The Athene Black & Brown Business Summit was created by national stakeholders to elevate ethnic minorities and bring BIPOC businesses together to assist with connection building, programming, promotion, training, and to provide resources to help businesses grow and prosper.
The second annual Athene Black & Brown Business Summit, held April 21 and 22, will bring everyone from entrepreneurs to seasoned companies together in a hybrid setting at Athene (7700 Mills Civic Pkwy) in West Des Moines, Iowa. The Summit includes a pitch competition, breakout sessions led by top experts, Mel Essex Award, inspirational keynote speakers and more. Our goal is to help advance the minority business community across the country and position Iowa as the best place in the nation to start and lead a minority business.
The Athene Black and Brown Business Summit is presented by
2022 Pitch Competition
Brought to you by our Exclusive Pitch Competition Partner
Our 2022 Speakers
View our impressive lineup of pitch competition mentors and judges, expert panelists and keynote speakers below!
The worst state for minority businesses, with only one minority owned business for every 43 minority residents.
National average of minority self-employed people25.6%
Download a list of financial resources in West Des Moines and across the state here.
How the Nation Ranks
According to the most recent Census Bureau data available, Black people comprise approximately 14.2% of the U.S. population, however, Black businesses comprise only 2.2% of the nation’s 5.7 million employer businesses (firms with more than one employee). Click here to learn more from the Brookings Institution.
Learn more about COVID-19’s effect on minority-owned small businesses in the United States according to McKinsey & Company, and additional ways you can help.
Thank you to Summit sponsors and key partners that help make this important event possible:
Naming Rights Sponsor
Exclusive Pitch Competition Partner
Government Support Partner
Questions? Reach out to Katherine Harrington, WDM Chamber President and CEO, or the Summit planning committee: