POWERUP DC 2022 Small Business Summit

Tuesday, May 3rd, 8:00am - 2:00pm


Keeping DC Businesses Healthy and Growing

5th Annual POWERUP DC

Each year since its inception in 2015, POWERUP DC has been a valuable resource for the DC small business community. Hosted by DC Health Link, its small business partners, media partners, and the Small Business Brain Trust, POWERUP DC was developed to celebrate and support the small business community. POWERUP DC provides enriching business experiences, resources, and networking opportunities through a range of cutting-edge seminars, special events and focused presentations. During POWERUP DC, government and private sector representatives present the latest business trends and contracting opportunities for small businesses.

POWERUP DC was also designed to recognize the major contributions small businesses make to strengthen the national and local economy. Every year, small businesses employ more than half of the private work force nationally, create new jobs, drive a majority of American innovation, and increase U.S. competitiveness. The small business community of Washington, DC is no exception, and it is important to support its growth and development.

The presence of the COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way business is conducted in the District of Columbia and throughout the country. In 2020 and 2021, the Annual POWERUP DC was held as a virtual summit. This year POWERUP DC will return to an in-person format with specific elements available via live stream. As always, the format is designed to provide small businesses, women-owned businesses, non-profit organizations, faith-based institutions along with youth and young adult entrepreneurs with information, tools, and resources to achieve success in a post-pandemic environment.

The POWERUP DC Summit will also highlight small businesses that have successfully pivoted to remain viable beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. Women, youth and young adult entrepreneurs who bring to the community their small business ideas will be showcased. Panelists will engage in discussions around strategies for resilience and recalibrating in the discovery of a new era and a new normal in the marketplace.

MLK Library

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

8:00am - 2:00pm

The New State-of-the-Art Business Conference Center at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library

901 G St. NW
Washington, DC 20001 | Get Directions


8:00AM – 9:00AM
Registration, Continental Breakfast, and Networking
9:00AM – 9:30AM
Opening Session
9:30AM – 10:30AM
Opening Plenary - Pathways to Recovery: Accessing Capital in Today’s Economy
10:30AM – 10:40AM
10:40AM – 11:50AM
Concurrent Small Business Workshops
11:50AM – 12 Noon
12 Noon – 1:15PM
Executive Lunch
1:15PM – 2:00PM
Speed Networking, Exhibits and Dedicated Tours of the newly designed library and Conference Center

“Pathways to Accessing Capital, Contracts and Procurement Opportunities in Today’s Economy and New Era,”

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the small business community. Nonetheless, many businesses have preserved and survived and are now seeking to reopen and turn their attention to keeping their businesses running and operating efficiently and successfully. Small businesses are not only looking at new strategies and priorities to continue to survive post pandemic, but they are also looking for capital, contracts, and procurement opportunities to buttress their business success. During the Opening Plenary Session, attendees will hear from business and financial experts, government officials as well as thought leaders who will share information about the various resources and opportunities available to small business owners, including start-ups and established entities, women business owners, non-profit professionals, faith-based leaders, and young entrepreneurs. Information on the latest investment programs and financial solutions, including traditional and nontraditional resources and supports, from both the private and public sectors will be presented. Attendees will learn more about the recent capital access investment programs initiated by the Biden Administration, including the $4.75 billion investment pledged by major corporations and convened by the Greater Washington Partnership to benefit minority-owned businesses in the region. Contract and procurement opportunities being offered by local and federal governments and private sector partners will also be shared.


TRACK A (New Businesses and Start Ups)
Moving in the Right Direction: Business Development Resources
Starting, planning and, executing a new business is not only exciting but can also be overwhelming and challenging. In this track, participants will learn how to get on the right foot with useful small business tools. They will also learn about business resources and strategies available to help turn business ideas into marketplace realities including information about needed licensing and permits, development of a business plan, marketing, networking, technology and, access to capital.

TRACK B (Established Businesses)
Keep It Moving: Sustain, Grow and Prosper
In this track, established businesses will hear from experts on how: to create a more productive company from delegation of responsibilities to use of technology that can automate everyday business processes; to access traditional and nontraditional financing including small business disaster relief programs; to protect and secure key customer information and data files; and, apply branding and marketing techniques, effective management skills, human resource practices, and, management of client relations.

TRACK C (Non-Profits and Faith-Based)
Accelerating Capacity to Strengthen Efficiency and Sustainability
One of the most understated skill sets in building a strong foundation in non-profit organizations and faith-based institutions is capacity building. In this track, panelists will share information about competencies to shape nonprofits and faith-based organizations. This will enable leaders to be more effective in their mission to enrich lives and solve intractable problems in our community. Experts will share information about the investments of organizational self-assessment and development, fundraising skills, alternative financial resources, recruitment and volunteerism, communications and marketing, partnership development, technology inclusion, program outcome measurements, leadership expansion, succession planning, and stakeholder and community engagement.

TRACK D (Women Business Owners)
Cracking the Glass Ceiling: Finding Balance to POWERUP Your Business
The glass ceiling metaphor has often been used to describe invisible barriers that women have had to navigate to gain a place in the business arena. However, the nation is busting loose with women-owned businesses and, more women with entrepreneurial aspirations and unique perspectives are finding their rightful place in the business world. Despite the impact of the pandemic and the lack of capital funding, comparable to their male counterparts, women represent 25% of all new businesses nationwide.

The vast growth of women entrepreneurs in today’s economy CANNOT go unnoticed. Women are the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurs in the United States, especially during post pandemic and the Great Resignation. As women step into entrepreneurship, they are often the primary care providers for their family, even as the demands of entrepreneurship continues to grow. The constant push and pull of professional and personal needs often leave women feeling the “burn” of business ownership. This panel will highlight the need for rest, relaxation, and finding balance between personal and professional lives when the lines seem to blur.

Connect with Small Business Resource Experts and Professionals

Want to expand your professional network and make contact with resource experts who can give you savvy business advice? The small business speed networking session will meet with government and private sector professionals who will share experiences and answer your most pressing business questions. Get the latest information about government and private sector procurement and contracting opportunities, grants, micro loans, and more. Meet with communication professionals for advice on tailored marketing strategies and use of technology to advance and streamline your business operations. Know what business permits and licensing are needed and the legal requirements to do business.

DC Health Link Small Business Partners

  • DC Chamber of Commerce (DCCC)
  • Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (GWHCC)
  • Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAMW)
  • The National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU)

DC Health Link Media Partners

  • Washington Business Journal
  • Washington Informer

Participating Partners of the DC Health Link Small Business Brain Trust

  • Anacostia Economic Development Corporation
  • Coalition for Nonprofit Housing & Economic Development (CNHED)
  • DC Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs (DCRA)
  • DC Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB)
  • DC Public Library
  • DC Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD)
  • DC Small Business Development Center Network at Howard University
  • Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)
  • DC Main Streets Program
  • Executive Office of the Mayor
  • Great Streets Program
  • Latino Economic Development Corporation (LEDC)
  • Life Asset
  • Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs (MOLA)
  • Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED)
  • Serve DC - The Mayor’s Office on Volunteerism and Partnerships
  • U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
  • Walker's Legacy Foundation
  • Washington Area Community Investment (WACIF)
  • Washington DC Economic Partnership