17 Events and Conferences for Black Entrepreneurs in 2023

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Welcome to Breaking the Blueprint — a blog series that dives into the unique business challenges and opportunities of underrepresented business owners and entrepreneurs. Learn how they’ve grown or scaled their businesses, explored entrepreneurial ventures within their companies, or created side hustles, and how their stories can inspire and inform your own success.

It can feel isolating if you’re the only one in the room who looks like you.

Meeting peers and mentors with a unique understanding of your lived experience and business roadblocks can help you connect the dots needed to grow your business and community. However, finding spaces for this kind of connection can be challenging for Black Americans.

In this post, discover in-person and virtual events nationwide where Black entrepreneurs can strengthen relationships and build expertise.Download Now: 101 Professional Networking Tips

How to Prepare for Attending a Conference

The United States Census Bureau reported almost 1.4 million self-employed Black people in September 2022, an 11.9% increase from August 2022.

Attending conferences, trade shows, workshops, and webinars puts you in rooms with consumers and entrepreneurs who have advice, real-life examples, and funds that can shift the trajectory of your business or nonprofit organization.

To prepare for attending a conference:

  • Review the programming, decide which sessions to attend, and jot down a few questions you want to ask during Q&As or one-on-one meetings.
  • Pack your business cards, a notepad, and pens.
  • Choose outfits and shoes that make you feel comfortable and confident.
  • Ease any nerves by leaning into the excitement of bettering your business.

By strengthening relationships, sharing expertise, and partnering, there are opportunities to create a bigger pool of resources and open or build doors for Black business growth.

Events for Black Entrepreneurs

Florida

1. Black Travel Summit

Dates: October 20 – 22, 2023

Location: Miami, FL & Virtual

In celebration of Black culture and business in travel, Black Travel Summit brings together industry professionals, influencers, and travelers for a weekend of panels, workshops, vendor shopping, and networking opportunities.

Georgia

2. Blk Pod Festival

Dates: September 30 – October 1, 2023

Location: Atlanta, GA

For aspiring, new, and seasoned podcasters, Blk Pod Collective hosts an annual festival for audio creatives to swap knowledge, learn new skills, develop collaborations, and access potential brand partnerships. BLK Pod Festival will have four tracks tailored for each level of podcasting: launching a podcast, show growth, monetization, and team expansion.

Tennessee

3. Mogulcon

Dates: November 1 – 4, 2023

Location: Nashville, TN

Mogulcon provides resources for Black women in business to accelerate their growth and build sustainable strategies for long-lasting success. The three-day conference is a chance to learn from Fortune 100/500 decision makers, meet successful entrepreneurs, and generate new business by meeting suppliers and corporate buyers. Masterclasses will focus on leadership, marketing, e-commerce, supply chain, and financial stability.

Indiana

4. Summer Celebration – Indiana Black Expo Business Conference

Dates: July 8 – July 18, 2023

Location: Indianapolis, IN

With a mission to level the playing field of business, the Indiana Black Expo Business Conference allows entrepreneurs to learn from executives and experts. Sessions and workshops will touch on strategic thinking, leadership advice, and how to secure state and federal business contracts worth millions.

Iowa

5. Athene Black & Brown Business Summit

Dates: April 20 – 21, 2023

Location: West Des Moines, IA

The Athene Black & Brown Business Summit aims to uplift and elevate entrepreneurs. Programming includes a pitch competition, breakout sessions, keynote speakers, training, and opportunities for building connections.

Multi-City

6. The Black Women’s Expo

Dates: Multiple dates

Location: Atlanta, GA (Summer 2023), Chicago (August 4 – 6, 2023), Washington D.C. (Autumn 2023)

Originally an annual expo for small businesses and corporations, the Black Women’s Expo, or BWe Next, has evolved into a multi-city lifestyle exposition. In addition to seminars and sessions led by industry experts tackling societal issues and topics involving wellness, finances, and building generational wealth, this expo also provides vendor opportunities and resources on business ownership.

7. Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit

Dates: 2023 (TBA)

Location: TBA (varies each year)

The Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit is one of the largest conferences for Black business owners, founders, and investors in the United States. With a mission to close the racial wealth gap, this summit hosts discussions about building a meaningful brand, economic equality, equity, and marketing.

New York

8. CultureCon

Dates: Multiple dates

Location: New York City (October 7 – 8), Los Angeles (June 17)

CultureCon, hosted by The Creative Collective NYC, brings together creative entrepreneurs and change-makers who want to make a cultural impact with their businesses and art. Attendees can access activations, fireside chats, and panels with tastemakers, celebrities, and industry experts. Black-owned companies can also set up shop at CultureCon’s small business market.

Ohio

9. Black Tech Week

Dates: July 18 – 20, 2023

Location: Cincinnati, OH

Coinciding with the annual Cincinnati Music Festival, Black Tech Week is a conference for tech professionals and funders. Founders, executives, and experts speak on topics ranging from fundraising, customer outreach, the power of community, supply chain logistics, content marketing, and crafting the future of tech and business.

Texas

10. AFROTECH Conference

Dates: November 1 – 4, 2023

Location: Austin, TX

For Black professionals, innovators, engineers, and venture capitalists interested in all things tech and Web3, the AFROTECH Conference is three days of fireside chats, interactive exhibits, panels, mixers, pitch competitions, and live music performances. Topics range from creating viral products, the creator economy, strategic business growth, how to raise funding, cryptocurrency, and more.

11. SXSW

Dates: March 10 – 19, 2023

Location: Austin, TX

SXSW is known for its forward-thinking keynotes, panels, and workshops on technology, business, film, music, and culture. Among its 350+ announced sessions, SXSW 2023 will include programs on Wellness Shouldn’t Imply Whiteness, Black Women Breaking Boardroom Barriers, and Transforming Tech with the Black Tech Ecosystem.

12. Marketing for the Culture Summit

Dates: 2023 (TBA)

Location: Houston, TX (varies each year)

Hosted by the African American Marketing Association, entrepreneurs, marketers, and creatives gather at the Marketing for the Culture Summit to learn best practices and improve their skills. Its theme changes from year to year, but at its core, attendees make collaborative connections and gain insights from panels and presentations on content creation, monetization, workflows, and more.

13. Texas Black Expo

Dates: May 18 – 21, 2023

Location: Houston, TX

Celebrating 20 years, the annual Texas Black Expo is a chance for small businesses, non-profits, and multi-million dollar organizations to gather under one roof to reach consumers and generate more economic growth.

Virginia

14. Virginia Black Business Expo

Dates: August 11 – 13, 2023

Location: Fredericksburg, VA

During National Black Business Month, the 4th annual Virginia Black Business Expo features live demonstrations, business education from local industry experts, networking opportunities, and shopping. Registration for vendor booths is exclusively for Virginia Black Business Directory members. This nonprofit organization increases the visibility of Black-owned businesses from Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.

Virtual Only

15. Black Entrepreneurs Day

Dates: 2023 (TBA)

Location: Stream live from the Apollo Theater

Daymond John, an investor on Shark Tank and the Founder & CEO of FUBU, curates an annual celebration of entrepreneurs. The live-streamed event features one-on-one conversations between Daymond and Black celebrity business leaders, round table discussions, multiple pitch competitions for grant money, and musical performances.

16. Kidpreneur Business Initiative

Dates: May 6 – June 10, 2023

Location: Virtual

For kids with an entrepreneurial spirit, Zawadi Cultural Collective and Black In The Valley are working together to provide mentorship with a virtual six-week program. During Kidpreneur Business Initiative, key mentors and guest speakers will guide youth participants (ages 10 – 16) through how to build a business from scratch. By the end of the program, the kidpreneurs will have the opportunity to launch their businesses at a Juneteenth Marketplace.

Washington, D.C.

17. ByBlack Conference

Dates: 2023 (TBA)

Location: Washington, D.C.

In partnership between the U.S. Black Chambers Inc. and the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, the ByBlack Conference is an annual three-day event to encourage collaboration and foster collective economic power for Black-owned businesses. The conference brings together entrepreneurs, media owners, creatives, and corporate executives to learn how they can scale and get more visibility for their companies.

It’s time to break barriers together.

Check out the above events and consider attending one that appeals to your current goals as a rising entrepreneur. Reminder: you can write it off as a business expense.

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