The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation WEDC) is hosting the 36th annual statewide conference for minority, woman and veteran-owned businesses Dec. 13-14 at Potawatomi Hotel and Conference Center in Milwaukee.
The conference is expected to draw more than 700 attendees and is sponsored by corporations, small businesses and organizations, with Town Bank being this year’s Keystone Sponsor.
MARKETPLACE is the premier annual statewide business capacity-building conference for minority, woman and veteran business owners looking to do business with state, federal and local governments as well as the private sector. The conference provides opportunities for businesses to meet with dozens of potential buyers, identify funding sources, connect with business assistance resources and network with other businesses.
The conference kicks off Dec. 13 with the popular Small Business Academy for new businesses and entrepreneurs. This free half-day training academy will provide participants with practical advice from experts on topics such as social media marketing, bookkeeping, securing financing, and hiring and training employees.
Additional free workshops on contracting and certification will be offered the afternoon of Dec. 13, followed by a networking reception recognizing the impact and legacy of minority and woman-owned businesses.
On Dec. 14, the conference begins with a breakfast program followed by the opening of the Expo Hall, where attendees can meet one-on-one with potential buyers, connect with business lenders, view exhibits and network with other business owners.
The Governor’s Awards Luncheon on Dec.14, sponsored by US Bank, will recognize outstanding businesses owned by minorities, women and service-disabled veterans. More than 250 nominations were received this year for businesses of all sizes and from a diverse range of industries across the state.
The individual cost is $60 for both days, with a $20 additional fee for the Dec. 13 evening reception. Discounts are available for minority, woman and veteran-owned businesses. Buyers and supplier diversity managers from government agencies and private corporations attending to meet potential suppliers can register at no charge.