Tag Archives: Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference

The Women’s Business Development Center Invites You to the 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference in Chicago, IL!

The WBDC staff invites you to attend the 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference, Women’s Business & Buyers Mart on September 20, 2012 at Chicago’s McCormick Place-West!  View the video below for your invitation!

Register now to spend a full day connecting with key buyers, supplier diversity staff and/0r purchasing decision makers from both the corporate and government sectors!

Learn more about the events taking place on September 20th by clicking here.

Take a look at the Women’s Forum Breakfast Speaker Announcement here!

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Business, Business Leaders, Entrepreneur, Established Business, Procurement, Special Events, Uncategorized, WBDC, WBE, Women in Business

Women’s Business Development Center Announces Panelists for Women’s Forum Breakfast at Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference in Chicago

The Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) is pleased to announce the panelists for the Women’s Forum Breakfast at the 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference (EWC) taking place September 20, 2012 at Chicago’s McCormick Place – West.  Register now to take advantage of the early bird rates!

Sue Bhatia, Chief Executive Officer
Rose International, Inc.

Ranked 13th on Fast Company’s list of the Top 25 Women Business Builders in North America, Bhatia founded Rose International in the spring of 1993.  Under her leadership, Rose emerged as a force in the IT and Business Services arena, and is a leader in providing innovative end-to-end technology services to both commercial organizations and government agencies from branch offices, Centralized Recruiting Centers and development centers in 21 U.S. cities and India.  With 6,000+ associates and steady revenue growth, Rose International is recognized as one of the country’s fastest-growing and most successful companies, and the largest woman-owned business in St. Louis, MO.

Christie Hefner, Former CEO, Playboy Enterprises, Inc.
Executive Chairman, Canyon Ranch Enterprises

Christie Hefner serves as Executive Chairman of Canyon Ranch Enterprises, a new company leveraging the brand and knowledge of Canyon Ranch via media and business partnerships.  From 1988-2008 she served as Chairman and CEO of Playboy Enterprises, Inc. overseeing global expansion of Playboy’s legendary brand to a wide array of new platforms and markets, transforming a domestic publishing-based business into a global multi-media and lifestyle company.  She was the longest serving female CEO ever of a public company, and she was named one of the 100 Most Powerful Women in the World by Forbes magazine for three consecutive years.

Laura Ricketts, Director of Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball
Chairman of the Board, Chicago Cubs

Laura Ricketts is a Director and part owner of the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball club as well as Chairman of the Board for Chicago Cubs Charities.  Much of her work with the Cubs is focused on community relations, government relations and philanthropy.  Ricketts is involved with several organizations in the Chicago area community and beyond, currently including serving as the Co-Chair of the Democratic National Committee’s LGBT Leadership Council, and serving on the National Leadership Council for Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, a national non-profit organization that litigates, educates and engages in public policy work on behalf of LGBT civil rights.

Richelle Shaw, Chief Executive Officer
RTS Publishing, LLC

As the only female African-American public utility owner in the nation, Richelle Shaw’s story of entrepreneurial success is one of true tenacity, hardship and hard work.  A featured expert and leading authority on building successful million dollar businesses, Richelle’s expertise comes from building her first business to $36 million, losing it after the 9/11 World Trade Center tragedies, then, successfully rebuilding the company in five months.  Since 2007, Richelle has been committed to helping entrepreneurs avoid the mistakes she made in her business, and has successfully mentored over 12,000 men and women, in 98 different industries, through her international coaching programs, and currently serves as the featured Money Expert on FOX5 local affiliate, The MORE Show.

4 Comments

Filed under Business, Business Leaders, Certification, Entrepreneur, Small Business, Uncategorized, WBDC, WBDC News, Women in Business

The WBDC Fuels the Fire Behind Women’s History Month: Women’s Education – Women’s Empowerment

This year’s theme for Women’s History Month is Women’s Education – Women’s Empowerment. 

While we often celebrate Women’s History Month with images of women like Susan B. Anthony and Amelia Earhart staring proudly into the camera, remembering great women and events that moved women forward in business, society and politics should also recognize improvements made in the nearer past.

At the WBDC we celebrate a history of 26 years of empowering and educating women business owners, who are breaking through barriers and making their own history.  Take a moment to look back at letters from WBDC Co-Presidents Carol Dougal and Hedy Ratner over the last few years.  Additionally, the WBDC is proud to share a visual timeline of our organization’s past through our newly renovated Facebook Timeline.

2011 Letter “We became standard-bearers in a movement, empowering women through business ownership.”

2009 Letter “As fierce advocates of women’s economic and business development, now, more than ever, it is vital to showcase and grow the incredible accomplishments of women business owners whose impact on the economy has been seismic.”

2007 Letter “We are mindful, however, that reputation does not lead to success; success leads to reputation.  And a good reputation leads to great responsibility.  We are where we are because we have remained as faithful to our mission in 2008 as we were in 1986, the year we began.  While our mission may calibrate as times change, the core remains the empowerment of women through successful business ownership.”

2006 Letter “We came from longtime careers and volunteer hours advocating for women’s health, education and employment parity.  And based on our frontline experience, we knew one thing: Women’s empowerment depended upon economic independence.  We figured one surefire way to get there was through business ownership.

We had no shortage of clients.  The women who entered our doors were single, married, widowed, divorced, with kids or childless.  What they had in common was ambition, drive and a desperate need for business skills, role models, encouragement and support.”

2004 Letter “In 2003, over 34% of all businesses in the Chicago metropolitan area are women-owned, and women of color own one in five of these businesses.  Naturally, there are an estimated 6.2 million women-owned businesses generating $1.15 trillion in sales and employing 9.2 million workers.

Within this context, the Women’s Business Development Center continues as a national leader and innovator in economic development and empowerment of women.  We remain steadfast in our dedication to generating economic opportunities and an enhanced quality of life for women and their families.”

Historical Women - WBDC's Co-Presidents Hedy Ratner & Carol Dougal

Share these empowering quotes with others and let it be reiterated that every month is Women’s History Month!

*We are also excited to share a great opportunity to speak with Secretary Hilda Solis and Deputy Administrator Marie Johns this Wed, 3/28 at 230P EST to discuss women small business owners!  Please click here to register for this event.

Leave a comment

Filed under Business Leaders, Entrepreneur, Established Business, Uncategorized, WBDC, WBDC News, Women Business Owner, Women in Business

WBDC 25th Anniversary Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference

On Wednesday, September 14, 2011, the WBDC held it’s 25th Anniversary Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference at Chicago’s McCormick Place-West, attracting over 2,000 participants seeking contract opportunities and resources to start or expand their businesses.  Check out some of the conference highlights below and make sure to view our entire photo album here!

Click here to see even more conference photos!

Photos courtesy of Jennifer Girard Photography.

Leave a comment

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

Rahm Emanuel to Speak at WBDC Conference

We are pleased to announce that Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel will deliver the keynote address at our 25th Anniversary Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference, on Wednesday, September 14th at the Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon from Noon – 1:45 p.m. at McCormick Place-West in Chicago.

For more information and to register, please click hereRegister online until midnight Friday, September 9th.  After September 9th, register onsite at McCormick Place-West on September 14th beginning at 7:30 a.m.

See you at the Conference!!

Leave a comment

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

10 Tips to Get the Most Out of a Business Conference

Attending a large business conference, especially for the first time, can seem intimidating.  Prospective and existing women business owners who attend the WBDC’s 25th Anniversary Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference on Wednesday, September 14, 2011 at Chicago’s McCormick Place-West will be one step ahead if they’re armed with these tips:

  1. Know before you go.  Look at the conference schedule in advance, and create a plan for the sessions you want to attend and the exhibitors you plan to target.
  2. Arrive early and stay late.  Getting there early will give you a chance to find parking, sign in at registration, read through the program book, and get a good seat. Stay for the reception: you might meet your next client!
  3. Conferences are a chance to see old friends – but also make new ones. Use the opportunity to expand your network of contacts.
  4. Take at least 100 business cards to hand out.  Ideally, your cards include all the ways that people can reach you, including the social media sites you are using professionally.
  5. Try to stay focused on the conference and not what’s happening back at the office. Limit the amount of time you spend talking on the phone and responding to work email.
  6. Consider sharing what you are learning – in real time!  Blog, tweet or post Facebook status updates, and make sure to add hashtag #wbdc25 to your tweets throughout the day.
  7. Be a gatherer of useful information. Take notes, underline important concepts and obtain business cards of others, including workshop presenters.
  8. The Breakfast Forum and Awards Luncheon are not just about sustenance and learning from the pros, but also more networking. Make sure you meet everyone at your table. Look around the room for familiar faces.  Ask for introductions.
  9. Check out the exhibit area – the Women’s Business & Buyers Mart – to make contacts with corporate and government representatives who are committed to purchasing products and services from women-owned businesses and may be able to steer business your way.
  10. After the conference, follow up with contacts you’ve made.  Make a list of what you learned that you want to apply to your business.

What additional tips would you suggest for getting the most out of a business conference?  Share them in the comment section below!


Chris Ruys is President of Chris Ruys Communications, Inc. and a contributing author to the WBDC blog.

Leave a comment

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

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 www.WBDC.org or call (312) 853-3477, ext. 24

Leave a comment

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

WBDC 24th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference

The Women’s Business Development Center held it’s 24th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference on September 22, 2010 at Chicago’s McCormick Place-West, attracting over 2,000 participants seeking contract opportunities and resources to start or expand their businesses.  Check out some of the conference highlights below and make sure to view our entire photo album here!

Continue reading

Leave a comment

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

Join Us at the 24th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference!

For some people, August means the end of summer freedom and getting ready to go back to school.  For us at the Women’s Business Development Center, however, August is Conference Preparation Time.  This year we’re gearing up for our 24th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference, the oldest and best (we admit we might be slightly biased) conference and business opportunities fair for women in business in the country.  This year’s conference will be held September 22, 2010 at Chicago’s McCormick Place-West.

Check out these pictures from last year’s conference and get a feel for what you can experience this year.  There really is something to benefit every business owner, whether you’re just starting out or are an experienced veteran.  Register before August 31, 2010 to take advantage of early-bird prices!  Register here – we hope to see you September 22!

Continue reading

Leave a comment

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