Statewide conference enables minority, women, veteran and LGBTQ business owners to meet government and corporate buyers and connect with lenders and business resources

MADISON, WI. JUNE. 27, 2019 ­­– The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is hosting the 38th annual MARKETPLACE conference for minority-, woman-, veteran- and LGBTQ-owned businesses Oct. 23-24 at Potawatomi Hotel and Conference Center in Milwaukee

The conference is expected to draw more than 700 attendees and is sponsored by corporations, small businesses and organizations, with U.S. Bank being this year’s Keystone Sponsor.

MARKETPLACE: the Governor’s Conference on Diverse Business Development is the premier annual statewide business capacity-building conference for minority, woman, veteran and LGBTQ business owners looking to do business with state, federal and local governments as well as the private sector. The conference provides opportunities for businesses to meet with dozens of potential buyers, identify funding sources, connect with business assistance resources and network with other businesses.

The conference kicks off Oct. 23 with a Contracting Academy for new and expanding businesses and entrepreneurs. This half-day training will provide information and advice for those who wish to expand their involvement in state and federal contracting opportunities.

Additional free workshops will be held the afternoon of Oct. 23, with presentations and panels on public and private contract opportunities including building and infrastructure, services and major projects. A networking reception will follow, recognizing the impact and legacy of minority- and woman-owned businesses.

On Oct. 24, the Governor’s Awards Breakfast will take place, followed by the opening of Expo Hall, where attendees can meet one-on-one with potential buyers, connect with business lenders, view exhibits and network with other business owners. During the lunchtime program, featured business owners will share their stories of their companies’ founding, growth and success. One-on-one buyer meetings will resume after this program.

Registration is now open. The general attendance cost is $70 for both days, with a $20 additional fee for the Oct. 23 evening reception. Discounts are available for minority-, woman-, veteran- and LGBTQ-owned businesses. Buyers and supplier diversity managers from government agencies and private corporations attending to meet potential suppliers can register at no charge. Exhibit booths are also available for $500, or at a discounted rate of $250 for state-certified minority-, woman- and veteran-owned businesses.

To register or for more information about MARKETPLACE, visit