A conference about attracting business to your downtown held in a new beautiful, thriving downtown each year with conference sessions held directly in the local businesses that help communities thrive.

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We will be announcing our next conference dates and location in January 2023. Stay tuned!

Read about this award winning conference in the Journal of Extension.

"Unique Conference Design Showcases Small Towns, Highlights Entrepreneurs, and Strengthens Capacity"

CEC logo-rgb-web-01 (1)The Connecting Entrepreneurial Communities (CEC) is a community development program designed for stake-holders, economic developers, businesses, local government, educators, and non-profits to create a network that increases a community’s potential for entrepreneurship. The program culminates in an annual  conference held every fall in towns across Michigan where participants attend to share ideas and learn best practices.  

Join other like-minded community leaders to learn exciting concepts and resources, and share best practices and fresh ideas to empower yourself and others to grow your local communities.

With breakout sessions embedded in shops and businesses throughout the downtown, the conference offers the unique opportunity to learn about and experience an entrepreneurial community.

We encourage you to invite your colleagues, co-workers, community leaders, entrepreneurs and stakeholders. Whether you work in economic development, business, arts and culture, government, philanthropy, the nonprofit sector, or education, you have an important part to play in supporting local businesses and entrepreneurial development in communities. There is something for everyone!

A small-town conference for small towns in a small town

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