Businesses owned by minorities, women and service-disabled veterans are eligible

MADISON, WI. AUG. 10, 2021 – The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is seeking nominations for the 2021 MARKETPLACE Governor’s Awards, which will recognize outstanding Wisconsin businesses owned by minorities, women and service-disabled veterans.

The nomination deadline is Wednesday, Sept. 15. The online nomination form and more details can be found at:

“MARKETPLACE is a wonderful way for diverse businesses to make the connections with government and corporate buyers that are needed for these businesses to thrive,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of WEDC. “These awards recognize the very best among Wisconsin’s businesses.”

Small and large businesses will be honored in two categories: “The Outstanding Business Award,” which recognizes established businesses that have demonstrated the capacity to grow over the past five years and have plans for continued expansion; and “The Rising Star Award,” which honors businesses established after 2017 that have demonstrated strong growth potential.

Winners will be honored at MARKETPLACE 2021, the Governor’s Conference on Diverse Business Development, which will be held Dec. 7-9 at the Wisconsin Center, 400 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee.

Award finalists receive full conference passes to MARKETPLACE 2021, plus discounts on optional exhibit booth space and event sponsorship. Finalists will also benefit from company profiles in the conference program booklet, conference website, and event press releases to increase visibility and help create new contracting opportunities.

The MARKETPLACE 2021 awards are open to Wisconsin-based companies that have been certified as a Minority-Owned Business Enterprise, Disadvantaged Business Enterprise, Woman-Owned Business Enterprise or Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise by the state of Wisconsin or equivalent programs listed on the nomination form. MARKETPLACE top award winners in the past five years are not eligible for a 2021 award. Previous runner-up finalists are strongly encouraged to re-apply.

MARKETPLACE 2021 is the premier business capacity-building conference of the year for Wisconsin minority, women and veteran business entrepreneurs looking to do business with state, federal and local agencies as well as corporations.

For the past 40 years, the conference has provided opportunities for businesses to meet with potential buyers, identify funding sources, connect with business assistance and network.

To learn more about conference, visit