This is historical material “frozen in time”. The website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work.

Search form

Meeting with Entrepreneurs in the “Magic City”

Ari Matusiak announces the Urban Economic Forum in Birmingham.

Today in Birmingham, the White House Business Council is hosting its second Urban Economic Forum in conjunction with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  300 local entrepreneurs are expected to participate in a full day of discussion, networking, mentoring and idea exchange about how to fuel more successful businesses in the city.  You can watch the Urban Economic Forum online at and join the conversation on Twitter using #UrbanEconForum.

We kicked off the Urban Economic Forum series with an event focused on women entrepreneurs at Barnard College in New York City on February 3. The energy in the room that day was remarkable. In addition to the plenary sessions, over 250 women entrepreneurs partook in speed mentoring sessions with experienced advisors and entrepreneurs from Startup America Partnership, Council of Urban Professionals, SBA and others.  They also participated in a resource expo where over 20 public and private sector partners set up shop to connect these entrepreneurs to resources that can help them scale their ideas and firms.

The entrepreneurs here in Birmingham will have a similar opportunity and we are excited to see what transpires here today.  Valerie Jarrett is starting the day speaking with a local television reporter about the President’s Blueprint for an America Built to Last and his commitment to entrepreneurs and small business.  The mentors are already in Birmingham for their sessions and the resource expo is just waiting for local entrepreneurs to arrive. 

The purpose of these forums is two-fold: 1) to shine a spotlight on the success and positive impact entrepreneurs and small business owners are having in cities across the country; and 2) to connect these entrepreneurs to the resources that can help them grow their firms and scale their ideas.  From Birmingham, we will be heading to Los Angeles and then Las Vegas, and across the country over the next several months. 

At the White House Business Council , we know these meetings matter.  As one of the participants in New York City put it: “I could not agree more about the energy in the room, which just confirms what we all know -- that there is a hunger for information and advice among [entrepreneurs] trying to start or grow their own businesses.” 

So join us in the Magic City today. Visit:

Ari Matusiak is Executive Director of the White House Business Council.