Small Business & Entrepreneurship Conference

April 27th, 2016 - April 28th, 2016 | 5:00 pm

Incredible ElyThe Incredible Ely Small Business Conference

Ely, MN – Incredible Ely, the Entrepreneur  Fund, and the University of Minnesota-Duluth Center for Economic Development are pleased to announce their first joint Small Business Conference, April 27-28, 2016 at the Grand Ely Lodge.

The purpose of the conference is to provide an opportunity for entrepreneurs in Northeastern Minnesota to build the skills they need to make their businesses succeed, and to network with banks, business advisors, and other entrepreneurs.  The conference is designed for both established businesses and new start-ups – and even for those just thinking about starting a business.

“Whether you have already been in business for a number of years or are just starting out with your idea, you can benefit from attending this conference by networking, learning, and hearing from those that have been there and faced the trials and tribulations of owning a business,” said Elaine Hansen, Director of UMD-CED.

The conference will kick off on Wednesday evening with dinner and a keynote address by Don Ness, former mayor of Duluth and now a strategic communications consultant.  On Thursday, participants will be able to attend a wide variety of sessions, including:

  • Planning, starting, and growing a business
  • Using QuickBooks and other financial software
  • Financing options including crowdfunding
  • Marketing using social media
  • Do-it-yourself website development and search engine optimization
  • Getting started in export markets
  • Issues and programs for women-owned businesses

The program includes panel discussions with successful entrepreneurs  who will share the lessons of their experience.  “The networking opportunities will be fantastic,” stated Shawn Wellnitz, CEO of the Entrepreneur Fund.  “If you want to meet entrepreneurs that grow revenues through social media or successfully crowdfund, this is the place to be.  There will be opportunities to not only see them present on how they did it, but get to meet them throughout the conference.  Attendees will also learn about resources available and how to access them.”

To register for the conference, please visit  The registration fee, which includes three meals, is $90 per person before April 1 and $110 thereafter; lower fees are offered for Wednesday-only or Thursday-only attendance.  The registration deadline is April 18.  For out-of-town participants, rooms are available at the Grand Ely Lodge at a reduced rate.

About Incredible Ely:  Incredible Ely is a non-profit (501c3) organization whose mission is to revitalize Ely’s downtown and support economic growth in the Ely area by connecting people, knowledge, ideas and resources.  Our vision is a dynamic, innovative, and distinctive community with a diversified and seasonally-balanced economic base.