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Empowering Leaders + Entrepreneurs: Athene Black and Brown Business Summit Presented by Wells Fargo

Athene Black and Brown Business Summit

February 5, 2024

The Athene Black and Brown Business Summit, presented by Wells Fargo, stands as a beacon of empowerment and recognition for leaders and entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds worldwide. This award-winning event not only celebrates innovation but also acts as a catalyst for positive change. In 2023, the event attracted nearly 600 attendees, showcasing its growing influence and appeal. This year's summit, featuring its theme of dreamers, innovators and trailblazers, will include two keynote speakers, a pitch competition where contestants in the past have won over $100,000, and 75 panelists covering a variety of important industry topics.

Celebrating Innovation

The Summit has become a platform where creativity and innovation converge. Entrepreneurs, hailing from a myriad of industries, come together to showcase groundbreaking ideas and innovations. From tech startups to sustainable ventures, the Athene Black and Brown Business Summit is a testament to the richness of diversity in entrepreneurship for all industries.

Entrepreneurs at the Summit 

Pitch Competition: A Gateway to Success

One of the Summit's standout features is its pitch competition, where aspiring entrepreneurs can present their business ideas to a panel of esteemed judges. In the past, pitch competitors have won more than $100,000. This opportunity offers participants a substantial boost in funding to turn their dreams into reality. The 2023 Summit first-place winner, Louisiana Creole Pecan Candy, won $20,000, QuikLiq, in second place, won $15,000 and Greater Des Moines (DSM)-based business The Joy of Curls LLC, in third place, won $10,000. Applications for the pitch competition are open until Saturday, Feb. 10. Find more details on how to apply by visiting bbbsummit.com.

Empowering the Community

The Summit fosters a sense of community and mentorship. Attendees have the chance to connect with successful entrepreneurs, industry leaders and potential collaborators through multiple breakout sessions featuring multiple industry topics. This networking aspect adds a valuable dimension to the event, creating a supportive environment for all business owners.

Success Stories

The Summit has been a launching pad for numerous success stories. Past attendees, speakers, and pitch competitors have gone on to make a significant impact in their respective industries, and the summit continues to be a stepping stone for emerging talent. These success stories serve as inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs, proving that with the right support, dreams can become reality.

The Impact of Diversity in Business

Beyond the individual successes, the Athene Black and Brown Business Summit underscores the broader impact of diversity in business. Diverse perspectives bring forth innovation, resilience and adaptability. By providing a platform for underrepresented entrepreneurs, the summit contributes to the overall health and dynamism of the business landscape.

Athene Black and Brown Business Summit

Looking Ahead

The Athene Black and Brown Business Summit, presented by Wells Fargo, has become an annual celebration of diversity, innovation, and success. As it continues to evolve, the summit remains a symbol of hope for entrepreneurs from all backgrounds, offering a platform where their ideas are heard and supported. Each year, the summit's impact grows, contributing to a more inclusive and dynamic business landscape.

The Athene Black and Brown Business Summit, presented by Wells Fargo, stands as a shining example of how events can drive positive change. By providing a stage for underrepresented entrepreneurs, fostering community and offering substantial support, the summit is a catalyst for empowerment. As we celebrate the impacts of the event, it's evident that this event is not just a summit — it’s a movement towards a more diverse and inclusive business world.

To learn more about the event, please visit bbbsummit.com.

From Pride to Juneteenth to the Latino Heritage Festival, big, inclusive events are par for the course in Greater Des Moines (DSM). But there are smaller events celebrating diversity here, too. Attend one of the Greater Des Moines Partnership’s Multicultural Receptions, an event celebrating veterans or a sensory-friendly event in the region. Learn more here.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership celebrates the Greater Des Moines (DSM) entrepreneur community and helps small businesses succeed with one-of-a-kind resources and opportunities for networking. Find out how other entrepreneurs have found success by reading their stories and attending local small business events in the region.

Everett Mullican

Everett Mullican serves as the Marketing & Communications Coordinator for the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce. He is a graduate of Drake University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in public relations and advertising from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication. Everett resides in his hometown of West Des Moines, Iowa.