Starting up a business is often a baptism of fire. Small-town entrepreneurs in particular can often feel isolated, with nobody to turn to for advice. However, there are a number of conferences developed specifically for small business owners, providing support and networking opportunities. From cross-state expositions to intimate events, here are five of the best conferences for small business owners in the USA.
Small Business Expo
The Small Business Expo is America’s largest B2B trade show. Held in ten different locations across the country, this is the ultimate networking event for entrepreneurs. Each show is free to attend – although a range of paid workshops are also available.
The next expo will take place in Boston on 6th October. Attendees have more than 20 specialist workshops to choose from, along with five speed-networking events and a keynote speech by Powerteam International’s Bill Walsh.
Women’s Business Conference
The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) has provided support and advice to female entrepreneurs for 40 years. Their annual Women’s Business Conference routinely attracts the world’s best talent – previous speakers have included Erin Andrew of the SBA, and MSNBC host JJ Ramberg.
The 2015 conference takes place on September 27-29th in San Antonio, Texas. The theme – ‘Be the Change’ – reflects the growing opportunities available to women in the recovering global economy.
America’s Small Business Summit
America’s Small Business Summit – one of the country’s most prestigious entrepreneurial conferences – is held annually by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 2014’s summit was universally praised, with the next event due to take place in June 2015.
Sponsored by some of the biggest names in business, this conference is relatively expensive. However, the speakers are world-class – previous talks have been given by Steve Case, Charlie Cook, and Susan O’Malley.
Entrepreneur Magazine’s Growth Conference
Entrepreneur Magazine is one of the world’s most respected business publications. Their free annual Growth Conference – now in its 7th year – is also held in high regard. The date for 2015 is yet to be announced, but it’s set to be the highlight of the business conference calendar.
The 2014 event featured networking sessions, hands-on workshops, and a keynote speech from famed TED presenter Erik Wahl.
Inc. Women’s Summit
On September 18th, New York will play host to one of the most important conferences for female entrepreneurs – the Inc. Women’s Summit. The event is set to feature an all-star cast of keynote speakers, from NewME’s Angela Benton to the Bank of America’s Anne Finucane.
Scheduled talks include ‘How to Invest in Impact’ and ‘Lessons in Leadership’. These are interspersed with networking breaks, where attendees can mingle with other female entrepreneurs.
Small business owners can benefit hugely from attending an industry conference. They feature invaluable advice from seasoned professionals, and also provide ample opportunity to network with investors and fellow entrepreneurs.
This post was written by Jade Symons of Westminster Live, an internationally recognised television studio based on the banks of the River Thames.
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