2023 Small Business Leadership Conference: Day One Recap

Lauren Sparling

Tonight kicked off the first night of the 12th Annual Small Business Leadership Conference in Orlando, Florida! Hosted by the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship, the Small Business Leadership Conference is the premier professional development and networking opportunity for business owners in Florida and beyond.

Keynote presenter Esu Ma’at, who currently serves on the executive team for the Orlando Magic, opened the conference with an informative session on Enhancing Organizational Culture, Brand Reputation, and Social Impact. Esu uses his business experiences to speak about incorporating community and a sense of belonging into your business practices. 

Esu shared during his session that, “Only 10% of our diversity is above the surface of the iceberg, that other 90% is below. There's so much we can learn about each other if we start having below the iceberg conversations. But really what we’ll learn is that we’re more alike than we are different”. 

After the keynote session, attendees were invited to attend the Welcome Luau to enjoy a live ukulele performance and celebrate the first night of the conference. Alumni of Jim Moran Institute’s programs met after the luau for a private reception to network and share ideas with fellow alums.

Providing overall context for the 2023 Small Business Leadership Conference, Melissa Roberts, Managing Director of the Jim Moran Institute, said “This year’s conference will focus on talent, acquisition and retention, marketing and branding, innovation, financial management, sales, leadership, data analytics, and much more.”

“The Small Business Leadership Conference is not new. It was founded in 2010 by the Jim Moran Institute for Global Entrepreneurship with the goal to become the premier small business conference in the state, and around the country!”

The SBLC will continue over the next two days with more dynamic keynote speakers, informative workshops, and an exciting pitch competition with cash prizes. Lisa Price, Founder of Carol’s Daughter, will wrap up the conference with a closing keynote session on Wednesday afternoon.