Join NLC and guest experts for this monthly speaker series hosted by the City Inclusive Entrepreneurship (CIE) program at the National League of Cities.

Upcoming Events

Understanding Child Care Needs of Women Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, July 17, 2024, 3 PM – 4 PM (ET)

Women comprise a large and vital share of entrepreneurs, responsible for 41% of new businesses that started in 2019. Research has shown that women face distinct challenges in their pursuit of entrepreneurship, especially in securing access to capital. For women entrepreneurs with young children, these challenges are heightened. To better understand how women entrepreneurs with young children use child care and identify their specific childcare needs, United WE commissioned a survey of 750 women entrepreneurs. Sign up for this webinar to hear subject matter experts unpack findings from the “Care for the Economy” study.

Past Events

To view recordings of past events, go here.

Working with Specialized Chambers of Commerce

Wednesday, June 26, 2024, 3 PM – 4 PM Eastern

Many cities have a chamber or even multiple chambers of commerce that work to enhance support systems and foster networking in tandem with cities’ economic development outreach to local businesses. However, not every city has a chamber of commerce that explicitly engages small business owners from BIPOC, women, and/or LGBTQ+ communities. Join us at 3 PM (ET) Wednesday, June 26, to learn how chambers of commerce can be strong partners in intentional outreach and support to entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds.

Celebrating Small Business Week with NLC’s City Inclusive Entrepreneurship Program

Wednesday, April 17, 2024, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern

This year, National Small Business Week takes place from April 28 to May 4. Join us from 3 PM to 4 PM (ET) Wednesday, April 17, to hear from local government and entrepreneurship support organization leaders as they spotlight the work they have done with small businesses in their communities. At this webinar, you’ll also learn how city leaders can support small businesses in their communities and how local partnerships among cities, nonprofit partners, and entrepreneurs enhance local economies.

Optimizing Public Spending with the Capital for Communities Scorecard

Wednesday, March 20, 2024, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern

The Capital for Communities Scorecard, a vital tool from The Urban Institute (UI), is designed to evaluate the potential social, economic, and environmental effects of proposed real estate developments or business investments. Its assessment aims to support projects that enhance communities, provide advantages to residents, and address disparities in access to opportunity based on race and geography. Join NLC and Urban Institute for a webinar from 3 PM to 4 PM Wednesday, March 20, to learn more about how the Scorecard can support decision-makers in prioritizing investments that contribute positively to community well-being and align with community priorities.

Leveraging Amazon Business to Accelerate Inclusive Procurement

Wednesday, February 21, 2024, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m Eastern

Experts from Amazon Business, along with City and County of Denver Chief Procurement Officer Lance Jay, share valuable insights into approaches that empower city leaders to establish, fulfill, and actively assess socially responsible procurement initiatives. Discussion includes a look at strategies to streamline the purchasing procedures for municipal governments, fostering a fairer, more sustainable solution that unlocks new possibilities for local, veteran-owned, and minority-owned businesses.

2023-24 CIE Grant Funding: What You Should Know

Wednesday, January 24, 2024, 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m Eastern

Join us from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM Wednesday, January 24, to review what cities and nonprofit partners should know before applying for the CIE implementation funding. During this webinar, we will review the application questions and timeline, hear from former awardees, and answer all questions related to the funding process.

As a reminder, the $15,000 grant application opens on February 1, 2024. CIE cities and nonprofit partners are invited to apply as long as they 1) participate in our quarterly calls, 2) achieve their initiating activity, 3) complete our quarterly surveys, and 4) are on track to complete the output of their commitment by April 2024. Recommended for participating CIE cities or nonprofits on behalf of cities only.

Inclusive Cities: Prioritizing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Economic Development

Wednesday, October 25, 2023 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern

In today’s rapidly changing socio-economic landscape, city leaders play a pivotal role in fostering inclusive environments that promote growth, innovation, and social cohesion. This webinar will equip city leaders with essential knowledge and strategies to integrate DEI principles into economic development practices.

Join us as we delve into the fundamentals of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and their critical relevance in shaping prosperous and equitable cities.

2022-23 End of Year Celebration

As the 2022-23 CIE Program Year concludes, join us for a special webinar to commemorate the remarkable achievements of our city leaders and nonprofit partners in their unwavering commitment to empowering small businesses and entrepreneurs across the country.

In a year filled with unprecedented challenges, CIE participants have gone above and beyond to uplift and support local businesses. This webinar serves as a tribute to their dedication, resilience, and creative solutions that have fostered an environment of inclusive growth and economic prosperity.

Measuring Impact: Empowering Cities to Evaluate Local Small Business Support

Wednesday, July 19, 2023 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Ensuring the success and sustainability of small businesses in your community requires more than launching initiatives; it necessitates a comprehensive understanding of their impact. “Measuring Impact: Empowering Cities to Evaluate Local Small Business Support,” examines effective strategies for evaluating the outcomes and gauging the effectiveness of your small business support interventions.

Capital Innovations for Small Businesses

Wednesday, June 21, 2023 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM

In a rapidly evolving business landscape, access to capital remains a critical challenge for minority entrepreneurs.

At this webinar, experts discussed the realm of capital products designed to empower and uplift diverse entrepreneurs. This virtual event is dedicated to exploring the latest insights from surveyed businesses, innovations in financing solutions, investment strategies and funding opportunities that cater specifically to individuals from underrepresented communities.

Forging and Formalizing Complex Networks

Wednesday, May 17 2023 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM

How does one move beyond building a coalition of likeminded individuals and organizations to formalizing a complex, long-term network of diverse, and sometimes competing, stakeholders?

Hear from experts who have utilized long-term change management strategies to forge entrepreneurial support networks that look to withstand disintegration over time, have clearly defined qualitative and quantitative enhancement goals, and improve targeted entrepreneurial outcomes, especially in marginalized communities.

Building Capability: Targeted Support for Business at Every Stage

Wednesday, April 19, 2023 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM

NLC’s CIE program hosted the Building Capability: Targeted Support for Business at Every Stage webinar, where subject matter experts discussed the various stages of entrepreneurship so city leaders can better understand entrepreneur’s needs and provide targeted assistance to help them succeed.

Entrepreneurship for All Generations

Wednesday, March 15, 2023 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Entrepreneurship offers unique benefits to individuals of all age ranges. It can provide young people the opportunities to build skills and gain experience. For mid-career professionals, entrepreneurship can offer a chance to pivot into new industries or start their own ventures. And for seniors, entrepreneurship can provide a sense of purpose, independence, and financial security in retirement; not to mention, a legacy to pass to future generations.

The discussion centered om the unique challenges and opportunities faced by entrepreneurs of different age groups, tips to building a sustainable business, and the importance of collaboration at different points in the entrepreneurial journey.

Unsung Heroes of Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

Wednesday, February 15, 2023 from 3:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Chambers of Commerce are all important partners to include when building an inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem. But are there other powerful collaborators hiding in plain sight?

Join the NLC CIE Network to discuss how to leverage common community assets, like libraries, churches, community colleges and recreational centers, to support entrepreneurship in your municipality.

2022-23 CIE Grant Funding: What You Should Know

Wednesday January 18 from 3:00PM to 4:00PM ET

CIE participating cities, or nonprofits on behalf of cities, that:

  • Participate in our quarterly calls
  • Achieve their initiating activity
  • Complete our quarterly surveys
  • And are on track to complete the output of their commitment by April 2023 are invited to apply for $15,000 in implementation funding on February 1.

Join us to review what cities and nonprofit partners should know before applying. We will review the application questions and timeline, hear from former awardees, and answer all questions related to the funding process.

Building Your Coalition

Wednesday, December 21 from 3:00 to 4:00 PM EST (US and Canada)

Bringing together a group of like-minded individuals and organizations to collaborate toward a common goal, or “coalition building,” is a key practice within the toolkit of entrepreneurial ecosystem creation.

Join the NLC CIE Network to hear how leaders have successfully built a coalition of diverse stakeholders to foster inclusive economic vibrancy.


Bernard Johnson, Sr. Director of Programs, Interise

Renata B. Kowalczyk, Chief Executive Officer, Wilmington Alliance

Nia Richardson, Managing Director, KC Bizcare Office

Creating a Shared Narrative on Inclusive Economic Development

Wednesday, October 26 from 11am-12pm ET

Narratives can help establish a common lexicon and shared objectives for our work. They can also foster coordination and collaboration among resources to connect entrepreneurial ecosystem builders across networks. On the other hand, narratives can perpetuate constrictive notions of what is possible, for who. Creating inclusive economies requires challenging the norm; championing new models and stories about what our economy can be.

Join us to hear from authors who contributed to the NPQ and Common Future series entitled Narratives to Build Collective Economic Power. In addition to learning about the speaker’s work, you will hear how they challenge conventional narratives and offer new ways of thinking about who can be owners in the economy and what community economic development means.


  • Allison Jones, Vice President of Brand and Storytelling at Common Future
  • Tim Lampkin, Founder and CEO of Higher Purpose Co.
  • Christina Maria Xochitlzihuatl, Co-founder of Las Imaginistas and Founding Director of Voces Unidas
  • Corianne Rice, Program Director, National League of Cities, City Inclusive Entrepreneurship