WBDC to Elevate Women Entrepreneurs at 6thAnnual Women-Owned Business Day

The Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC), the largest not-for-profit organization in Connecticut dedicated to women’s economic equity, will host the 6th Annual Women-Owned Business Day at the State Capitol, sponsored by The Hartford. All are invited to the free event on Tuesday, April 30th from 9:00AM to 2:00PM, beginning at the Legislative Office building, room 2D, in Hartford.

In recognition of the event, Governor Ned Lamont has proclaimed April 30, 2019 as Women-Owned Business Dayin the state of Connecticut.

WBDC’s largest advocacy event is expected to gather together more than 200 women business owners throughout Connecticut to network with key national and state leaders to discuss the future of small business in our state. “It’s so important to be engaged citizens,” said WBDC Founder and CEO Fran Pastore. “There’s a lot at stake right now for women in the state of Connecticut. Women-Owned Business Day is an opportunity for women entrepreneurs in Connecticut to have their voices heard.” 

The event will feature a presentation and discussion of Elevating Women in Entrepreneurship, a groundbreaking study by Erika R. Smith, CEO of ReNetX Bioand Brita Belli, of the Yale Office of Public Affairs & Communications, and sponsored by JPMorgan Chase & Co. Banu Ozkazanc-Pan, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Management at the University of Massachusetts (Boston) will participate in the discussion.

The report finds that, “Although there is broader recognition of the problem, the barriers that have kept women from pursuing —or even considering—entrepreneurship continue to exist: lack of support and confidence; lack of access to mentors or networks; cultural barriers; a male-dominated venture and tech space that devalues women; and, for women, difficulty in recognizing themselves in the very word ‘entrepreneur.’”The study serves as a “playbook” from the nation’s top entrepreneurship centers for overcoming these barriers.

“The WBDC is excited to provide a forum for presenting this important study and discussing ways to smooth the path to success for current and future women entrepreneurs in Connecticut and throughout the country,” said Pastore. 

The 2019 Women-Owned Business Day is co-chaired by House Republican Leader Themis Klaridesand Assistant Majority Leader Patricia Billie Miller.  

“All Business is Risky Business,” a conversation and Q&A about best practices for managing risk in a small business will include Stephanie Bush, Head of Personal Lines and Small Commercial Insurance at The Hartford; The Hartford’s clients Terri Meyer and Sandy Greenberg, Co-Foundersof the advertising agency, Terri & Sandy; and The Hartford’s client Grace Cafe, President and Owner of C&C Janitorial. The discussionwill be moderated by Alison Malloy, Managing Director, Portfolio Acceleration Services and Director, Investments at Connecticut Innovations.

New this year, the day will culminate with a networking luncheon at the Capitol featuring a panel discussion about the resources available for small businesses in Connecticut. Moderated by Executive Presentation Skills Coach Gilda Bonanno, panelists will include Moraima Gutierrez, Assistant District Director at the U.S. Small Business Administration; Milena Erwin, Program Manager at the Entrepreneurial Center and Women’s Business Center, University of Hartford; Mary Kay Della Camera, Microenterprise Business Advisor at the Small Business Development Center; Beth Wallace, Director of Business Services at Connecticut Economic Resource Center; Keisha Blake, Executive Director at the Women’s Presidents’ Educational Organization – NY; and Kenyetta Banks, Business Counselor and Program Manager at WBDC.

“We’re excited to extend the program this year and give participants a chance to mingle and discuss the issues that are covered throughout the day,” said Pastore. “We know that building a strong network is one of the critical factors for success with women in general, and women entrepreneurs in particular, so we’re happy to add this opportunity for our participants to strengthen their networks through the WBDC community. We are also grateful to welcome our distinguished panel representing the many resources available to small businesses in our state. It’s so important for entrepreneurs to be aware of the services offered by these organizations.” 

The event’s Delegation Partners include Connecticut Innovations, CTNext, the University of Hartford Women’s Business Center, Supplier Diversity Program, The Commission on Women, Children and Seniors, U.S. Small Business Association, Southeastern CT Enterprise Region (seCTer), Lisa Carberg Communications, and the Connecticut Small Business Development Center.

To register, please visit https://ctwbdc.org 

About the Women’s Business Development Council:

Headquartered in Stamford with satellite offices in Derby and New London, the 501 (c)(3) non-profit has served nearly 19,000 clients, assisted in the creation of nearly 1,800 businesses and supported the sustainability and expansion of 3,800 established businesses and created more than 4,900 jobs. For more information on the Women’s Business Development Council, visit ctwbdc.org.

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