The event, which coincides with National Small Business Week, was created to inspire and educate entrepreneurs and small business owners through keynote presentations, panel discussions and interactive workshops on topics crucial to help small businesses grow big.
Small Business Festival includes 3 days of paid Premier Events at the Google Fiber Space in downtown Austin and 5 days of free Community Events at numerous Austin locations including Orange Coworking, Tech Ranch, WeWork, Capital Factory, the City’s Entrepreneur Center of Austin, Austin Community College Highland Business Center and more.
More than 70 expert speakers will lead topics including practical tips for starting or growing your small business, financing, purpose-driven companies, sales, marketing, social media, staff recruiting and leadership strategies, networking training, freelancing and the “gig economy”, podcasting and economic trends. Topics will be tailored to help both entrepreneurs in the early stages of their business as well as established entities. Interactive workshops, 1:1 business coaching, pitch competitions and networking events will engage event attendees and provide them with actionable takeaways.
Keynote speakers include Bazaarvoice Cofounder Brett Hurt, Spark Factory Founder/CEO Gary Hoover and Jim Cathcart, one of the most internationally awarded speakers in the world.
Premium Event pass holders will have access to archived video recordings of the Small Business Festival, hospitality benefits, a one-year subscription to Selling Power, partner perks, digital swag bag and much more.
“Small Businesses are the backbone of our economy and we are excited to be supporting and celebrating them for the risks they take and the millions they employ,” said Small Business Week Executive Director Matthew Pollard.
The U.S. Small Business Administration reports that small businesses collectively make up 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms, 63 percent of net new private-sector jobs, 48 percent of private-sector employment, and 42 percent of private-sector payroll.
According to the Austin Chamber’s Business and Industry Report, retail stores in Travis County alone account for 10,960 small businesses and over $18.5 billion in sales revenues. 2012 census data, before the Austin tech scene really boomed, shows that the Austin area’s 34,000+ small businesses accounted for more than 238,000 jobs, employing 27% of the population during that period.
“Small businesses of all sizes have the fortitude to change the face of business in Austin through the unique customer experience or innovations they create within our community,” said Kevin Johns, Director for the City’s Economic Development Department. “This partnership further leverages Austin’s cultural diversity as an economic strength while providing our small business owners with additional tools and training to solidify their success.”
The event is organized by s group of seasoned professionals with backgrounds in business consulting and coaching, start-ups, technology, marketing, event programming and production, business development and community relations who are all passionate about entrepreneurship and small business.
CITY OF AUSTIN ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT - SMALL BUSINESS PROGRAM
The Small Business Program is a division of the City of Austin’s Economic Development Department, and is committed to providing opportunities and resources to small businesses to help them grow and prosper in a competitive business environment.
Communications and Public Information Office
301 W. 2nd Street, Austin, TX 78701