2022 BnB 4C

APRIL 18-19, 2024

About the Athene Black & Brown Business Summit

This year's theme: Dreamers, Innovators, & Trailblazers

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 fourth annual Athene Black & Brown Business Summit, held April 18 and 19, will bring everyone from entrepreneurs to seasoned professionals 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

Attendee Hotel Accommodations

The Athene Black & Brown Business Summit attracts speakers and attendees from across the United States of America. For those traveling in from out of town, a special guest room block is made available. You may contact the Hilton Garden Inn directly at 515-223-0571 to make their reservations prior to 03/28/24 or by making reservations through the link below.

Minority Business Expo

Join us for the Athene Black & Brown Business Summit NEW Welcome Party and Minority Business Expo on April 18th, from 6:00-8:00pm at Smash Park! Sponsored by Elevate by Principal and Holmes Murphy Group Companies, this event offers opportunities for both attendees and Minority Business Owners alike. Mix, mingle, and make meaningful connections with Minority Business Owners who are paving the way to generational wealth and success.

Secure your spot in the Expo for just $100, and enjoy benefits including a booth space at the Welcome Party & Minority Business Expo, one ticket to the Athene Black & Brown Business Summit, 50% off WDM Chamber Membership for the first year AND MORE…

Don’t miss this chance to showcase your business, drive interest, connections, and sales!

Attendance to the Welcome Party & Minority Business Expo is free for Athene Black & Brown Business Summit attendees.

2024 Pitch Competition

Brought to you by our Exclusive Pitch Competition Partner

Our 2024 Speakers

View our impressive lineup of pitch competition mentors and judges, expert panelists, and keynote speakers joining us at this year’s Summit.

Keynote Speaker Pamela Jolly

2024 Summit Schedule

View the entire two-day summit schedule and plan what sessions you plan to attend both in-person and virtually.

Athene Black & Brown Business Summit Speaker

How Iowa Ranks

In number of women-owned businesses

The worst state for minority businesses, with only one minority owned business for every 43 minority residents.

A 2014 Bloomberg Businessweek study

Download a list of financial resources in West Des Moines and across the state here.

How the Nation Ranks

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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

Presenting Sponsor

Exclusive Pitch Competition Partner

Partner Sponsor

Advocate Sponsor

Welcome Party

Future Innovator

Spotlight Sponsor

Supporting Sponsor

Champion Sponsors

Nonprofit Sponsors

Questions? Reach out to Katherine Harrington, WDM Chamber President and CEO, or the Summit planning committee:

Katherine BBBS

Katherine Harrington

WDM Chamber

Angela BBBS

Angela Jackson


Terrence Thames   Headshot

Terrence Thames

Cocoa Creative Agency

Bobbi Segura WLC colorful

Bobbi Segura

Women Lead Change

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