Your business future is in focus during the eighth annual Loudoun Small Business Week, which runs May 6-10 and coincides with National Small Business Week and National Economic Development Week.
This year’s theme is “Shape Your Future,” which is carried through 14 events designed to arm small business owners with the tools to scale up. Check out the full calendar of events at LoudounSmallBusinessWeek.org.
“Small business is the backbone of employment in Loudoun with more than 10,000 of our businesses having 20 or fewer employees. Small Business Week is the chance to salute our smaller firms, and more importantly, highlight the tools available to entrepreneurs to help their business dreams become #LoudounPossible,” said Loudoun Economic Development’s Executive Director Buddy Rizer.
The week kicks off with the third annual Loudoun Small Business Conference, an all-day event with breakout strategy sessions on everything from branding to franchising, tax law to leadership. The conference is headlined by keynote speaker Sharon D. Virts, who founded FCi Federal in Loudoun County, developing it into a $250 million company that was acquired in 2017.
The rest of the week’s schedule brings a mix of panel discussions on targeted industries including:
- Retail and hospitality: “Create Experiences that Attract Customers” explores different strategies for brick and mortar businesses to compete with the convenience of e-commerce and get customers in the door.
- Rural business owners: “Grow Your Business Outside of the Farmers Market” offers tips for expanding beyond farmers market success into a full-time business.
- Advanced manufacturing: “Prototyping Loudoun’s Future for Highly Specialized Manufacturing” brings together manufacturing leaders to discuss Loudoun’s future in the smart manufacturing space.
- International expansion: “Business Without Borders” examines Loudoun’s strengths for supporting foreign-owned firms, and why similar businesses have found success here.
- Data analytics: “Big Data, Dark Fiber and the Power to Compute” looks at how Data Center Alley has created an unrivaled ecosystem for the next wave of big data and computation.
- Cybersecurity: “Cybersecurity Best Practices for Small Business” offers advice from some of Loudoun’s top cyber minds on how small business owners can protect their digital assets.
- Tourism: “Marketing Your Business to the Ideal Tourist” explores how businesses can leverage Loudoun’s tourism industry, which is worth nearly $2 billion each year.
While Loudoun Small Business Week is designed to provide entrepreneurs with actionable advice and resources, it is also meant to inspire those who are still developing business ideas. “Start Your Business in Loudoun” provides guidance for knowing when an idea is ready to become a business and the steps for launching.
Inspiration and networking opportunities abound at events like “1 Million Cups,” “Business @ Breakfast,” and the “Loudoun’s Entrepreneurial Women’s Business Seminar.” Meanwhile, “Leesburg Business Awards” and the “Visit Loudoun Tourism Awards” will celebrate the successes of the small business community.
“This year’s event lineup is our strongest yet, featuring more than 50 subject matter experts and business success stories. We know that Loudoun entrepreneurs have great ideas, and the events during Loudoun Small Business Week can help bridge the gap between concept and accomplishment,” said Small Business and Entrepreneurship Manager Vanessa Wagner.
For more information on Loudoun Small Business Week and to sign up for events, visit LoudounSmallBusinessWeek.org.