IES 2014

2014 IES Summary book

IES 2012

Download 2012 IES Program Book


Download the 2011 IES Memory Book here

IES 2011

gov branstadAll together we attracted 468 attendees and conducted 15 educational seminars with class size average of 38 attendees at each session. The Olmstead Center was filled with IES exhibitors and visitors, businessmen and women, from all over the state and surrounding states throughout the day.

To the sponsors and supporters, we are grateful and want to thank you for your generous support. Your support has supercharged the growth of immigrant owned businesses.  Since last IES, there were 125 new businesses formed by attendees from IES and 175 new jobs were created state wide. Governor Branstad personally signed all the Congratulation Certificates for those businesses and personally delivered his opening speech at the 2011 IES Opening Ceremony.  On behalf of the planning team members, we thank you again for making business growth in our state a priority!

To IES participants, we thank you for your confidence in the IES program.  We want you to know that the planning team put in over 2000 hours of volunteer work to bring the 2011 IES program to you. There were more than 14 group meetings and we generated more than 4000 email communications for this event.

This doesn’t count the endless miles the planning team members drove to deliver the program to each and every ethnic group location. The hard work was paid off with all of your economic successes in your personal business ventures and your encouraging words and your enthusiastic outlook for the future of IES.

To our volunteers, we thank each and every one of you for being the helping angels for all of us, before, at the event, and after. Without you we would not be able to move the crowd so orderly. The event went very smoothly because of your efforts and many people thought you were full time employees running events for a living. IES has the greatest volunteers in the world.  The planning team members appreciate you!  We invite you to help us again in 2012.

2012 IES planning work has already started.  On November 19, 2011, the planning team met and laid out a long list of things to improve and things to continue. The IES planning team members are restless.

Just like an immigrant business owner’s American Dream, IES has its own American Dream too, to see each businessman and woman to be successful in business to their hearts fullest desire!

We look forward to seeing you at the 2012 Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit with your persistent support.

The planning committee obtained the following data from the service providers and IES sponsors, showing the impact of IES since 2010:

  • As of October 1, 2011 there were over 125 new companies formed in Iowa by IES attendees. Governor Branstad personally signed the Congratulations Certificates to each of these companies at the 2011 IES.
  • As of November 1, 2011, out of the 125 new companies, 175 jobs were created by these new companies. This number includes business owners.
  • Out of the 125 new companies, bank accounts were established using the IES bank sponsors. Over 50 companies obtained professional services from companies that sponsored or were seminar presenters at IES.
  • At the 2011 IES there were 468 participants.  IES was attended by 425 people in 2010, 350 people in 2009 and 300 people in 2008. Since the first IES in 2008, collectively the Summit has been attended by over 1,500 business owners who originated from 52 countries.breaktout session IES 2011


Along those lines, THANK YOU for spreading the word about the Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit Saturday that was held at Drake. It was a very powerful, colorful day of learning, like the man whose family floated out of Singapore on a homemade boat when he was 3 months old and, thank God, was picked up at sea 3 days later and he’s now a businessman here in Iowa. We’ll be going again next year. Also found out it’s the only event of its kind in the country. CONGRATS to Ying Sa, Community CPA and her board for an outstanding event! it’s November 10 next year and we’ll be back and hope to take two of our children who are launching their careers and can benefit from this exposure to people who have overcome tremendous odds seeking hope in our country.

Kimberlee Spillers

Global  Horizons, L.L.C.


What an outstanding conference – in every respect!

It was such a thrill to be a part of it. The participation makes a huge statement about immigration and economic development, precisely the kind of statement which needs to be made. Obviously the Governor has understood the message, and he has, in large part, because of your work.

Your efforts have done more than any other single thing to enhance and clarify the need Iowa has to be able to attract immigrants to our state.

Thank you for your excellent work. I am eager to learn from you! It would be fabulous to be able to attract over 465 people to Passport!



Dr. Judith A. Conlin

Executive Director

Iowa International Center


A Spectacular turnout–425 participants


“It was an absolutely outstanding Summit. My admiration for Ying and Swallow, the founders, is huge. As an individual business owner, Ying, model the highest level of entrepreneurship. It is reflected in the development of this true remarkable Summit. The number of participants who begin new businesses and/or who enhance their ability to advance in business as a result of the Summit is truly extraordinary. Swallow, you have been the driving force behind the development of virtually every major event on behalf of the immigrant community. You encourage young leaders and prod those of us who are older to learn more and do better. Your energy and commitment is an inspiration. ”

Dr. Judith Conlin, Executive Director, Iowa Council for International Understanding (ICIU), 2010 IES Immigrant Champion Award Honoree

“This is more than an event–it’s an experiential Summit that inspires, educates and celebrates in a way that has the power to transform lives. Bankers Trust is proud to have been involved with IES from day one, and in 2010 increased our vote of confidence by becoming a Gold Sponsor. It was a great investment and a remarkable weekend and we’are looking forward to IES 2011.”

--See Rodari, vice President and Consumer Services Manager, Bankers Trust

“We enjoyed having the opportunity to give this important presentation in Spanish. We believe there is a big need for this type of presentation in Spanish. The audience was very engaged and had good questions. Let us know if you would like us to do a similar presentation next year.”

–Enrique Pena Velasco, President, IMC, Inc., Speaker for seminar “Spanish topic: Market your business quick and easy”

“On behalf of my family and the entire Liberian immigrant community in Des Moines, Iowa, I thank the IES Presenting sponsor, other sponsors, hosts, and members of the planning team for the 2010 Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit. I am delighted to express my profound gratitude and appreciation for the honor given to me as a recipient of the 2010 Outstanding Immigrant Business Award. I am grateful to be recognized in the immigrant business community and I hope to contribute to this event and give back to the community in the future.

Finally, I want to encourage you to keep on with the good work of bringing Immigrants together and teaching them to understand their contributions to the society. We need this gathering and the help of one another to grow in our businesses so that together, we can achieve the American dream.

Thank you and I look forward to seeing you at next year event. “

–Krubo Gabriel, Owner of KB African Store, 2010 IES Immigrant Business Award Honoree

“I am an African American female who was born in Brooklyn, New York, and raised in Des Moines, Iowa. I am currently unemployed, and have been seeking knowledge in obtaining my own business. This was an excellent opportunity to begin.

The 2010 IES has been an awesome experience for me. If one were to go b the name, they would think that this Summit existed for only individuals from a totally different culture than our own. In all reality, this summit was created fro anyone interested in being their own boss. There were over 475 people from all different parts of the world…including Iowa.

Upon entering, the atmosphere was great, but somewhat overwhelming for me at first. There were people from all over the globe. Definitely a great time for networking! An Asian business owner even approached me to ask what type of business I owned. When I told him what type f business I had in the making, he offered to become one of my vendors and took down my contact information. What a great feeling it was for me!

Overall, the biggest highlight of the summit was listening to those heart-filled stories of the local business owners. It was important for me to listen and learn how they got started, so that I can be on the right track as well. How many of us take time out to approach someone from a different culture? Not just to sell or buy, but to network and learn new ideas and ways to help each other.

Through this summit, I have learned new and inexpensive ways to plan, start, and build my own business. I have not only learned these things, but plan on acting on it. I would like to encourage those who have a desire to build, to attend the next Immigrant Entrepreneur Summit…you will walk away with enough information to be on your way to success! ”

–Cindy DeBrown, attendee in 2010 IES


A Record Crowd

Recognizing that immigrant business owners represent America’s promise in a global economy, community leaders galvanized corporate, government and non-profit organizations to strengthen immigrant businesses of all backgrounds through professional resources and fostering mutual collaboration at the second annual IES.

350 conference attendees participated in workshops facilitated by professionals who provided an array of

comprehensive services and programs that facilitate

the start up, maintenance and growth of small businesses were offered throughout the day. Topics covered include how to finance, locate and market a business,

support services like insurance and banking, as well as business obligations including taxes and licensing.


A Tremendous First Event

The 2008 Immigrant Entrepreneurs Summit was a tremendous first event. The numbers speak for themselves. More than 300 people attended the Summit to learn from 12 entrepreneur workshops and to meet with the Summit’s 16 exhibitors. Nearly 250 attendees enjoyed the Summit awards luncheon, an emotional and inspiring gathering that honored four outstanding immigrant business owners and supporters.

Seventy-eight percent of all attendees were immigrant businesses that represented more than 33 world nations. Businesses ranged from technology and financial service providers to grocery store owners and ethnic restaurant operators. These numbers testify to our success; however, that success could not have been

achieved without the help of countless volunteers and the numerous hours they contributed to the event. These good friends are invaluable for achieving our goals in partnership.

These successes and contributions also speak to the opportunities and welcoming hands that immigrant entrepreneurs have found in their new communities. The Summit was a celebration of not just individual entrepreneurial achievement but also the collaborations and support of native-born Iowans that have been essential to the development and success of so many immigrant businesses. Together we will continue to make a difference!