O'Fallon Progress

Free seminar for women-owned businesses set in O’Fallon

The Illinois Metro East Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville is collaborating with the Women’s Business Development Center (WBDC) to offer practical expertise to women small business owners looking to sell to corporations and the government.

“Is Certification Right for You?” is a one-hour seminar designed to help business owners determine if the Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) and Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) certification processes are a valuable addition to their operation, which will also offer steps to becoming certified.

The workshop will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 18 at Sweet Katie Bee’s, 212 E. State St. in O’Fallon. Participants are invited to purchase lunch from the establishment.

“This is an opportunity female business owners will not want to miss,” said Jo Ann DiMaggio May, SBDC interim director and small business specialist. “Chambers of commerce are encouraged to invite their members, as well as other business-building and networking organizations.”

There is no cost to attend this complimentary seminar. For details, and to register, call the IL SBDC for the Metro East at SIUE at (618) 650-2929. Sign in will begin at 11 a.m. the day of the event.

The WBDC is a 501 (c)(3) and a nationally recognized leader in the field of women’s economic development. Founded in 1986, the organization is based in Chicago, with offices in Minneapolis, Kansas City, Milwaukee and Aurora, Ill. As a regional partner organization of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), WBDC is part of the largest third-party certifier of businesses owned, controlled and operated by women in the U.S. Its WBE certification is recognized by major firms from AARP to Xerox and Zaner-Bloser. WBDC also certifies companies in the federal government’s WOSB program.

WBE certified firms can access corporate buyers and other WBEs through use of WBENC’s proprietary database, as well as national and regional events. The WOSB program helps woman-owned companies obtain contracts with the federal government.

The Metro East SBDC assists existing companies as well as new businesses headquartered in the nine-county Metro East region of Calhoun, Jersey, Madison, Bond, Clinton, St. Clair, Washington, Monroe and Randolph. It is a no-cost service to the community supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, and SIUE.

By aiding entrepreneurs and companies in defining their path to success, the SBDC network positively impacts the metro-east by strengthening the business community, creating and retaining jobs and encouraging capital investment. It enhances the region’s economic interests by providing one-stop assistance to individuals by means of counseling, training, research and advocacy for new ventures and existing small businesses. When appropriate, the SBDC strives to affiliate its ties to the region to support the goals and objectives of both the SIUE School of Business and the University at large.

To learn how the SBDC can help your small business, contact the Metro East SBDC at (618) 650-2929 or sbdcedw@gmail.com.