National Small Business Week’s 50th anniversary is underway. A nationwide event, the week has been designated since 1963 and every sitting United States president has put aside one week each year to recognize America’s small business owners.
For the first time, National Small Business Week (NSBW) events will be held in multiple cities, according to the U.S. Small Business Association. Each city will feature one day of events during the week and the week will end with the NSBW awards ceremony in Washington, DC.
According to Karen Mills, chief of the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA), “It occurred to us that the right way to reach more and more and more small businesses is to take us on the road.” National Small Business Week activities will be occurring in five different cities daily, from Seattle, Washington, to Dallas, Texas, to St. Louis, Missouri, to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to Washington, D.C. with the goal of ensuring that more small businesses become aware of SBA services.
Prior to this year’s national events, the week’s activities have always taken place in Washington, DC. Now, each city will be hosting talks and panel discussions, as well as providing mentoring opportunities, according to Entrepreneur.com. Events are expected to run about $300,000, which is less than half of 2012’s costs, which are always covered by corporate sponsors.
Tickets are hard to come by, however many of the events will be streamed live on the SBA’s web site. Also, Google + hangouts are scheduled for 4:00 p.m. EDT each day. The schedule of events is also accessible and some topics may include:
- Growing Your Business by Expanding it Internationally
- Securing Government Contracting Projects
- Strategies for Improving Your Social Media Reach
- Accessing Capital for Your Business
- What the Affordable Care Act Will Mean to Your Business
- Improving the Efficiency of Your Supply Chain
- How Crowd-Sourcing Can Benefit Your Business
Key entrepreneurs will also be speaking during the week. For instance, Jack Dorsey, who co-founded the mobile-payment company Square and micro-blogging social-media leviathan, Twitter, will be speaking on Thursday evening. On Friday, look for National Football League Hall of Fame quarterback and entrepreneur, Fran Tarkenton, in the morning; the evening’s keynote speaker, Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List, is scheduled.
The National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC) has partnered with the SBA and the Small Business Majority (SBM), as well. In fact, the SBA is working to make federal procurement opportunities available for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) business owner community. The NGLCC also announced that one of its Founding Corporate Partners, Wells Fargo, is celebrating Small Business appreciation week at its locations nationwide.
Clifford, Catherine. “SBA Roadshow for Small Business Week’s 50-Year Anniversary.” Entrepreneur.com; June 13, 2013.
Kutney, Colleen. “National Small Business Week Celebrates 50th Anniversary.” National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce; June 11, 2013.