The first session of the WBE Financial Readiness Series, “Let’$ Get Growing: The Capital Journey” with Wells Fargo, kicked off our month-long series with a bang! Our panelists provided an in-depth overview and expert advice on how WBEs could begin and sustain their capital journey.

Moderated by Talena Hooper, EVP and Great Plains Division Executive Commercial Banking, Wells Fargo, the panel of experts included Kristina Patterson, Small Business Banking Relationship Manager Director, Wells Fargo, Eda Henries, Founder and Managing Principal, Henries & Co., and Jasmine Karasek, CFO/Owner Unique USA and

One of the key takeaways from “Let’$ Get Growing: The Capital Journey” was the importance of a WBE understanding the growth trajectory of their business and having a vision for their company’s future. One of the best ways to prepare for your capital journey is to develop a business plan. Creating a plan for your business that includes a vision for your company over the next 2, 5, and 10 years, will not only enhance your ability to assess and meet your capital needs today, but plan for your capital needs in the future. The panel highlighted the importance of understanding what you want to accomplish with the capital, knowing your credit history, and having a solid grasp on your company’s finances are key in navigating this journey.

Our panelists also highlighted the significance of developing a strong working relationship with your BAIL team — your Banker, Accountant, Insurance agent, and Lawyer. These professionals are essential to the success of your business. Our panelists noted that forming real relationships, not just transactional exchanges, with these professionals are crucial to your success as a business owner, as the more familiar your BAIL Team is with your goals, vision, and motivations, the better they will be able to assist you along your entrepreneurial journey.

Our experts also were sure to mention that above all, cultivating a robust relationship with your banker is particularly important in your capital journey, as they are a resource that act not only as a representative of the bank but can be an advocate and advisor for your current and future capital needs.

The panel closed out our session by underscoring the value of connecting with organizations like WBENC, WBENC Regional Partner Organizations, and local and state resources that will help you build a community of support for your entrepreneurial success.

The capital journey is an intrinsic, but often misunderstood part of a WBEs experience as an entrepreneur. Our session “Let’$ Get Growing: The Capital Journey” with Wells Fargo brought together corporate leaders and experts from across the financial services industry to share insights into how WBEs can successfully embark on their capital journey. By developing your comprehensive business plan, building your BAIL Team, and taking advantage of your local networks, any entrepreneur can get started with their own capital journey and begin growing their enterprise today.

WBENC LIFT Financial Center of Excellence is an integrated education and funding program for women entrepreneurs to provide comprehensive financial support and resources, including education, coaching, networking and funding opportunities.