Calendar of Events to Celebrate Entrepreneurs and Economic Development

Calendar of Events to Celebrate Entrepreneurs and Economic Development

Attending conferences and celebrating entrepreneur-focused events are some of the best ways to stay up to date with entrepreneurship-led economic development. And certainly, these opportunities let you learn how other communities “do entrepreneurship,” but they also allow you to network with the practitioners and thought leaders who are helping empower entrepreneurs and shape entrepreneurial ecosystems.

But we know it’s hard to keep track of all of the conferences and business-specific holidays and hashtags. So 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. Which conferences should we attend? Which Twitter chats and hashtags should we follow? And how can we best and better raise the visibility for our affiliates, entrepreneurs, ecosystem builders and entrepreneurship?

Here’s our short list we came up with for 2018. Below, you’ll see just a few of the business— and entrepreneurial–related events we celebrate or create. These events help us shine the national spotlight on local entrepreneurs and on–the–ground resources that make local economies and their entrepreneurial ecosystems vibrant and vital.

Be sure to grab your spot for the second Growing Entrepreneurial Communities Summit in April (highlight intentional). We're co-hosting with the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, NetWork Kansas, Edward Lowe Foundation and the Center for Rural Entrepreneurship. 

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) 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 in bold font.

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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. 15

Martin Luther King Jr. Day #MLKDay

Jan. 17–19

U.S. Conference of Mayors @usmayors #USCM2018

Jan. 10–14

U.S. Association of Small Business and Entrepreneurship Conference @USASBE #USASBE2018

Jan. 19

Get to Know Your Customer Day #GetToKnowYourCustomersDay

Jan. 19

Thank Your Mentor Day #ThankYourMentor

Jan. 23–26

World Economic Forum Annual Meeting #WEF

Jan. 28–30

International Economic Development Council Leadership Conference

Jan. 30–Feb. 2

AACC Workforce Development Institute 2018 #comm_college (American Association of Community Colleges)


All month

Black History Month
Youth Leadership Month
Library Lovers’ Month

Feb. 11

International Day of Women and Girls in Science #womeninSTEM
National Inventors Day #nationalinventorsday

Feb. 12–14

Startup Grind Global Conference #startupgrind

Feb. 18–25

National Entrepreneurship Week #NEW2018
(Consortium for Entrepreneurial Education)

Feb. 21–23

Texas Economic Development Council Annual Conference #TXEDC18


All month

National Women’s History Month
National Credit Education Month

Mar. 2–4

Sustainability, Ethics & Entrepreneurship Conference #SEEConf2018

Mar. 8

International Women’s Day #internationalwomensday

Mar. 9–18

SXSW Conference #SXSW

Mar. 11

Daylight Saving Time 2018

Mar. 11–14

National League of Cities Congressional City Conference

Mar. 14–16

California Association for Local Economic Development Conference

Mar. 22–24

VentureWell Open 2018 #vwopen

Mar. 26–28

Main Street Now Conference

Mar. 29

National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day

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First Week

National Library Week #nationallibraryweek #librariestransform

Apr. 10–13

Skoll World Forum #skollwf

Apr. 11

National Library Workers Day #NLWD18

Apr. 16–19

Global Entrepreneurship Congress 2018

Apr. 19

National Get to Know Your Customers Day #GetToKnowYourCustomersDay

Apr. 21–25

32nd International Conference on Business Incubation #ICBI32

Apr. 25–26

Growing Entrepreneurial Communities Summit #growingeship

Apr. 28–May 1

American Association of Community Colleges Annual Conference

Apr. 29–May 2

Milken Institute Global Conference


All month

Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Jewish American Heritage Month

Apr. 29–May 5

National Small Business Week #DreamSmallBiz
(U.S. Small Business Administration)

May 1–3  Mid-America EDC Best Practices Conference

May 19

The Startup Conference #startupconf


All month

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual Pride Month

1st Week

National Business Etiquette Week

2nd Week

Families in Business Week

June 3–6

National Association of Regional Councils Annual Conference

June 6–9

Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit #BESummit

June 6–9

Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference

June 19–21

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


All month

National Recreation and Parks Month
National Culinary Arts Month

July 5

Work-a-holics Day #workaholicsday

July 11–13   Kauffman Foundation's #ESHIPSummit

July 17–20

Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Convention #ACCE18

July 29–31

Southern Economic Development Council Conference


All month

National Inventors Month
Diversity Awareness Month

Aug. 1–4

National Urban League Annual Conference #saveourcities

Aug. 3–4   Last Best Conference #lbcon (Montana Enterprise Center)

Aug. 5

Work Like a Dog Day #worklikeadogday

Aug. 21

World Entrepreneurs’ Day #TwentyFirstAugust
(Alliance of International Business Associations)


All month

Hispanic Heritage Month

Sept. 4

Labor Day

Sept. 12–14

National Alliance of Community Economic Development Associations Conference

Sept. 30–Oct. 1

International Economic Development Council Annual Conference

Sept. 26–27

The N.C. Rural Center Assembly

Sept. 27–29

CEO for Cities National Meeting #cbusceo


All Month

Women’s Small Business Month
National Home–Based Business Week

1st week

Customer Service Week

Oct. 7–10

National Association of Community College Entrepreneurs Conference #NACCE2018

Oct. 23–26

Association of University Research Parks International Conference

Oct. 12–14

Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers Conference #GCEC2018

Oct. 16–19

University Economic Development Association Annual Conference 

Oct. 14–20

National Business Women’s Week

Oct. 16

Boss’s Day

Oct. 21–23

Northeast Economic Development Association Annual Conference #NEDANewark

Oct. 30–Nov. 3

National Veterans Small Business Week #MyVetBiz


All Month

National Entrepreneurship Month
Native American Heritage Month

Nov. 1–3

SSTI Annual Conference #SSTI2018
(State Science & Technology Institute)

Nov. 7–9

National Rural Economic Developers Association Annual Conference #NREDA

June 13–14

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

Nov. 11

Veteran’s Day

Nov. 12–18

Global Entrepreneurship Week #GEW18

Nov. 15–18

National League of Cities Summit #CitySummit18

Nov. 19

Women’s Entrepreneurship Day #choosewomen

Nov. 24

Small Business Saturday #shopsmall

Nov. 27

Giving Tuesday


All month

National Write a Business Plan Month

Dec. 1–2

Mayors Conference on Entrepreneurship
(Kauffman Foundation)

Dec. 5–7

BALLE Leadership Summit #BalleSummit18
(The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies)