The identification of factors that promote β cell proliferation could ultimately move type 1 diabetes treatment away from insulin injection therapy and toward a cure. We have performed high-throughput, cell-based screens using rodent β cell lines to identify molecules that induce proliferation of β cells. Herein we report the discovery and characterization of WS6, a novel small molecule that promotes β cell proliferation in rodent and human primary islets. In the RIP-DTA mouse model of β cell ablation, WS6 normalized blood glucose and induced concomitant increases in β cell proliferation and β cell number. Affinity pulldown and kinase profiling studies implicate Erb3 binding protein-1 and the IκB kinase pathway in the mechanism of action of WS6.