27th Annual Women Mean Business Marketplace & Gala

Join WomenVenture at the Intercontinental Hotel St. Paul on Saturday, October 15 for Women Mean Business, featuring keynote speaker Dara Beevas, Cofounder & CEO of WiseInk Creative Publishing.

New Program Format, Same Engaging Event

Join over one thousand entrepreneurs, supporters, and community leaders committed to supporting women-owned businesses for this engaging event.

Shop more than thirty women-owned products in our Marketplace, cheer on our award winners and dance the night away all while supporting WomenVenture’s mission to empower women to achieve their economic goals by building profitable and sustainable businesses that transform communities.

Registration is open!

Event Schedule

3 – 6 p.m. The Marketplace will be open to ticketholders and the public to shop until they drop

6 – 7 p.m. A special reception for sponsors and guests to mix, mingle, and re-connect

7 – 8:30 p.m. Women Mean Business Gala and fundraising bash!

8:30–10 p.m.  After party for those who want to stay and dance the night away. Music by DJ Akiem.

Keynote Speaker

This year, WomenVenture's keynote speaker is Dara Beevas. Dara’s work is centered around her belief that books can save lives, open doors, and build bridges. As co-founder and CEO of the publishing company Wise Ink, she seeks authors whose missions are to share powerful stories that ignite change, tolerance, and growth. 

Dara is the author Amina of Zaria: The Warrior Queen,  the first in a series of children’s picture books based on the actual lives of black queens in history. She’s been featured in such publications as the NY Daily News, The Washington Post, MPLS. St. Paul Magazine, MPR, and The Guardian.

Dara has been invited to speak around the country about writing, blogging, book publishing, and entrepreneurship. She’s a graduate of the Yale Publishing Course and a recipient of the Bush Foundation Fellowship, Woman in Business Award, Emerging Leader Award, and Emerging Writer Fellowship granted through the Given’s Foundation. Dara splits her time running one of the leading hybrid publishing companies in the U.S. and working on her personal writing projects. 


Your sponsorship allows WomenVenture to continue to support women entrepreneurs by providing education and resources through our training and loan programs including:

  • Scholarships for low-income training clients, materials for classes, mentor and volunteer training, and curriculum development.
  • Pre-loan and post-loan coaching including underwriting time, materials, and closing costs.
  • Community support and mentorship opportunities to help women start or grow their businesses.

To join those companies who have already secured their sponsorship, please contact: Rosemarie Ndupuechi, rndupuechi@womenventure.org

WomenVenture is grateful for the support of our Women Mean Business event sponsors and government partners. Sponsorships are still available! 

Please check here for more information on becoming a Marketplace vendor.

Gold Sponsors

Marketplace & Dessert Sponsor

Silver Sponsors

Marketplace Sponsor

Reception Sponsor

Bronze Sponsors

Copper Sponsors

Entertainment Sponsor

Event Partners

Government Partners