April is all about transition – from winter to spring, basketball season to baseball season, and sweaters to sundresses. It is also transition time at WBENC, as we reflect on Summit & Salute in March and get ready for our biggest event of the year in June, the WBENC National Conference & Business Fair.
As we turn our attention to June, I have been reflecting on our conference theme – ECOSYSTEMS. In nature and in business, an ecosystem is a complex and dynamic network made up of different elements that all interact and work together as a cohesive system. (You might say successful ecosystems live by the WBENC mantra to Join Forces and Succeed Together!)
The WBENC ecosystem is vast and diverse, including everything from small startups to some of the largest and most successful corporations in the world. But we all come together for a common goal – fueling the success of women-owned businesses. At this year’s National Conference & Business Fair, we are focused on helping attendees CONNECT, GROW, and THRIVE within the WBENC ecosystem, through formal and informal matchmaking and networking, education and development in the WBENC Business Lab, and by providing the resources, tools, and contacts to help fuel future success.
Speaking of our ecosystem, congratulations to our global certification partner WEConnect International on celebrating a major milestone, their 10-year anniversary. They hosted an anniversary gala earlier this month – you can see the recap here: https://anniversary.weconnectinternational.org/2019-gala I am so proud of what WEConnect has accomplished and am honored to be their partner.
It has also been about a year since we announced our new partnership with Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), our first National Partner Organization. Candace Waterman and team are doing some amazing things there in advocating on behalf of women-owned businesses. Check out their website for upcoming events and opportunities to get involved: https://www.wipp.org
I am also continuing to advocate for women entrepreneurs with my representation on the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC.) The NWBC is a non-partisan federal advisory council established to serve as an independent source of advice and policy recommendations to the executive branch, Congress, and the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration on issues related to women’s business enterprises. Recently, I was personally appointed to another three-year term by then SBA Administrator Linda McMahon.
Thank you all for your part in helping keep the WBENC ecosystem healthy and thriving. A special thanks to our tireless Regional Partner Organizations who facilitate our world-class certification and provide numerous regional events and opportunities, and of course to our Corporate Members and sponsors that help make everything we do possible.
President & CEO