March and April are big months in the ongoing effort for women’s rights. In March, we took time to recognize generations of women innovators and advocates as we celebrated Women’s History Month as a nation.
And in April, Connecticut follows, with the Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) hosting the annual tradition of Women-Owned Business Day — an opportunity to celebrate and share the economic impact of the thousands of women owned enterprises in the state.
In the waning days of a pandemic that caused an economic downturn, which many market analysts are describing as a “she-cession,” it is more important than ever to raise the awareness of our elected leaders about the important work of WBDC and its 24-year-long effort to make economic equality for all women a priority.
On April 21, the Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) plans to host its seventh annual Women-Owned Business Day, virtually, to address real issues that affect women-owned enterprises. WBDC is making the necessary space to create a consolidated, powerful voice for women business owners and entrepreneurs throughout Connecticut.
This annual awareness gathering, hosted by WBDC and leadership statewide, is an opportunity for women entrepreneurs to be heard by legislative officials, and for those officials to illustrate that they value women-owned businesses as an integral part of the Connecticut economy.
“Value” is an ideal word to describe the economic engine of women-owned businesses that contribute over $16 billion to Connecticut’s gross product each year — proving that there is no glass ceiling when women entrepreneurs thrive.
During a time when many resources were forced to close or were overwhelmed, WBDC increased support for women entrepreneurs — aspiring and established alike — sixfold. We helped businesses realign their business models, assisted in the application process for PPP grants and other relief, and identified new ways to deliver our services in an economy impacted by the pandemic.
We continue to witness women overcome unprecedented challenges, and can attest to their resilience, tenacity and courage firsthand. As a result, Woman-Owned Business Day 2021 will be especially compelling.
We invite all entrepreneurs — past, present and future — to join us as we share successes and remarkable adaptations as an inspiration for meaningful legislative reform.
As WBDC and the women we serve migrate from an unprecedented economy into a fiercely uncertain one, we need to ensure we are creating a framework for success that aligns our leaders’ policies with our business owners’ needs.
WBDC is proud to support Connecticut’s women-owned businesses. We look forward to celebrating your empowerment and our renewed dedication to advocate on your behalf. Join us on April 21 by registering here.
Fran Pastore is a devoted catalyst of women’s economic equity and the founder and CEO of the Women’s Business Development Council, a leading organization for championing female entrepreneurship and women’s economic equity.