Working Schedule


Click on event segment links for details

9:00am – Registration Opens
Location: Grand Registration
Event check-in for pre-registered and on-site registration

10:00am -6:00pm
Galleria Market
Location: Grand Foyer
Local women entrepreneurs sell apparel,  jewelry, art work, gourmet treats, and other specialty items

10:00 – 11:30am
WBDC Program Alumni Reunion
Location: Rosemont AB
Alumni of various WBDC programs reconnect and get valuable sales training

11:45am – 2:00pm
Keynote Luncheon & Awards Celebration
Location: Grand ABCD
Chicago Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot will be interviewed by Melody Spann-Cooper, Chairman of Midway Broadcasting Corporation;   Zoraida Sambolin, Co-anchor of NBC 5 News Today, will be emcee for the Awards Celebration

2:30 – 4:00pm
Shirley Marx Pitch Finale
Location: United AB
Finalists of the local pitch competitions that were held in each of our five major markets compete in the finale for the grand prizes

2:30 – 4:30pm
Business Matchmaker
Location: Grand E
WBENC-certified WBEs pitch for contracting opportunities to representatives from WBDC corporate and public sector partners

2:30 – 4:30pm
Business Connections Meet & Greet
Location: Grand GH
Open meet & greet to explore business opportunities and collaborations with corporate and public sector entities, mid-market businesses, and prime contractors

2:30 – 4:30pm
Business Resources Meet & Greet
Location: Grand FG
Open meet & greet for growth-enhancing connections with a range of small business program and service providers

2:30 – 4:30
Certification Booth
Location: Grand Foyer
Learn how to use the WBENClink database and better leverage your certification

2:30 – 3:30pm/3:45 – 4:45pm
Public Relations Lab
Location: Rosemont A

2:30 – 3:30pm/3:45 – 4:45pm
Innovation & Cybersecurity Lab
Location: Rosemont B

4:30 – 6:00pm
Networking Reception
Location: Grand Foyer
A festive way to end the conference day and connect with business owners and WBDC corporate, public sector, and community partners