How WBENC is Celebrating Black History Month

This Black History Month, WBENC is celebrating and recognizing the numerous and unique contributions made by black female pioneers who have changed the world. We are also taking time to reaffirm our commitment to our black Women’s Business Enterprises (WBEs) who are following their passions to build generational wealth for their families and communities.

Throughout our nation’s history, there have been black women trailblazers who have caused profound impact and historic change. Trailblazing heroes like Madam C.J. Walker, the first recorded female self-made millionaire in the United States, Phillis Wheatley, the first published black female poet, and athlete Wilma Rudolph who overcame polio, racism, and sexism to become the first American woman to win three gold medals in a single Olympic Games. These women and countless other black women broke barriers and succeeded against all odds to open opportunities and make way for the generations of women that follow them.

We honor WBEs who stand on the shoulders of black female pioneers and continue to pave new paths for the new generation of female leaders.

We celebrate WBEs like Dr. Dana D. Wells, CEO and Principal of Dana Wells and Associates who is a trusted advisor to energy industry leaders in corporations disrupted by digital transformation, and Ashley Martin, a published author, and CEO of Leadership Lady with a mission to help others become the best versions of themselves through education. We also recognize engineer, black belt, working mom of four, and CEO of We Optimize Work, Domonique Townsend, whose goal is to support working moms in their personal aspirations without downshifting in their careers.

With the support of WBENC programs and initiatives like the Energy Executive Program, NextGen, WBENCPitch, and the Women of Color (WOC) Program, these WBEs continue to excel in their fields while creating opportunities that impact their families and communities.

Since the inception of our Women of Color Program in 2017, WBENC has grown the number of WOC WBEs by 36% via educational programming, networking, community building, and opportunities.

This growth is in large part due to initiatives that connected WOC with experiences and programming to improve their businesses and programs like WBENC Cummins Grant for Black Student Female Founders, which provided 12 student entrepreneurs with up to $6,000 in funding to invest in their businesses.

The programming offered through NextGen has been pivotal in every sense of the word. It helped me to navigate COVID successfully and has allowed my business to go to the next level. I’ve grown as a business leader and my revenues have as well. Applying the learning from the pitch academy, the NextGen Connect sessions, and the Tuck BSDB programs is paying off. Thank you WBENC for creating this space for our businesses.
Ashley M. Martin
CEO, Leadership Lady
WBENC Pitch Pivot brought opportunities and strategic connections for We Optimize Work during a time we had to pivot in order to thrive in business. We Optimize Work is passionate about helping working moms create systems and strategies to succeed in both their professional and personal lives without sacrificing their sanity or compromising their business goals. WBENC helped me boldly introduce how I seek to drive impact and catapulted the number of corporations and WBEs we have been able to serve.
Domonique Townsend
Operations + Workflow Coach for Working Moms, We Optimize Work
Upcoming Programming

We are excited to share two exclusive upcoming events as part of our ongoing commitment to our Women of Color WBEs.

Women of Color: Gain Traction with the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS®)
Wednesday, March 10 from 2 – 4 PM ET

In partnership EOS Worldwide

The Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS®) is a set of simple, practical, and proven business-building tools used by over 80,000 companies around the world to improve their business culture and operations. During this workshop, you will get clarity on how to run your business faster and better through core business functions that help you identify and communicate your vision, instill focus, discipline, and accountability throughout your company so that everyone executes on that vision, and recognize key people within your business to drive growth. Whether you are an established entrepreneur or a new business owner, join us to learn how to gain Traction® and grow your business using the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS®).

Women of Color: The Art of Capabilities Statements
Wednesday, March 24 from 2 – 4 PM ET

In partnership with the Women’s Business Council Southwest (WBCS)

Capabilities statements are a key requirement in the pre-qualification for government projects, private sector major projects and sub-contractor work. Join us to learn from Fortune 500 corporate leaders how to develop a capabilities statement that stands out and effectively communicates your company’s strengths. You will also gain firsthand insights from WBEs who have successfully utilized capabilities statements to secure contracts and grow their businesses.

These sessions are included as part of the WBENC 2021: Focus on the Future event series, a full month of programming in March in celebration of Women’s History Month.

Learn more and register here.

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Audrey Awasom
Project Manager, Programs at WBENC

Audrey is the strategic lead of the WBENC Women of Color Program and supports other executive education programs at WBENC.

She was recently featured on DC Inno’s 2020 list of 25 under 25 leaders for her work as the Founder and CEO of Noble Uprising, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides resources and career readiness training to women who are unemployed, under-employed or experiencing homelessness.