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Women’s Small Business Month

​The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will celebrate Women's Small Business Month through the month of October. The Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE) will present virtual events featuring business resources, important topics, and spotlights of women-owned businesses, showcasing our commitment to growing and investing in women-owned businesses statewide. 

Webinars

Resources for HER: How Illinois Supports Women Small Business Owners
Wednesday | October 13 | 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Please join the Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE), Groupon, Illinois Office of Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Technology, the Small Business Majority, and the Women’s Business Development Center for Women’s Webinar Wednesday to learn about no-cost resources to help your business, such as one-on-one advising, Venturize resource hub, access to capital and lending programs, certifications, and additional resources.

Welcome
Michelle Lura White: women’s business development manager, Office of Minority Economic Empowerment

Moderator
Jessica Parks-Morris: global DEI engagement partner, Groupon

Presenters

  • Abigail Scanlan: director of access to capital for the WBDC, Women's Business Development Center – Chicago / Aurora
  • Geri Sanchez Aglipay: director, Midwest region; national women's entrepreneurship director, Small Business Majority
  • Kristi Dula: deputy director, Illinois Office of Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Technology

 

Owning Their Future: Women Business Leaders Pave the Way Forward

Tuesday | October 26 |11:00 AM-12:00 PM

Please join the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity as they present “Owning Their Future: Women Business Leaders Pave the Way Forward”. We know women business owners and entrepreneurs have been disproportionately impacted by the effects of the pandemic, which is layered on top of existing barriers to entry and growth. Hear from women business leaders who have broken the glass ceiling and want to help you get your business to the next level. 

Welcome

  • Michelle Lura White: women’s business development manager, Office of Minority Economic Empowerment
  • Sylvia I. Garcia: acting director, Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity

Moderator
Lotika Pai: managing director of access to capital, Women’s Business Development Center

Panelists

  • Genevieve Thiers: disruptor, entrepreneur, speaker, and investor
  • Jessica Taylor: national director, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses
  • Rohini Dey, Ph.D: founder of Vermilion & founder of Let’s Talk Womxn
  • Samara Mejia Hernandez: founding partner, Chingona Ventures and co-founder, Latinx Founders Collective

 

Making It: Women Manufacturers Find Success

Wednesday |October 27 | 10:00-11:00 AM

OMEE & Illinois SBDC presents Advancing the Development of Minority Entrepreneurship (ADME), an informative workshop experience where subject matter experts in the field of business share information with Illinois entrepreneurs to help them be successful. Listen to this dynamic panel of women manufacturers as they share best practices on breaking barriers and finding success in a male dominated industry.

Welcome

  • Vanessa Uribe: deputy director, Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE)
  • Ericka Perkins: assistant state director, Illinois Small Business Development Center (IL SBDC)
  • Kristy Johns: marketing manager, Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC)

Moderator
Emily Doherty: Vice-President of Client Services, Jane Addams Resource Corporation

Panelists

  • Jennifer Hughey: chief executive officer & owner, Goshen Coffee Company
  • Jenny Yang: president & owner, Phoenix Bean and Jenny’s Tofu
  • Karen Watson: chief executive officer & owner, International Filter Manufacturing
  • Lisa Bitsky: president & owner, Automated Design Corp.