8 Free Must-Attend Events to Grow your Small Business in PA

Laughing Owl Press

Maybe you’ve had an idea for a new business venture and are ready to get started. Or perhaps you’re a veteran entrepreneur and looking for fresh ideas to take your business to the next level. Either way, we have you covered. Check out January’s must-attend events helping entrepreneurs (like you!) across the state reach their small business goals this new year.

Free Small Business Events

The PA Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) across the state offer events, workshops, and webinars on a wide variety of business topics. Below is a round-up of some of their most popular new year events available to you at no cost.

  1. First Step to Starting Your Business

    Designed for first-time business owners and veteran entrepreneurs looking for a “checkup,” First Step to Starting Your Business covers many critical issues relevant to starting and operating a small business. Professional presenters will help you assess the feasibility of your business idea, provide you with legal and tax implications of owning a business, teach you how to compile a bank-ready financial package, and show you how to market your product or service.

    When: Jan. 4 & Jan. 8
    Location: Multiple locations, please see website for the nearest event to you
    Registration: Kutztown SBDC, Harrisburg & Penn State SBDC, State College

  2. Breaking into Government Contracting: How a Small Business Can Sell to the Federal Government

    Did you know the federal government buys more than $450 billion of goods and services every year and state and local governments buy billions more? At Breaking into Government Contracting: How a Small Business Can Sell to the Federal Government learn the ins and outs of the government marketplace and determine if selling to the government is right for your business.

    When: Jan. 14
    Location: 125 N. Duke St., Lancaster
    Registration: Kutztown SBDC

  3. 1 Million Cups Susquehanna Valley “g”Round Table

    Make your voice heard at the 1 Million Cups Susquehanna Valley “g”Round Table, a discussion surrounding the communities that impact entrepreneurial ecosystems across the nation. Share your thoughts on new activities for the year, brainstorm fresh ideas, and sip lots of coffee with like-minded peers.

    When: Jan. 16 & Jan. 30
    Location: 416 Market St., 3rd Floor, Lewisburg
    Registration: Bucknell University SBDC (RSVP required)

  4. LaunchLINK: Getting Ready for Equity

    If all of what you know about equity investment is what you’ve seen on “Shark Tank,” you’ve only scratched the surface of this financing method. Whether you’re sure that equity funding is the right financing vehicle for your business or you want to get more information, LaunchLINK: Getting Ready for Equity will give you some straight answers as you prepare for equity investment.

    When: Jan. 23
    Location: Multiple locations, please see website for the nearest event to you
    Registration: Clarion University SBDC, Clarion (RSVP required)

  5. Communicating in the Professional World Webinar

    Enhance your business writing and public speaking skills at Communicating in the Professional World. From this workshop you’ll fine tune your interview skills; learn how to write effective emails, memos, and letters; and get tips on how to become more persuasive in the workplace.

    When: Jan. 24
    Location: Online
    Registration: Gannon University SBDC (RSVP required)

  6. Business Planning in a Nutshell

    No business would be successful without its customers. Some companies have several segments, requiring owners to update their value proposition more than once. Attend Planning in a Nutshell to discover how the business model canvas can help your operation grow and prosper.

    When: Jan. 25
    Location: 2986 N. 2nd St., Admin Building, Harrisburg
    Registration: Kutztown University SBDC

  7. Discovering What Works in Social Media Webinar

    In the ever-changing world of social media, entrepreneurs need to be able to change up their digital strategy at a moment’s notice. Join the Kutztown SBDC social media group on a 45-minute webinar to learn about the 5D social media program. Through the 5D model, entrepreneurs will be able to develop best practices for their business by integrating goals, design and track the performance of content that is relevant to their industry.

    When: Jan. 25
    Location: Online
    Registration: Kutztown SBDC

  8. January Temple Business Roundtable

    Starting a business is no easy feat but with the right help, anything is possible. The January Temple Business Roundtable is a networking event that’ll put you in contact with fellow aspiring entrepreneurs. You’ll also get business tips from an expert panel that will address common challenges faced by small business owners.

    When: Jan. 29
    Location: 8025 Roosevelt Blvd., Suite 200, Philadelphia
    Registration: Temple University SBDC

But Wait There’s More…

In addition to their free events, the SBDCs also offer many low-cost workshops to help small business owners looking for advanced-level trainings, like the examples below.

  1. Branding Your Business

    Do you know which images, words, and feelings arise when your customers think of your company? Your brand is the heart of your business and Branding Your Business will teach you how to create stronger messaging to make a big impact in the marketplace. You’ll also learn how to build a brand strategy, define your brand, communicate your brand to your target audience, and protect your brand.

    When: Jan. 15
    Location: 900 State St., Room 104, Erie
    Registration: Gannon University SBDC
    Cost: $35

  2. Strategic Business Planning

    The accelerated Strategic Business Planning is a multi-session course that covers how to draft a business plan via six sessions. As you move through the series, prepare to write mission statements, complete weekly assignments, and create reverse income and income statements.

    When: Jan. 15-Feb. 19
    Location: 3730 Walnut St., Philadelphia
    Registration: University of Pennsylvania SBDC (six sessions)
    Cost: $325

  3. QuickBooks 2018 Level I

    Manage your business with ease when you pick up skills from QuickBooks 2018 Level I. Whether you’ve already purchased the software or are just curious about its benefits, learn how the tool can be integrated with your current operation such as keeping track of your payables and receivables.

    When: Jan. 16
    Location: 330 North Point Dr., Suite 100, Clarion
    Registration: Clarion University SBDC
    Cost: $199

To learn more about starting, registering, operating, and growing a business in Pennsylvania visit the PA Business One-Stop Shop website. For additional #PASmallBiz information follow our social media accounts on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn, and sign up for our monthly e-newsletter.

Visit the PA Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) website to learn more about their events and services for aspiring entrepreneurs and existing businesses.