PRESS RELEASES

Women's Business Development Center to Launch ScaleUp in Aurora

11/14/2014

The Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) headquartered here has been selected by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to launch a program in Aurora for small businesses currently generating revenues between $150,000 and $500,000 and ready to grow. Called ScaleUp Aurora, the initiative will continue the WBDC’s mission of creating jobs and fueling economic growth...full story.

Conference to Be Held in Chicago on September 17
7/17/2014

Cassandra Sanford, CEO and co-founder of KellyMitchell in St. Louis, and Cheryl Harris, senior vice president of Sourcing & Procurement Solutions at Allstate Insurance Company, will co-chair the 28th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference presented by the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) on Wednesday, September 17, 2014...full story

16th Annual Early Childhood Education Entrepreneurship Expo Attracts Record Turn-out

6/19/2014

More than 450 prospective and established child care business owners attended the 16th Annual Early Childhood Education Entrepreneurship Expo on Saturday, June 14, at the UIC Forum in Chicago to learn and network with industry experts and each other...full story

16th Annual Early Childhood Education Entrepreneurship Expo
4/11/2014

If you or someone you know is in the child care business – or wants to be – there’s one event they shouldn’t miss: the 16th Annual Early Childhood Education Entrepreneurship Expo. Themed “Your GPS to Business Success,”...full story

WBDC-Mn 8th Annual Celebration of Success

2/14/2014

Timed to coincide with Women’s History Month, the Women’s Business Development Center – Minnesota (WBDC-MN) will host its 8th Annual Celebration of Success at the University of Minnesota’s McNamara Alumni Center, Memorial Hall, 200 Oak Street Southeast, in Minneapolis, on Thursday, March 6, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m...full story

Access to Contacts, Contracts and Capital Highlights of 27th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference
10/10/2013

Some 2,000 women and men flocked to Chicago’s McCormick Place on September 26 for the Women’s Business Development Center’s (WBDC) 27th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference to learn the information they need to grow their businesses. And they got it in droves. Opening the event was the 27th Annual Women’s Forum Breakfast, moderated by best-selling author Terry Savage and featuring the State of Women’s Business Development from the WBDC...full story

Women’s Business Development Center Announces Co-Chairs of 27th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference

09/03/2013

Carolynn Brooks, vice president, chief diversity officer for OfficeMax, and president, OfficeMax Charitable Foundation, located in Naperville, and Marsha A. Cruzan, Chicago Market President for U.S. Bank, have been named co-chairs of the Women’s Business Development Center’s (WBDC) 27th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference, scheduled for Thursday, September 26, 2013 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., at McCormick Place, Lakeside Center in Chicago...full story>

Laurel Bellows to Deliver Keynote Address at Women’s Business Development Center’s 27th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference

09/03/2013

Laurel Bellows, the principal of The Bellows Law Group, P.C., located in Chicago, and the immediate past president of the American Bar Association (ABA), will deliver the keynote address at the 27th Annual Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon during the 27th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference, presented by the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC), on Thursday, September 26, 2013, at Chicago’s McCormick Place, Lakeside Center, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive...full story>

Connections to Contracts and Capacity Building Are Focus of 27th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference Sept. 26 in Chicago

09/03/2013

Women business owners will find valuable connections, contract opportunities and access to information and resources to grow their businesses at the 27th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference (EWC), Women’s Business & Buyers Mart, presented by the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) on Thursday, September 26, 2013, from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at McCormick Place, Lakeside Center, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive, in Chicago....full story>

Women’s Business Development Center to Honor Entrepreneurs, Advocates at 27th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference
08/26/2013

The Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) will honor successful women entrepreneurs as well as advocates who have demonstrated an enthusiastic commitment to strengthening women’s business ownership and economic development at its 27th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference on Thursday, September 26, 2013, from 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at McCormick Place, Lakeside Center, 2301 S. Lake Shore Drive, in Chicago. The awards will be presented at the 27th Annual Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon at 12 noon. Luncheon keynote speaker is Laurel Bellows, the principal of The Bellows Law Group, P.C., located in Chicago, and the immediate past president of the American Bar Association...full story>

Flossmoor Business Owner Receives Legacy Award

06/28/2013

Dr. Latrice Y. Walker, of Flossmoor, founder and CEO of Pre-Fit, Inc., a premier sports, exercise and health systems company for children, has received the first annual Hedy M. Ratner and S. Carol Dougal Legacy Award from the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) headquartered in downtown Chicago...full story>

Arabel Alva Rosales to Receive Child Care Champion Award From Women’s Business Development Center

04/30/2013

Chicago business owner Arabel Alva Rosales will receive the Child Care Champion Award  from the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) at the organization’s 15th Anniversary Child Care Business Expo to be held on Saturday, June 1, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Rd., in Chicago..full story>

Hyde Park Business Owner to Receive Award From Women’s Business Development Center

04/30/2013

Peg Dunne Pavelec, owner of Little Inspirations, Inc., in Hyde Park, will receive the 2013 Fast Track Award from the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) at the organization’s 15th Anniversary Child Care Business Expo to be held on Saturday, June 1, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Rd., in Chicago...full story>

Cicero Business Owner to Receive Award From Women’s Business Development Center

04/30/2013

Teresa Gomez, owner of Wonderland Home Day Care and Wonderland Day Care Center in Cicero and Burbank, respectively, will receive the 2013 Unsung Hero Award from the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) at the organization’s 15th Anniversary Child Care Business Expo to be held on Saturday, June 1, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Rd., in Chicago...full story>

The Women’s Business Development Center is now accepting applications nationwide for its 4th Annual Small Business Technology Makeover Competition

04/29/2013

The Women’s Business Development Center’s 2013 Technology Makeover Competition offers chance to win over $40,000 in free products and services. WBDC is now accepting applications nationwide for its 4th Annual Small Business Technology Makeover Competition with a chance to win more than $40,000 in FREE technology products and business services to help your business grow...full story>

WBDC-MN Seventh Annual Celebration of Success & 10th Anniversary 

03/15/2013

The Women’s Business Development Center –Minnesota (WBDC-MN) honored the achievements and success of local women entrepreneurs and supporters of women’s economic development at its Seventh Annual Celebration of Success & 10th Anniversary on March 5 at the University of Minnesota’s McNamara Alumni Center in Minneapolis...full story> 

Emilia DiMenco, WBDC Chief Operating Officer, Receives Womenetics POW! Award
02/28/2013

Emilia DiMenco, of Hinsdale, chief operating officer of the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) in Chicago, will receive a Chicago POW! Award from Womenetics during a luncheon on Thursday, March 7th, at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers She is being honored as a “super-achiever who leverages her positions of influence to forge new paths in business.”...full story>

Launch for Women Vetrepreneurship Program Scheduled for January 29 in Chicago

01/14/2013

If you’re a woman veteran and interested in starting your own business, you won’t want to miss the “Women Vetrepreneurship Program Orientation,” presented by the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC), in partnership with the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA), and sponsored by Overture Premiums & Promotions....full story>

Women’s Business Development Center Offers Hands-on Application Clinic for Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses
01/09/2013

A free, hands-on application clinic for business owners interested in applying for the next “Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses” program at the City Colleges of Chicago will be held on Wednesday, January 23, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., at the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC), 8 S. Michigan Av., 4th Floor, Chicago...full story>

Women’s Business Development Center Programs in the New Year Support and Accelerate women’s Business Ownership
12/19/2012

Women's Business Development Center provides a continuum of business development services to prospective and established women entrepreneurs including counseling, training, financial, certification and procurement assistance...full story>

Women’s Business Development Center Offers Free Webinars for Business Start-ups, Established Business Owners

11/29/2012

Are you thinking about starting a new business or expanding an existing one? The Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC), headquartered in Chicago, IL, offers several free webinars each month to help start-ups and established businesses grow.Webinars cover topics that include how to obtain business financing, building your brand through traditional and social media marketing, the value of obtaining business certifications, how to win government contracts, clarifying expectations for business mentoring relationships, and much more...full story>

Women’s Business Development Center to Launch Women Vetrepreneurship Program

10/29/2012

A partnership between the WBDC and the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs (IDVA), and supported with a grant from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, the new program aims to be a “one- stop shop” for participants, according to Hedy M. Ratner, WBDC co-founder and co-president....full story> 

  

Prominent Entrepreneurs Share Business Tips at Women’s Business Development Center’s Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference

10/2/2012

You can never know too many smart people.”  “Go with your gut, and don’t be afraid to ignore advice you don't agree with How you deal with failure determines how you deal with success. Those pearls of wisdom were among scores of business tips delivered by Christie Hefner, Laura Ricketts, Sue Bhatia and Richelle Shaw at the Women’s Business Development Center’s (WBDC) 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference held September 20 at Chicago’s McCormick Place-West....full story>

Women’s Business Development Center Presents‘Marketing to the Government’ Workshop for Women Business Owners October 3 in St. Louis

9/6/2012

Contract-ready small business owners seeking to do business with the federal, state and local government should attend, “Victory in Procurement Marketing to the Federal Government,” a workshop presented by the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) and American Express OPEN’s Victory in Procurement program. The event will be held on Wednesday, October 3, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., at II Monastero – The Sanctuary Room at St. Louis University, 3050 Olive Street, in St. Louis... full story>

St. Louis Woman to Receive Award from Women's Business Development Center

8/20/2012 

Cassandra Sanford, CEO and co-founder of KellyMitchell Group, of St. Louis, Mo., will receive the 2012 Entrepreneurial Woman of the Year Award from the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) at the organization’s 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference to be held on Thursday, September 20, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Chicago’s McCormick Place-West, 2301 S. Indiana Ave...full story>

  

Laura Ricketts To Speak At Women’s Business Development Center’s 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference In Chicago September 20

8/20/2012

 

Chicago Cubs Director and Part Owner Will Share Her Career Path to Business Success. Laura Ricketts, director and part owner of Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball, with offices in Evanston, and chairman of the board, Chicago Cubs, will share her path to business success at the 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference... full story>

  

Las Vegas Business Owner To Speak At Women’s Business Development Center’s 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference In Chicago September 20

8/20/2012

Richelle Shaw, CEO of RTS Publishing, LLC, in Las Vegas, Nev., and once the only female African American public utility owner in the nation, will share her path to business success at the 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference...full story>

  

Christie Hefner To Speak At Women’s Business Development Center’s 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference In Chicago September 20

8/20/2012

Former CEO of Playboy Enterprises Will Share Her Career Path to Business Success 
Christie Hefner, executive chairman of Canyon Ranch Enterprises in Chicago and former CEO of Playboy Enterprises, will share her path to business success at the 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference presented by the Women’s Business Development Center...full story> 

  

St. Louis Business Owner To Speak At Women’s Business Development Center’s 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference In Chicago September 20

8/20/2012

Bhatia will join other nationally-renowned women entrepreneurs at the event’s 26th Annual Women’s Forum Breakfast at 8 a.m., moderated by Chicago Sun-Times syndicated financial columnist and best-selling author, Terry Savage. Other panelists are Christie Hefner, executive chairman, Canyon Ranch Enterprises and former CEO, Playboy Enterprises; Laura Ricketts, director of Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball and chairman of the board, Chicago Cubs; and Richelle Shaw, CEO, RTS Publishing, LLC and once the only female African American public utility owner in the nation.... full story> 

 

Lisa Price To Deliver Keynote Address At Women’s Business Development Center’s 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference

8/17/2012

Lisa Price, founder of the multi-million-dollar company Carol’s Daughter (lovingly named after her mother Carol), headquartered in New York, NY, will deliver the keynote address at the 26th Annual Hall of Fame Awards Luncheon during the 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference, presented by the Women’s Business Development Center...full story> 

  

Chicago Business Owner To Receive Award From Women’s Business Development Center

8/14/2012

Danielle Hrzic, president and co-founder of Gourmet Gorilla, in Chicago, will receive the 2012 Entrepreneurial Woman of the Year – Rising Star Award from the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) at the organization’s 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference. Inspired by the desire to provide healthier meals to her sons’ school in Chicago’s South Loop, Hrzic co-founded Gourmet Gorilla as a foodservice company that delivers healthy meals to more than 90 pre-schools and elementary schools throughout Northern Illinois...full story> 

 

Two Leading National Advocacy Organizations To Receive Awards From The Women’s Business Development Center

8/14/2012

Pamela Prince-Eason, president and CEO of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), and Joset B. Wright, president of the National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), will receive 2012 Advocacy Awards from the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC)... full story>

 

Vernon Hills Business Owner To Receive Award From Women’s Business Development Center

8/14/2012

Heather Sanderson, CEO of Overture Premiums & Promotions LLC, in Vernon Hills, will receive the 2012 Entrepreneurial Woman of the Year – WBE Success Award from the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) at the organization’s 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference...full story>

 

Speakers Confirmed For 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference September 20 In Chicago

7/23/2012

Speakers for the Women’s Forum Breakfast at the 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference on Thursday, September 20, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at McCormick Place-West, have been confirmed. The Women’s Business Development Center, headquartered in Chicago, presents the annual event... full story> 

  

Women’s Business Development Center’s 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman's Conference - Fact Sheet

7/18/2012

Held each September and attended by over 2,300 participants, the WBDC’s Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference, Women’s Business & Buyers Mart is the oldest conference and business opportunities fair for women business owners in the country, and the premier event of its kind in the Midwest... full story> 

 

Tips For Getting The Most Out Of The Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference  

7/18/2012

The Women’s Business Development Center’s annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference is what you make it. If you have a clear idea of what you hope to accomplish, and a plan to get there, it can be a richly rewarding experience.Like most attendees, you’ll probably want to make many new connections, as well as get tips from other business owners that spark ideas and insights for your own business. That is all the more achievable if you follow these tips... full story>

  

Emilia Dimenco Named As “100 Women To Watch"

7/18/2012

Emilia DiMenco, chief operating officer of the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) in Chicago, has been named to the 2012 class of “100 Women to Watch” in the July issue of Today’s Chicago Woman magazine. Last year’s Women Making a Difference recipients were asked to recommend a Woman to Watch. In her nomination of DiMenco, Hedy Ratner, WBDC co-president, wrote: “With her vast knowledge and experience, Emilia is taking the Women’s Business Development Center in new directions that will help more women business owners grow and expand their businesses, create jobs and fuel economic growth.”... full story>

  

26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference

7/18/2012

The 26th annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference, presented by the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC), will be held on Thursday, September 20, 2012 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at McCormick Place-West, 2301 S. Indiana Avenue, in Chicago, Illinois. Over 2,000 women and men are expected to attend the event, which will feature several components to help women expand and grow their businesses, as well as elements to teach them how to launch a successful enterprise...full story>

  

Taking Your Business Global

7/18/2012

Laurel Delaney launched her global business in 1985 on a wing, a prayer and a “world is our market” mindset. She left a cushy position at a small global-based manufacturing company to start Global TradeSource, Ltd., a management consulting and marketing company which helps other companies expand internationally. “I loved the challenge of taking on the world to do business,” she states about her decision. “... full story> 

  

Preckwinkle, Simon to Speak at 14th Annual Child Care Business Expo at UIC Forum, Chicago

4/25/2012

Illinois Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, honorary co-chairs of the WBDC 14th Annual Child Care Business Expo, will speak at the event’s Business Breakfast and Applause Awards on Saturday, June 2, beginning at 8 a.m., at the UIC Forum, 725 W. Roosevelt Road, in Chicago...full story>

  

Call-out for Chicago Area’s Best Child Care Entrepreneurs!

4/18/2012

The WBDC Child Care Applause Awards recognize and celebrate their hard work and business acumen. The awards also honor industry activists and friends who are committed to improving policies and programs and work to raise the economic status of child care providers...full story>

  

'Marketing to the Government' Hot Topic for Women Business Owners Workshop May 3 in Chicago

3/22/2012

Contract-ready small business owners seeking to do business with the federal, state and local government should attend, “Victory in Procurement Marketing to the Federal Government,” a workshop presented by the WBDC and American Express OPEN Victory in Procurement. The event will be held on Thursday, May 3, from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., at East Bank Club, 500 N. Kingsbury Street, South River View Room, in Chicago...full story>

  

Women's Business Development Center–Minnesota Sixth Annual Celebration of Success Was Held on March 8

3/10/2012

The Women’s Business Development Center –Minnesota (WBDC-MN) honored the achievements and success of its members and supporters of women’s economic development at its Sixth Annual Celebration of Success on Thursday evening, March 8, beginning at 5 p.m., at the Calhoun Beach Club, 2925 Dean Parkway, in Minneapolis...full story>

  

Entrepreneur Wins $100,000 Business Technology Makeover

2/7/2012

Jennifer Bias, president of Ficek Electric & Communication Systems, in LaSalle, Ill., has won $100,000 in free technology products and business services in the third annual “Small Business Technology Makeover Competition,” presented by the Women's Business Development Center (WBDC), in a collaborative partnership with sponsors CDW, Constant Contact, COSi, Directions Training Center, Falkor, MarketM, Microsoft and The Microsoft Store...full story>

  

Hedy Ratner Wins Athena Leadership Award

2/3/2012

Hedy M. Ratner, co-president of the WBDC, is a recipient of the 2011 Chicago ATHENA Leadership Award®. The award is given sparingly to those who demonstrate excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession; provide a valuable service to improve the quality of life for others in their community; and who actively assist women in achieving their full leadership potential...full story>

  

Women’s Business Development Center Receives $170,000 Grant from Deluxe Corporation Foundation for Online/On-Demand Business Education Project

1/16/2012

The WBDC today announced it has received a $170,000 grant from Deluxe Corporation Foundation. The grant will be used to convert the WBDC’s successful, manual-based in-person business education courses into online/on-demand, interactive learning opportunities, thus enabling the WBDC to expand its reach and capacity to better serve its clients...full story>

 

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