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 2021.
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.
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.)
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Black History Month (State of Black America Report from the National Urban League)
Time Management Month
Youth Leadership Month
Library Lovers’ Month
International Day of Women and Girls in Science #womeninSTEM
National Inventors Day #nationalinventorsday
California Association of Local Economic Development -CALED’s 2021 Webinar Wednesday, Legislative Outlook, Wednesday, February 3, 1:00pm - 2:00pm PST.
Entrepreneurs of Color: Building American Opportunity, Thursday February 11, 11:30am - 3:30pm ET
NatlEshipWeek, Feb 13th to 20th, #NatlEshipWeek #NationalEntrepreneurshipWeek
Black Enterprise Diversity and Inclusion Summit 2021, (virtual) February 25
Startup Grind Global Conference, Feb 22nd to 25th, #startupgrind
Sustainability, Ethics & Entrepreneurship Conference, Feb 27th to March 1st #SEEConf2021
National Women’s History Month,
National Credit Education Month
WBENC 2021: Focus on the Future, (virtual) all month, Women's Business Enterprise National Council
International Women’s Day March 8, #IWD2021 #EachforEqual
Daylight Saving Time 2021, March 14
National League of Cities Congressional City Conference, 2021 (virtual), March 7th - 10th #vwopen
2021 Women's Entrepreneurship Symposium: Pathways to invention, entrepreneurship, and STEM careers for K-12 and beyond, (virtual) March 10, Noon - 1:30pm ET
National Library Week 2021
, April 5th-April 10th, #NationalLibraryWeek #LibrariesTransform
American Association of Community Colleges, AACC Live, April 11th-14th, virtual or in-person, Nashville
Main Street Now Conference, April 12th-April 14th.
Skoll World Forum 2021 (virtual) #skollwf, April 13th-15th
Rural Broadband RuralRISE Mini-Summit, April 15th
National Get to Know Your Customer Day, April 15th, #GetToKnowYourCustomersDay
IEDC's Economic Development Academy, April 20 -23rd
International Conference on Business Incubation - InBIA's Annual Conference, #ICBI35, April 26th-30th
2021 Collective Impact Action Summit
, April 27th-29th
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Jewish American Heritage Month
National Small Business Week, 2021 May 2nd - May 8th (tentative) #SmallBusinessWeek,#NSBW #NationalSmallBusinessWeek
American Association of Community Colleges, AACC Digital, Thursdays in May
IEDC Workforce Development Strategies, (virtual) May 4th - 5th, 11:00am to 5:30pm ET.
IEDC Professional Development - Business Retention and Expansion, (virtual) May 6th - 7th
IEDC Economic Development Week, May 9th - 15th #EconDevWeek
IEDC Economic Development Finance Programs, May 19th - 21st, 11:00am to 5:30pm ET.
Rural RISE Monthly Action Session Web Conference, (virtual) May 20th, 2:00pm ET
HackOut: Startup and StartOut weekend 2021, (virtual) May 21st - 23rd, #HackOut2021
Mid-America Economic Development Council Best Practices Conference 2021 (virtual) May 12th - 13th, #MAEDC
The World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2021, May 25th - 28th, Singapore
Memorial Day, May 31
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transexual Pride Month
IEDC - Economic Development Marketing and Attraction, June 3-4, 11:00am - 5:30pm ET.
Women in Technology Online Festival, June 7th - 11th, #WITOnlineFestival
IEDC Economic Future Forum, (virtual) June 7th - 8th
Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference, 2021 (virtual) June 9th - 12th
Rural RISE Monthly Action Session Web Conference, June 17th, 2:00pm ET
IEDC Introduction to Entrepreneurship-let Economic Development, (virtual) June 17th - June 18th, 11:00am - 5:30pm ET
Lesbians WHO Tech Pride Summit, (virtual) June 21st - 25th, #LWTSUMMIT @LESBIANTECH @LWTECH
Essence Festival of Culture, Weekend 1, (virtual) June 25th - June 27, #ESSENCEFEST
National Recreation and Parks Month
National Culinary Arts Month
Independence Day, July 4th
Essence Festival of Culture, Weekend 2, (virtual) July 2nd - July 4th, #ESSENCEFEST
SBA Community Navigator Pilot Program grant applications due, July 12
Rural RISE Monthly Action Session Web Conference, July 15th, 2:00pm ET.
IEDC Real Estate Development and Reuse, July 15 - 16, 11:00am - 5:30pm ET.
Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Convention (virtual), 2021 Chamber Innovation Summit, July19th - 21st.
Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15th - October 15th
Labor Day, September 6th
National Small Business Week, September 13th - 17th
National Small Business Week Virtual Summit, September 13th-15th
National Black MBA Association 43rd Annual Conference and Career Expo,
September 14 - 18, Chicago
IEDC - Economic Development Credit Analysis, (virtual), September 15-17
University Economic Development Association Annual Summit (UEDA), Savannah, GA,
September 19 - 21, #uedasummit
Rural RISE Summit 2021, September 20th - 21st. Emporia, KS
Radically Rural, September 22-23rd, Keene, New Hampshire and virtual, @RadicallyRural
National Urban League Annual Conference,(virtual) September 28 - October 1, #NULCONF21
Global Diversity Awareness Month
National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship (NACCE) Annual Conference, Minneapolis, October 3 - 6
IEDC 2021 Annual Conference, Nashville, TN, October 3 - 6
Forbes Under 30 Summit, (virtual), October 11 - 12
Association of University Research Parks (AURP) International Conference 2021, Salt Lake City,
October 18 - 21
National Business Women's Week, October 18 - 22
IEDC - Introduction to Entrepreneurship-led Economic Development, October 19 - 20
IEDC - Economic Development Academy, October 19 - 20
IEDC - Accelerating Growth though Entrepreneurship-Led Economic Development, October 21.
InBIA Ecosystem Builders Forum, Columbus, Ohio, October 25 - 26
2021 Latino Business Entrepreneurship Summit (virtual), Aspen Institute Latinos and Society (AILAS) October 27, 8:30am - 4:00pm ET
More 2021 Events
Our team is working on collecting additional information for future events for April and beyond. Please email us if you know about upcoming events that should be included and check back often as we update this page.
SIGNUP FOR ENTREPRENEURSHIP-LED BEST PRACTICES STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX