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Small Business Growth is Critical to Our Community’s Success

Small Business Growth

March 2, 2023

Small businesses contribute to the Greater Des Moines (DSM) region’s economic success, create jobs and add to the unique character of DSM. In the last three years, we have seen more and more people start their own small business. The Greater Des Moines Partnership and so many other organizations in DSM are committed to helping small business owners find the resources they need to thrive.

Small Business Success Summit

The Partnership’s sixth annual Small Business Success Summit, scheduled to take place on Wednesday, March 22, is a reminder of the strong spirit of the dedication of so many in our community that are working to grow their business. The Summit typically draws hundreds of small business owners for a day of learning and inspiration. This year’s Summit will feature keynote speaker Adam Davidson, an award-winning New Yorker writer and co-creator of NPR’s “Planet Money.” His book, “The Passion Economy,” details how the 21st century economy offers new ways for people to make money and find professional fulfillment doing what they love.

Davidson’s presentation promises to leave attendees feeling motivated, and he will headline a lineup that includes several local small business owners and supporters. New this year, The Partnership will offer a Pitch Competition for local entrepreneurs. The competition is geared toward business owners or entrepreneurs who seek to establish a new business or grow or expand an existing business in DSM. Applications for the competition are due Sunday, March 5.

If you run or work for a small business, we encourage you to register for the Small Business Success Summit, and if you know any entrepreneurs who would be good fits for the pitch competition, please ask them to apply. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com/summit.

Other Small Business Resources + Events

The Small Business Success Summit joins other events hosted by Partnership Affiliate Chambers of Commerce that provide resources and inspiration for small businesses.

The third annual Athene Black & Brown Business Summit will be held Thursday, April 20 and Friday, April 21 by the West Des Moines Chamber of Commerce. The Summit’s goal is to advance the minority business community and position Iowa as the best place in the nation to start and lead a minority business. It will include a pitch competition, breakout sessions led by experts and more.

Then on Tuesday, May 23, the Urbandale Chamber of Commerce will host the Central Iowa Business Conference, which provides business leaders of all types, including small business owners and entrepreneurs, a day of education to take their business to the next level.

These events support several other efforts that The Partnership and community partners have worked on in recent years, including the following efforts that launched in 2022.

  • We launched the Scale DSM Minority Business Accelerator that graduated nine small business owners. This program will continue in 2023 with a sponsorship from Wells Fargo & Co. Learn more at DSMpartnership.com/scaleDSM.
  • The Downtown Farmers’ Market’s incubator program hosted 28 small business and startup vendors who had never previously had a presence at The Market, and this program carried over to the Downtown Winter Farmers’ Market and World Food & Music Festival. We plan to continue and expand this program in 2023. Learn more at desmoinesfarmersmarket.com.
  • The Partnership worked with Clay & Milk to launch the Iowa Innovation Dashboard that includes a comprehensive set of measurements for entrepreneurial activity in the state. The dashboard gives a snapshot of key metrics to capture the pulse of Iowa’s climate for starting new businesses. Learn more at iowainnovationdashboard.com.

If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur, we hope you will explore these resources. If you do not work directly in the small business space, we encourage you to explore how you can support local small businesses in DSM.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership Board is made up of Greater Des Moines (DSM) leaders and industry experts. The Board is united in driving economic growth with one voice, one mission and as one region.

Mike McCoy

Mike McCoy is the CEO of NCMIC and serves as the 2023 Greater Des Moines Partnership Board Chair.