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7th Annual Powerup DC 2021 Small Business Summit

May 4, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 1:00 pm

Each year since its inception in 2015, POWERUP DC has been a valuable resource for many in the DC small business community. Hosted by DC Health Link, its small business partners, media partners, and the Small Business Brain Trust, POWERUP DC was developed to celebrate and support the small business community by providing enriching business resources and networking opportunities through a range of cutting-edge seminars, special events and focused presentations. During POWERUP DC, government and private sector representatives present the latest business trends and contracting opportunities for small businesses.
POWERUP DC was also designed to recognize the major contributions small businesses make to strengthen the national and local economy. Every year, small businesses employ more than half of the private work force nationally, create new jobs, drive a majority of American innovation, and increase U.S. competitiveness. The small business community of Washington, DC is no exception, and it is important to support its growth and to help them in turn to support their employees.
The presence of the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way business is conducted in the District of Columbia and throughout the country. The 7th Annual POWERUP DC will be presented in a virtual format and style — a FREE virtual summit on an interactive platform. The format is designed to provide small businesses, women-owned businesses, non-profit organizations, faith-based institutions along with youth and young adult entrepreneurs with information, tools, resources and opportunities to recover and recalibrate from the impact of the pandemic to move on a trajectory of success in a post-pandemic environment.
As you join this annual small business event, you will learn about the local recovery efforts, strategies to reset, retool and reimagine after COVID, along with updates on DC Health Link’s response to COVID-19 and support of the small business community.
The 2021 POWERUP DC virtual interactive summit will be condensed into a 3-hour informative session with the following format:
  • Opening Session: “Post COVID-19: Hit the Strategic Reset Button”
  • Two (2) Concurrent breakout sessions
    • TRACK A (New Businesses and Start Ups) – Moving in the Right Direction: Business Development Resources
      Starting and planning a new business is not only exciting but can also be overwhelming and challenging. In this track of 2 workshops, participants will learn how to get on the right foot with useful small business tools. They will also learn about business resources and strategies available to help turn business ideas into marketplace realities including information about needed licensing and permits, development of a business plan, marketing, networking, technology and access to capital.
    • TRACK B (Established Businesses) – Keep It Moving: Sustain, Grow and Prosper
      Now that your business is up and running well, you’re beginning to feel there’s not enough hours in a day to handle all the things needed to keep the business growing and prospering. In this track of 2 workshops, established businesses will hear from experts on how: to create a more productive company from delegation of responsibilities to use of technology such as AI(Artificial Intelligence, which can help automate everyday business practices; to access traditional and nontraditional financing including federal and local programs; to apply for the SBA Paycheck Protection Program (PPP); to protect and secure data files and apply branding and marketing techniques, effective management skills, human resource practices, and management of client relations.
    • TRACK C (Non-Profits and Faith-Based) – Accelerating Capacity to Strengthen Efficiency and Sustainability
      One of the most understated skill sets in building a strong infrastructure foundation in non-profit organizations and faith-based institutions is capacity building. In this track of 2 workshops, panelists will share information about competencies to support, shape, and build nonprofits and faith-based organizations and to assist leaders to be more effective and sustainable in their mission to enrich lives and solve intractable problems in our community. Experts will share information about the investments of organizational self-assessment and development, fundraising skills, alternative financial resources, recruitment and volunteerism, communications and marketing, partnership development, technology inclusion, program outcome measurements, leadership expansion, succession planning, and stakeholder and community engagement.
    • TRACK D (Women Business Owners) – Cracking the Glass Ceiling
      The glass ceiling allegory has often been used to describe invisible barriers through which women have had to inch through to gain a place in the business arena. However, the nation is busting loose with women-owned businesses and more women with entrepreneurial aspirations and unique perspectives are finding their rightful place in the business world. Despite the impact of the pandemic and the lack of venture capital funding, comparable to their male counterparts, women represent 25% of all new businesses nationwide, In this track of 2 workshops, women business owners and experts will explore transformational tactics to sharply define the vision for their business goals and to leverage their voice to articulate their value. ‘Mompreneurs’ (moms turned business owners) will learn the pitfalls to avoid in establishing businesses, the resources to embrace and at the same time how to live guilt free while producing a profitable venture.
    • TRACK E (Young Business Minded Entrepreneurs) – Fostering Early Entrepreneurship
      Today many youth and young adult have values, creativity and vision to pursue their business goals and aspirations. This session is designed for young business minded entrepreneurs, who have great ideas for starting home-based and other businesses. Panelists will share information about the basic rudiments and necessary tools for starting, growing, and sustaining a business. Tips on developing a solid business plan, creative marketing, the use of technology, leveraging operational best practices and managing cash flow will be shared. Additionally, successful youth and young adult entrepreneurs will share their success stories and lessons learned.
    • Sign Up for Speed Networking with Small Business Resource Experts and Professionals
      (Space is Limited)
      Want to make expand your professional network and make contact business resource experts who can give you savvy business tips and advice? Then sign up for the small business speed networking session to meet in a small group setting with government and private sector professionals who will share experiences and answer your most pressing business questions. You have 10 minutes in each of four breakout rooms to network with other business owners and get the latest information about government and private sector procurement and contracting opportunities, grants, micro loans, and more. Meet with communication professionals for advice on tailored marketing strategies and use of technology to advance and streamline your business operations, know what business permits and licensing you need and the legal requirements to do business.
  • Inaugural Small Business Platinum Awards
  • Closing Session – Recovering, Retooling and Recalibrating for Reopening
  • Closing Remarks
The summit will also highlight small businesses that have successfully pivoted to remain viable during the COVID-19 pandemic. Women, youth and young adult entrepreneurs who bring to the community their small business ideas will be showcased. Panelists will engage in discussions around strategies for resilience, recalibrating and escalating operations in the discovery of a new era and a new normal in the marketplace.
  • Capacity building for faith-based institutions
  • The DC Health Link Inaugural Small Business Platinum Awards to shine a spotlight on agencies dedicated to assisting and supporting small business through the pandemic; outstanding entrepreneurs and small business owners who have navigated the pandemic while supporting their employees and maintaining operations; women business owners who have survived and thrived during the pandemic; and have extended support to other women; and youth /young adult entrepreneurs who have turned an innovative idea into a successful business.
  • DC Chamber of Commerce (DCCC)
  • Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GWHCC)
  • Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW)
  • The National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU)
  • Washington Informer
  • Washington Business Journal
  • Capitol Hill’s Chamber of Commerce (CHAMPS)
  • Capitol Hill Association of Merchants and Professionals
  • DC Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs (DCRA)
  • DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB)
  • DC Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD)
  • DC Small Business Development Center Network Howard University
  • Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)
  • DC Main Streets Program
  • DC Women’s Business Center
  • Executive Office of the Mayor
  • Great Streets Program
  • Latino Economic Development Corporation (LEDC)
  • Life Asset
  • Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED)
  • Mayor’s Office on African Affairs (MOAA)
  • Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs (MOLA)
  • Serve DC – The Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism and Partnerships
  • U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
  • U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce
  • Washington Area Community Investment (WACIF)
  • Washington DC Economic Partnership


May 4, 2021
10:00 am - 1:00 pm