MARKETPLACE, the Governor’s Conference on Minority Business Development, takes place in Milwaukee and there is still time to make plans to attend. The 37th annual business capacity-building conference for minority, women and veteran-owned companies will be held Dec. 12-13 at the Potawatomi Hotel and Conference Center. Although the Governor’s award luncheon is closed, registration is still available for the rest of the conference.

At the event, attendees can receive insights into doing business with state, federal and local agencies, as well as with private sector partners. For nearly four decades, the conference has connected minority-owned businesses with potential buyers, as well as helped them identify funding and business assistance resources that can help build their capacity and engage with governmental entities.

Here are four reasons to attend the 2018 conference:

  1. Participate in the free Small Business Academy.
    Join other small businesses and entrepreneurs looking for funding and resources for a half-day Small Business Academy event on Dec. 12. It’s free, and it’s an amazing way to kick-start or reinvigorate your small-business goals with content tailored to entrepreneurs and people thinking of starting a business.
  2. Make connections to grow your business.
    MARKETPLACE is the ideal place to grab face time with buyers, businesses, lenders and technical assistance providers who can help grow your business. You can interact with potential buyers one-on-one, meet with agencies and corporations in the Expo Hall and learn about current and future opportunities, as well as the contracting process and associated requirements.
  3. Gain insights from industry experts.
    Attending MARKETPLACE will allow you to learn from experts in many different fields.  As it relates to construction, sessions will be held on identifying good business opportunities, how to understand contract requirements/obligations, and exploring capacity-building strategies. Other sessions related to building sales and capacity will explore how to identify and target good private- and public-sector business opportunities, how to locate and develop mentors and partners, and other capacity-building strategies.
  4. Learn how to get involved with Foxconn’s investment in Wisconsin.
    The size and scale of the Foxconn project creates tremendous opportunity for minority businesses. Learn how you can participate with updates on capacity-building resources, workforce training initiatives and the supplier readiness program.

There’s plenty more going on at MARKETPLACE 2018, so don’t miss this opportunity to collaborate with other business owners entrepreneurs, as well as to meet representatives from government agencies looking for vendors, and to learn best practices for securing those contracts.

For the event schedule and other details, visit