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First Annual Black + Brown Business Summit Aims to Advance Minority Business Community

Black and Brown Business Summit

March 16, 2021

According to the most recent Census Bureau data, 14.2% of the U.S. population is Black. Even so, the number of businesses owned and operated by the Black community lags, with only 2.2% of U.S. employer businesses being Black businesses. In an effort to increase minority businesses across the country and position Iowa as a place to start and lead a minority business, the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce will hold the Black and Brown Business Summit next month.

The Black and Brown Business Summit will take place April 22-23, 2021 and will feature events such as a pitch workshop and pitch competition on the first day and breakout sessions, keynote speakers and networking opportunities on the second day. Limited in-person tickets and virtual tickets are available for the hybrid Summit. Admission is $15 for either registration at the Principal-sponsored event, with the in-person portions held at Athene.

2021 Pitch Competition

The pitch workshop, sponsored by Hy-Vee, will serve as a chance for up to 30 businesses to workshop their pitch. Following the workshop, five to six businesses will be chosen to present their pitch for the opportunity to win over $7,000 in cash prizes. Interested in workshopping your business pitch for the chance to win a cash reward? Apply for the pitch competition here.

Keynote Speakers + Breakout Sessions

On the second day of the Summit, keynote speakers Brandon Copeland and George Hererra will share insights into growing minority businesses. Copeland is an eight-year NFL veteran, Ivy League professor, financial education consultant, philanthropist, real estate developer, graduate of the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, winner of the Alan Page Community Service Award and recognized on the 2021 Forbes 30 Under 30 list. Hererra is founder, president and CEO of Herrera-Cristina Group, Ltd and has served on many boards in the hospitality industry. He also created the TV show, “Hispanics Today.” His work led to a 2016 Lifetime Business Achievement Award by the Hispanic Heritage Awards.

Breakout sessions will touch on the following topics for both new entrepreneurs and established businesses:

  • Marketing and Social Media
  • Financial and Legal

Purchase a ticket to the event or learn how to become involved with the Black and Brown Business Summit here.

Greater Des Moines (DSM) welcomes diverse talent to the region. As one of the fastest growing business communities, inclusion and attracting diverse talent in the workplace is a key strategy of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Learn more here.

Find these tips useful? Learn more tricks on how to maximize the potential of your business through The Partnership’s Small Business Resources Hub.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership calendar of events is a one-stop resource for activities taking place throughout the region. Find networking information for Greater Des Moines (DSM) businesses or events specific to Downtown DSM.

Baillee Furst

Baillee Furst is the marketing communications and events manager for the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce. A 2020 Simpson College graduate, Furst is passionate about telling the stories of the people, places and businesses that make Greater Des Moines (DSM) the best place to live, work and play.