Best Practices

A Year of Entrepreneurship: Calendar of Events to Celebrate Entrepreneurs and Economic Development

Published Jan 11, 2017 by Sarah Mote
Year of Entrepreneurship Conferences

At the end of every year (and again at the end of each quarter), we here at SourceLink sit down and map out our calendars. What conferences should we attend? What conversations should we follow? And how can we best and better raise the visibility for our affiliates, entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship?

Here’s the short list we came up with for 2017.

Below, you’ll see just a few of the business- and entrepreneurial-related events we celebrate (or create) throughout the year. These events help us shine the national spotlight on local entrepreneurs and on those on–the–ground resources that make local economies and their entrepreneurial ecosystems vibrant and vital.

By no means do we create a full–blown campaign out of everything on this list, but we do use it as a foundation (a post, a tweet, a social media hashtag trawl) to help our communities and entrepreneurs stay abreast of the national conversations happening around entrepreneurship. (This list does not serve as an endorsement for non–SourceLink events.)

Want to say hi to us at a conference? We’ll be at the conferences with an asterisk.

What events, conferences and conversations do you follow?



All month

National Mentoring Month

Financial Wellness Month

1st week

National Thank Your Customers Week

Women’s Self–Empowerment Week

Jan. 13

Make Your Dream Come True Day

Jan. 16

Martin Luther King Jr. Day #MLKDay

Jan. 17–19

U.S. Conference of Mayors @usmayors #USCM2017

Jan. 17–20

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting #wef

Jan. 19–22

U.S. Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship Conference @USASBE #USASBE2017

Jan. 19

Get to Know Your Customer Day

Jan. 19

Thank Your Mentor Day #ThankYourMentor

Jan. 25–28

Workforce Development Institute #comm_college

(American Association of Community Colleges)

Jan 29–31

* International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Leadership Summit

Jan. TBD

Battle of the Brands Webinar for Affiliates



All month

Black History Month

Youth Leadership Month

Feb. 11

National Inventors Day #nationalinventorsday

International Day of Women and Girls in Science #womeninSTEM

Feb. 18–25

National Entrepreneurship Week #NEW2017

(Consortium for Entrepreneurial Education)

Feb. 28–Mar. 2

Sustainability, Ethics & Entrepreneurship Conference #SEEConf2017



All month

National Women’s History Month

Battle of the Brands, powered by SourceLink

Mar. 8

International Women’s Day #internationalwomensday

Mar. 10–18

SXSW Conference #SXSW

Mar. 12

Daylight Saving 2017

Mar. 11–15

National League of Cities Congressional City Conference

Mar. 10-16

* South by Southwest (Tech Industry and Government) #SXSW

Mar. 14–17

Global Entrepreneurship Congress #GEC2017

Mar. 21–23

* California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED) Conference

Mar. 23–25

VentureWell 21st Annual Conference #VWopen

Mar. 26–28

* EDA University Meeting

Mar. 26–29

* 31st International Conference on Business Incubation (InBIA) #ICBI31

Mar. 29

National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day



First Week

National Library Week #nationallibraryweek #librariestransform


Shop Local Webinar for Affiliates

Apr. 4–7

Skoll World Forum #skollwf

Apr. 11

National Library Workers Day #NLWD17

Apr. 30–May 3

Milken Institute Global Conference



All month

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

Jewish American Heritage Month

Shop Local, powered by SourceLink

First Week

National Small Business Week #DreamSmallBiz

(U.S. Small Business Administration)

May 1–3

Main Street Now Conference #NOW17

May 17–20

Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit #BESummit

May 19

The Startup Conference #startupconf

May 21

Armed Forces Day

May 29

Memorial Day

May 31–June 2

National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations Conference



All month

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual Pride Month

2nd Week

Families in Business Week

June 4–6

International Economic Development Council (IEDC) Economic Future Forum

June 4–7

National Association of Regional Councils Annual Conference

June 7–10

Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference

June 20–22

WBENC National Conference & Business Fair (Women’s Business Enterprise National Council

June 21–23

Mid–America Economic Development Council Best Practices Conference #MAEDC

June 22–23

Kauffman Foundation Entrepreneurship Summit

June 22–24

Global Entrepreneurship Summit #GES2017

(U.S. Agency for International Development)



July 4

Independence Day



All month

National Inventors Month

Diversity Awareness Month

Aug 9–12

Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Convention #ACCE17

Aug. 20–22

* Southern Economic Development Council Conference

Aug. 21

World Entrepreneurs’ Day #TwentyFirstAugust

(Alliance of International Business Associations)

Aug. 25–26

Last Best Conference #lbcon

(Montana Enterprise Center)

Aug. 26–29

National Urban League Annual Conference #saveourcities


Global Entrepreneurship Week Webinar for Affiliates



All month

Hispanic Heritage Month

Sept. 4

Labor Day

Sept. 17–20

* International Economic Development Council Annual Conference

Sept. 26–27

The N.C. Rural Center Assembly

Sept. 27–29

CEO for Cities National Meeting #cbusceo

Sept. 29–Oct. 1

Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers Conference #GCEC2017



All Month

Women’s Small Business Month

National Home–Based Business Week

1st week

Customer Service Week

Oct 1–3

* Northeastern Economic Development Council

Oct. 8–11

National Association of Community College Entrepreneurs Conference


Oct. 9–12

Association of University Research Parks International Conference

Oct. 16–19

* University Economic Development Association Annual Conference


Oct. 18–20

Texas Economic Development Council Annual Conference #txedc17

Oct. 30–Nov. 3

National Veterans Small Business Week #MyVetBiz






All Month

National Entrepreneurship Month

American Indian Heritage Month


Shop Local Webinar for Affiliates

Nov. 1–3

* SSTI Annual Conference #SSTI2017
(State Science & Technology Institute)

Nov. 1–3

National Rural Economic Developers Association Annual Conference #NREDA

Nov. 9–11

NRETA Job Creation Summit
(North East Regional Employment and Training Association)

Nov. 11

Veterans’ Day

Nov. 13–19

Global Entrepreneurship Week #GEW

Nov. 15–18

National League of Cities Summit #NLCSummit17

Nov. 19

Women’s Entrepreneurship Day #choosewomen

Nov. 25

Small Business Saturday

Nov. 28

Giving Tuesday



All month

Shop Local, powered by SourceLink

Dec. 1–2

Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship

(Kauffman Foundation)

Dec. 5–7

BALLE Leadership Summit #BalleSummit17
(The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies)