Join Us at Our 25th Anniversary Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference!

Twenty-five years ago, the WBDC was launched to help women start businesses as a means of becoming economically self-sufficient.  Along with training, technical assistance and guidance, we realized early on that their clients were motivated to come together; to network; to share opportunities, struggles and successes; to gain and offer advice, resources and encouragement. Thus, the Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference was born, and this annual forum has become the Midwest’s largest and most effective tradeshow and women’s business conference. This year, the WBDC will present its 25th Anniversary Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference on September 14, 2011 at Chicago’s McCormick Place-West.

We have many exciting elements in store for you at this year’s event, and are pleased to announce this year’s Women’ Forum Breakfast Panelists:


Leylani Cardoso, Founder and President, Bolzano Handbags and Vice President, Duty Free World International – both certified WBE companies – Bolzano is an international luxury handbags and accessories line, and Duty Free World currently has 30 locations around the world and is a leader in in-flight, travel retail working directly with the airlines.

Maxine Clark, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Bear, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. – one of the world’s most unique retail-entertainment chains currently operating over 400 stores worldwide.

Cathy Hughes, Founder and Chairperson, Radio One, Inc. – the largest African American-owned and operated broadcast company in the nation, and the first, and only, African American woman to chair a publically held company.

Lynn Tilton, Founder, CEO and Principal, Patriarch Partners, LLC – the largest woman-owned business in America with annual revenues in excess of $8 billion and over 120,000 employees, this private equity firm and holding company’s portfolio includes the likes of Rand McNally, Spiegel and Stila Cosmetics, a growing number of which are now WBENC certified WBE companies.

Additional conference highlights include:

  • Face time with more than 200 corporate and government representatives at the Women’s Business & Buyers Mart, the oldest business opportunities fair for WBEs in the country, who are committed to purchasing products and services from women-owned businesses.
  • Contract Connections, pre-arranged one-on-one meetings between certified Women Business Enterprises (WBEs) and corporate and government purchasing decision-makers.
  • 25th Anniversary Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon, honoring successful female entrepreneurs and supporters of women’s economic development.
  • The WBDC’s 25th Anniversary Celebration, to be held the evening of September 14, 2011.
  • Workshops and roundtable discussions with practical advice from business experts addressing the current issues facing women business owners today.

Register before August 15, 2011 to take advantage of early-bird prices!  For more information, visit or call (312) 853-3477, ext. 24


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Filed under Business Start-up, Established Business, Special Events, WBDC News, Women Business Owner

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