Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit to take place November 17

The 11th Annual National Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit (IES) will take place this Saturday, November 17 at the Des Moines Area Community College Ankeny Campus.

The Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit brings together businesses of diverse backgrounds together to share, learn, and celebrate the immigrant entrepreneurship experience and contribution to the overall community. The summit will exhibit the success stories of immigrant entrepreneurs, create connections among different ethnic groups and provide business growth tips among immigrant business owners.

“The Immigrant Entrepreneur Summit was started back in 2008 and has been growing steadily since then,” IES Program Manager Dan Kim said. “It’s our first year to go national and we expect to have between 900 and 1000 entrepreneurs from all over the country.”

The summit will offer 21 classes where entrepreneurs can learn about a variety of topics including raising capital, avoiding legal issues, tax planning and best social media practices.

Over the last 10 years, IES has had 1,323 new companies form after the event from the participants and attendees, Kim told Clay & Milk.

“The type of attendees we attract are often new to the state so we always try to create opportunities for these new influxes of immigrants to the country,” Kim said. “It can sometimes be challenging to connect them to government agencies they might not be used to dealing with. We help them to break that barrier and  open their doors and open up their communities to accepting different kinds of collaborations and opportunities that the state can provide them.”

To cap off the event, IES will hold The Underwriting Exposed Competition. Three different entrepreneurs will pitch their business plan, marketing plan and personal story. At the end of the competition, a panel of judges will award $5000 to the winner.

“It’s always a great event and is mind-boggling to hear a lot of these stories,” Kim said. “To see where people have come from to get where they are today.”