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Celebrating 10 years of Small Business Academy

March 29, 2023
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Register now for free conference dedicated to helping local businesses thrive

MADISON, WI. MARCH 29, 2023 –Wisconsin business owners and entrepreneurs will have the chance to learn and network for free during the 10th annual Lieutenant Governor’s Small Business Academy.

This four-day virtual conference takes place May 2-5. On May 5, participants will have the opportunity to join in-person events across the state hosted by partner organizations.

“Small businesses are integral to our communities, providing jobs, opportunities and investments that keep our communities vibrant,” said Missy Hughes, secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the state’s lead economic development agency. “The state of Wisconsin is proud to support our small businesses through educational and networking opportunities such as Small Business Academy and a wide variety of grants, mentoring and other support available through WEDC and its partners.”

The Small Business Academy’s virtual sessions will cover topics relating to growing a small business, building an online brand and how to source funding for your small business. Small business owners, entrepreneurs, and individuals considering starting a business in Wisconsin are all encouraged to attend.

“Small businesses are the hearts of our communities across the state, and our administration is proud of the work we have done to uplift them through grant programs like the Main Street Bounceback Grant Program that has helped about 9,500 businesses across the state,” said Lieutenant Governor Sara Rodriguez. “The Small Business Academy is a continuation of our commitment to Wisconsin’s small businesses and a great opportunity for owners and entrepreneurs to connect and to learn about resources available to them to help their businesses grow and thrive for years to come.”

The conference is free to attend but registration is required. Go to to register and learn more.

During registration, individuals will have the option to register for a variety of in-person events being held across the state on the academy’s final day, May 5. Events, which are hosted by WEDC partners, will take place in Appleton, Beloit, Eau Claire, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee and Rhinelander.

The 10th Annual Lieutenant Governor’s Small Business Academy is hosted by WEDC and its partners: the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), U.S. Department of Transportation, Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Wisconsin Small Business Development Center, Wisconsin Procurement Institute, Ethnic Diverse Business Coalition and the SCORE association.

“Small businesses create two of three net new jobs in Wisconsin, so supporting them through the Small Business Academy’s rich online training and in-person networking opportunities is a win-win for small businesses and for the state of Wisconsin” said Eric Ness, SBA’s Wisconsin District Director.

The Lieutenant Governor’s Small Business Academy was created to support minority and female entrepreneurs and small business owners. What began as a single, half-day workshop in Milwaukee has grown into a week-long event bringing together more than 600 individuals and businesses from across the state of Wisconsin.

During National Small Business Week, April 30–May 6, the SBA will be traveling to communities across the state to present this year’s National Small Business Week awards to the Wisconsin winners. The award winners will be speaking at a virtual panel discussion during the academy on May 5, which will be livestreamed to all in-person attendees.

For updates on SBA’s award winners, please go to

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