Highlights from National Small Business Week’s kickoff event


This past Monday, we partnered with the U.S. Small Business Administration (@sbagov) to kick off National Small Business Week (#SBW2014) at our San Francisco headquarters. In addition to thousands of people who tuned in online, the event brought nearly 500 small business owners and employees together with leaders from government, tech and entrepreneurial communities to raise awareness for #smallbiz across the nation.

Our president of global revenue, Adam Bain, began the morning by recognizing the tremendous value that small businesses bring to our economy and to our communities.

Guests then heard from San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee (@mayoredlee) about the importance of community support for small businesses.

To officially kick off National Small Business Week, the newly-appointed U.S. Small Business Administrator, Maria Contreras-Sweet (@MCS4Biz) shared the “three Cs” that guide Small Business Administration (@sbagov) priorities: capital, consulting and contracts. She closed her remarks by inviting small business owners to ask questions and give feedback via her Twitter account, launched earlier that day with this Tweet:

Photo by Aaron Durand for Twitter, Inc.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) also took the stage to celebrate the contributions and entrepreneurial thinking that fuel small businesses across the country.

Then Premal Shah (@premal), the president of Kiva.org, discussed ways in which the small business community can humanize the lending process. He highlighted real-life examples of how Kiva’s platform has helped many small business owners see their goals become realities.

Photo by Aaron Durand for Twitter, Inc.

The audience then heard from their peers: Jamie Walker (@jamiewalker19) from @thesweatguru, JP Patil (@jpatil) from @tenXer and Jonathan Lai (@jonwlai) from @SCOREMentors participated on a panel discussion about social media best practices. Here are some of our favorite insights:

The youngest small business owner in the room was Vivienne Harr (@vivienneharr) from @makeastandinc. This remarkable 10-year old shared what she’s learned through transforming a single lemonade stand into a global movement to end child slavery.

Photo by Aaron Durand for Twitter, Inc.

To close, Richard Alfonsi, our vice president of sales, gave guests a first look at a new interactive resource to help small businesses effectively reach their marketing goals.

Stay tuned for more National Small Business Week information this week, and let us know how you’re celebrating #SBW2014 by tweeting us @TwitterSmallBiz.