16-12-47-13_1463421016260partners are celebrating their 5th Annual Loudoun Small Business Week, May 16–22, 2016.

Nineteen events are scheduled for current and future small business owners including panel discussions, workshops, awards programs and a resource and social hour to educate, connect and celebrate the region’s small business community.

1Week KC

KCSourceLink and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation are hosting 1Week KC, a celebration connecting entrepreneurs throughout Kansas City, May 20–27, 2016.

1Week KC kicks off with a Startup Crawl offering a one-night tour of the metro’s many budding companies. Eight shuttles will loop around 11 locations showcasing 100 startups. The events continue throughout the week, including a multicultural business happy hour, a start and scale business day, a demo day for KC’s Sprint Accelerator and the 5th annual Entrepreneurship Day at the K where the startup community can gather, network and cheer the World Champion Royals at Kauffman Stadium. 

Use Technology to Expand Your Network Reach

Loudoun Economic Development debuted an app that attendees used to track 5-16-2016 2-00-28 PMSmall Business Week events, locations and speakers. Each event listing on the Loudoun SCW 2016 app includes a Google map and users can go to live Twitter and Instagram feeds, read speaker bios and fill out an event survey.

KCSourceLink launched an interactive calendar that allows users to build personalized agendas and allows partner organizations an easy way to track and survey attendees. (Check out the calendar at www.1WeekKC.com.)

With compelling programming and shareable communication participants can join your entrepreneurial community, celebrate small business strength and share it forward.

Bring the Entrepreneurial Celebration Home

You don’t have to wait until next May to showcase your entrepreneurial community. Check out this calendar of national small business celebrations on which you can hang your local events and celebrate the businesses that grow your economy. It’s not even too early to start planning your strategy for Global Entrepreneurship Week, Nov. 14–20, 2016.

To learn more about tools to promote your community celebrations, contact Dara Macan, dmacan@joinsourcelink.com, 844-804-8775.