Monday, March 11, 2019

small business ideas for women

small business ideas for women

Free small-business startup series offered | Money | - Journal Times

Posted: 27 Feb 2019 12:00 AM PST

RACINE — Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corp. will host a free five-week Start, Run, Grow Your Small Business Series at its office at 245 Main St., suite 102, starting March 5 from 6-9 p.m.

This series will teach the fundamentals of running a business, and participants will have the opportunity to develop a completed business plan. The series utilizes QuickBooks Online and the LivePlan platform, so computer skills are required.

The facilitator will be Jenn Ring, owner of Professional Success Partners. She brings nearly 20 years of small-business coaching, small-business planning and entrepreneurial experience to deliver a series that will provide the skills to determine and test the viability of business ideas and to create the business plan that will work for each individual.

Local women's mastermind group to begin March 26 - Utica Observer Dispatch

Posted: 09 Mar 2019 09:01 PM PST

UTICA — The Mohawk Valley Small Business Development Center hopes to organize the faculty of Mohawk Valley women with a new group: The women's mastermind group.

Organizers hope the group develops into a sort of roundtable for local women business owners, professionals and decision makers to come and share ideas and concerns.

"The idea being that this event is intended as a problem solving and accountability (event), but to also provide women with the resources they might need to actually take whatever steps … they need (to grow their business)," said Judy Wolf, government contracting coordinator and certified business adviser with the MVSBDC.

The MVSBDC will host an introductory event for these women from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 26, at the thINCubator on Broad Street in Utica.

The idea first came from the foundation of other similar programs around the state, said Roxanne Mutchler, director of the Small Business Development Center at SUNY Polytechnic Institute.

"We had that come up from time to time from other clients, so we've known this was something that (the business community) was looking for," Mutchler added.

The meeting also is not restricted or any age or status, said Mutchler, who hopes to see numerous types of professionals at the event.

"Just knowing that you've got this group of people who are going to want to hear what you did is often the impetus that somebody needs," Wolf added.

Mutchler and the MVSBDC also are hoping to see a strong attendance at the thINCubator.

"Based on the level of interest from attendees, this goal-setting work will set the foundation for what will be a monthly mastermind accountability and professional support group," according to a news release from the MVSBDC.

Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. There also will be a food and beverage-tasting opportunity with local vendors and a keynote presentation by Lisa Kaess, an associate with Cityforum, a UK-based policy consultancy.

She also is the creator of Feminomics, Mutchler said.

You can register for the event at

Contact reporter Joseph Labernik at 315-792-4995 or follow him on Twitter (@OD_Labernik).

Business calendar for March 10-16 - Herald-Mail Media

Posted: 09 Mar 2019 09:00 PM PST

FedEx Small-Business Grant Contest entry

Now through Monday, March 25 — What could you do with $15,000, $30,000 or even $50,000 for your small business? The FedEx Small Business Grant Contest is offering money to 10 winners. Entries will be accepted through Monday, March 25. Entering is a great opportunity to gain exposure for your business and connect with your community. Winning one of the 10 grants could open up new possibilities for your business. There will be one grand prize winner of $50,000, plus $7,500 in FedEx Office print and business services; one silver prize winner of $30,000, plus $5,000 in FedEx Office print and business services; and eight bronze prize winners of $15,000, plus $1,000 in FedEx Office print and business services. To learn more about the grant contest and how to enter, go to

Entrepreneur Council Brown Bag Lunch and Learn

Monday, March 11 — Join the Entrepreneur Council of Frederick County for lunch, networking and discussion. Don't forget to bring your business cards and your lunch. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, 118 N. Market St., Suite 200, Frederick. Free. Call 301-662-4164, email info@frederick or go to www.frederick

Lunch Exchange

Tuesday, March 12 Attend this Frederick County Chamber of Commerce popular event. Imagine networking in the fashion of "speed-dating." You'll meet 39 other people and make some great business connections. Be prepared with a one minute speech about you and your business. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Silver Diner Development LLC, 5120 Buckeystown Pike, Frederick. $25 for Frederick County Chamber of Commerce members; $35 for nonmembers. Registration required. Arrive a few minutes early to check in at the registration table for your name badge and table assignment. Call 301-662-4164, email or go to

Grant Writing for Beginners webinar

Tuesday, March 12 Are you ready to start winning grant awards to support your nonprofit? Get the essential knowledge and tools you need to start finding, assessing and applying for grants to support charitable activities. Join Michelle Nusum-Smith, owner and principal consultant at The Word Woman LLC to learn: How grants fit into a nonprofit's overall fundraising strategy; how to identify funders that may have an interest in your activities; and how to assess your project fit with a prospective funder's interests; among other topics. 2 to 3:30 p.m. This is a webinar, an online event. Call 301-662-4164, email info@frederick or go to

Eggs and Issues

Wednesday, March 13 Join the Washington County Chamber of Commerce members for breakfast, networking and a discussion with Secretary of the Maryland Department of Commerce, Kelly Schulz. It's the perfect opportunity to bring what's important to your business to the forefront. 7:30 to 9 a.m. Applause Caterers, 58 E. Washington St., Hagerstown. $15 for Washington County Chamber of Commerce members; $25 for nonmembers. Call 301-739-2015, ext. 100, email or go to

IRS webinar

Wednesday, March 13 "Third Party Payers and Employers Who Outsource Payroll." This webinar is for small business service providers, small businesses and industry representatives and tax professionals for small business. Topics to be covered include: Payroll service providers; third party payers; electronic federal tax payment system; employment tax investigation; and new online services. 10 to 11 a.m. Webinar. Call 301-766-2043 or go to www.hagers

LinkedIn for Jobseekers

Thursday, March 14 This workshop aims to show jobseekers how to use LinkedIn to connect to job opportunities. 9 to 10 a.m. Washington County American Job Center, 14 N. Potomac St., Hagerstown. Call 301-393-8200 or go to

Social media and business

Thursday, March 14 "The Social Media Landscape and Where Your Business Fits into the Space." This is part one of a four-part series giving you an introduction to the current state of social media for business, with a focus on how each platform is being utilized for business. You'll leave the class with an idea of which platforms may be best for promoting your product and business. Bring your lunch. 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, 118 N. Market St., Suite 200, Frederick. $5 for Frederick County Chamber of Commerce members; $10 for nonmembers. Call 301-662-4164, email or go to

Small business PR strategy

Thursday, March 14 "Create a Powerful and Practical PR Strategy for your Small Business." In this webinar, SCORE Mentor Jasmine Powers will teach you three easy-to-implement methods for getting into local and national papers, online sites, TV, radio and podcasts. Participants will learn how to: Identify the right media influencer for your specific news; position yourself as an expert to add credibility to any news story; talk to media with confidence, and avoid the disaster of hitting the trash file; turn your media placement into a sales funnel that runs on autopilot; attract the attention of hard-to-reach audiences; and what to do if you get bad press. 1 to 2 p.m. SCORE webinar. Call 301-766-2043 or go to

Speed Networking with GenNext

Thursday, March 14 Join young professionals of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce for this fast-paced and innovative networking event. In partnership with Fountain Head Country Club, this structured event is sure to deliver new leads and introduce you to many fellow young professionals. Complimentary food and cash bar will be available. 5:30 to 8 p.m. Fountain Head Country Club, 13316 Fountain Head Road, Hagerstown. Free for GenNext members; $5 for nonmembers. Call 301-739-2015, ext. 100, email or go to

Mugs and Pitches

Friday, March 15 Carlos Duran, Men of Their Word, will be pitching a business idea. Each "pitcher" gets seven minutes to share a business idea. Angel investors, local entrepreneurs, business coaches and others are in the audience to ask questions and provide feedback. Join the audience and ask questions, provide constructive criticism and network with other professionals. 8:30 to 10 a.m. Hagerstown Community College, CPB 211/213, 11400 Robinwood Drive, Hagerstown. Free. Call 240-500-2399 or email

Internet Job Search

Friday, March 15 Learn how to use the internet for job searching and for improving success with online applications. 9 to 10 a.m. Washington County American Job Center, 14 N. Potomac St., Hagerstown. Call 301-393-8200 or go to

Women's Empowerment Group

Saturday, March 16, through Saturday, April 13 This is a five-week self-discovery group. Through guided topics and activities, you will learn and discover self awareness and insight, motivation and clarity, how to move past obstacles, how and why to empower others, and your power as building blocks for your vision. 9:30 a.m. Salt and Light Counseling LLC, 1707 Rosemont Ave., Frederick. $125. Call 301-662-4164, email or, or go to


LION Tank Competition

Friday, March 15 Come and watch or submit your business idea to compete. Participants will pitch their business ideas in a Shark-tank-like event with the top two receiving mini-grants and gaining access to the Mont Alto LunchBox facility for one year. Entrepreneurs can submit their business ideas at 6 to 9 p.m. Penn State Mont Alto Campus, General Studies Auditorium, 1 Campus Drive, Mont Alto. Free. Call 717-749-6112, email or go to tank.

Nite at the Races

Saturday, March 16 Come out and celebrate St. Patrick's Day with the Greater Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce members. Buy tickets and receive play money to bet on prerecorded horse races for a chance to win great prizes and have lots of fun. There also will be a silent auction and hat contest. Dress in your finest derby attire. 6 to 10 p.m. Green Grove Gardens Event Center, 1032 Buchanan Trail East, Greencastle. Call 717-762-7123, email or go to


Boots to Business Reboot

Tuesday, March 12 This class is geared toward helping veterans start or grow a business. It is a two-step Small Business Administration entrepreneurship training program that provides participants an overview of business ownership, an outline and information about the components of a business plan, a practical exercise in recognizing opportunity, and an introduction to available public and private sector resources. Step one is the Introduction to Entrepreneurship course available to veterans of all eras and service members, including members of the National Guard and Reserves, and their spouses. This course is taught by the SBA and its partners. Step two consists of online follow-up courses instructed by a consortium of professors and skilled business advisors from the SBA Network. A light lunch will be provided. 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Shepherd University's Martinsburg Center, 261 Aikens Center, Martinsburg. Free to veterans. Limited to 35 people. Register in advance. For more information, email

Chamber mixer

Women's Network Leadership workshop

Thursday, March 14 Join the Women's Network for a discussion on Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People." During this session, learn what women in leadership need to stop doing. There will be time for networking. Dinner and cash bar are included. 5 to 8:30 p.m. The Purple Iris, 1956 Winchester Ave., Martinsburg. $35 for Martinsburg-Berkeley County Chamber of Commerce members; $60 for nonmembers. Register in advance. Call 304-267-4841, email or go to

Items may be submitted for this weekly calendar by mail to the Herald-Mail Media Co., ATTN: Business Calendar, P.O. Box 439, Hagerstown, MD 21741; by fax to 301-714-0245; or by email to

Stronger Together: How Female Entrepreneurs Thrive in Kenyan Slums - Forbes

Posted: 06 Mar 2019 01:58 PM PST

This article is part of a series: Spotlight on Female Entrepreneurs in Africa, for International Women's Day. #BalanceforBetter

Female entrepreneurship rates in Sub-Saharan Africa are the highest in the world, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor. One in four adult woman is engaged in early-stage entrepreneurial activity in the region. The statistics however may mask the challenges that female entrepreneurs face, especially those coming from low income backgrounds living in slums.

In the Kenyan capital city, Nairobi, close to 60% of the city's population (2.5 million people) live in slums. While slums are hotbed for entrepreneurial activities as people innovate out of necessity, there are a myriad of challenges facing female slum-dwellers in entrepreneurship. Lack of access to finance is a big challenge, as 51% of women have account access compared to 75% of men in Kenya. Women also spend more time than men on unpaid care responsibilities, especially as 60% of Kenyan women are likely to be single mothers before they reach 45.

Most women in sub-Saharan Africa gain access to finance through mobile phones. Transactions through mobile money platforms form close to half of Kenya's GDP. (Photo credit: ISAAC KASAMANI/AFP/Getty Images)Getty

Social entrepreneurs like Allie Amoroso, Co-Founder of ROSE, and her Co-Founder Patrick Juma, are working to enable female entrepreneurs thrive in the most challenging of circumstances. From their experiences in Mathare slums, there are three key ingredients enabling female entrepreneurs living in extreme poverty to thrive.

The ROSE Women Entrepreneurs programs provide community savings programs, micro-loans, business skills training, and life skills coaching. Since 2016 it has trained over 220 women in 12 small business groups.ROSE

The first, and most important ingredient, is community. ROSE, which stands for Restoration of Sisters in the Extreme, believes that entrepreneurship support needs to go beyond supporting the individual entrepreneur, but enabling the whole community to work together. "We are a sisterhood, a community learning and growing together for the benefit of all women. In our governance structure, we have the ROSE Counsel, elected by the women we work with. The Counsel determines our vision, goals and projects." Since 2016, they have worked with over 200 women in 12 small business groups, and all groups grew their group savings from zero to around 800 dollars in two years. The savings then are used towards paying school fees for their children, as well as investing in new projects started within their community, with micro-loans between $50 to $250.

The second ingredient is education. "We have found that many of our women need education on basic business principles in order to present their business ideas in a viable and investment worthy way," said Allie Amoroso. Yet, different from other entrepreneurship support programs, ROSE ensures that the curriculum is decided by the community themselves, and that the women who have been trained go on to become trainers for other women. "Joanne and Lilian, who joined us in 2016, are both members of our ROSE Counsel now and mentor upcoming ROSE Women leaders. Empowerment of ROSE women is most successful when innovation comes from the inside out and the woman running the show is someone who was once in the audiences' shoes."

75% of Kenya's populations are under 30 years old. By empowering these women entrepreneurs, their children also get educated.ROSE

The final ingredient is innovative tools. One of the challenges for women living in poverty is balancing their care burden with business needs. Teaming up with innovative startups from Allie's contacts at Silicon Valley, ROSE has recently started an Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbot, Rosie. "Rosie is being piloted with ROSE as a tool for tracking cash flows and profit/loss on a weekly basis for ROSE business groups. We then realised that the women also need a way to find resources that can help them with their daily lives, such as 'where do I take my child to the hospital'." Rosie is still being piloted but Allie has found that the women entrepreneurs are asking for more interaction time with Rosie.

Allie draws on her experience and contacts gained from leading the Oracle Startup Ecosystem, to bring innovative tools to ROSE's programs.

There is a famous African saying, " When you want to go fast, go alone; when you want to go far, go together. " The story of ROSE and the ROSE women is one that challenges our preconceived notions about entrepreneurship – it is more about the community than the individual. Entrepreneurship should be about constantly enabling others and giving back.

If you are interested to learn more about ROSE's work, please visit 

Best Business Idea, Opportunity Quest competition winners awarded - Ironcountytoday

Posted: 22 Feb 2019 12:00 AM PST

The results of the 13th Annual Best Business Idea and Opportunity Quest Competitions are in and the winners have been determined! The event was sponsored by the SUU Small Business Development Center, Regional Services and School of Business, Southwest Technical College, Staheli West, Leavitt Group, Cedar City Chamber of Commerce, TouchMD, Hughes and Associates, Kohler & Eyre, Cedar City Economic Development,, Construction Monitor, and the Women's Business Center. Many imaginative and promising business ideas were submitted for judging. Eleven finalists were chosen to present their business idea to the panel of judges. Based upon those presentations the winners were chosen and are listed in the table below (Note: an additional $2,000 in prize money was personally donated by Steve Lindsley for the Opportunity Quest competition).

As can be seen, the winners' ideas covered a wide range of business possibilities. All represent very practical and innovative business ideas, with very bright prospects for the future. Many of the winning ideas were submitted by SUU students. 

The mutual purpose of each of the sponsors of this competition is to support the development of small businesses in the Tri-County area (Iron, Beaver and Garfield Counties), and to promote healthy economic development with more jobs and an increased tax revenue base. With the integration of community resources and the talent of our own successful entrepreneurs, we can help more and more small companies get started and successfully grow. 

The mission of the SUU Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is improving people's lives through small business success. The SBDC is located within the SUU Business Resource Center (BRC), which opened its doors in April of 2009 as a "one-stop-shop" business resource center and incubator to provide necessary support and counseling services for smaller businesses. The SUU Business Resource Center and partners are located at 510 West 800 South in Cedar City. The SBDC and BRC provide counseling and support services, as well as help with financing alternatives (including micro loan programs), business partnering facilitation, marketing, government contracting assistance and more. 

Craig Isom, Executive Director of the SUU Business Resource Center and Small Business Development Center said, "It is very rewarding to see the response to the competition challenge. There's lots of talent in our community and many untapped ideas and opportunities. We're happy to see so many great ideas and to have the level of interest we have in this kind of event. What's most rewarding is seeing so many different resources come together (university, public and private) for a very important and common cause. We extend our thanks to all who participated. Now we just have to keep the ball rolling and support the launch of some new, successful businesses, and build upon this start to increased community partnership."

Best Business Idea Competition Prize Winners: From left to right: Tyler Stillman-SUU Director of Entrepreneurship, Jami Riley-SUU Assistant Director of Entrepreneurship, R. Bryce Bennett, Merrell Heaton, Benjamin Bryant, Jenna Duncan, Cassidy Wilson, Mary Pearson-SUU School of Business Dean, Craig Isom-SUU SBDC Director.*Not pictured: Leisa Jaime.
Opportunity Quest Competition Prize Winners: From left to right: Jami Riley-SUU Assistant Director of Entrepreneurship, Tyler Stillman-SUU Director of Entrepreneurship, Benjamin Bryant, Jenna Duncan, Cassidy Wilson, Mary Pearson-SUU School of Business Dean, Craig Isom-SUU SBDC Director.

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