I recently learned about a business development program called Women’s Business Development Center, a partnership between the Women’s Foundation and the University of South Florida (USF).
The goal is to empower women in business through mentoring, training, and professional development.
It’s been a hit.
Women Business Development Centers have opened across the country and in cities across the nation, including New York, Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Boston.
Women are often the first women to land jobs in a new field.
In 2016, a USF Business School professor named Jennifer R. Harkins opened the first Women’s BDC in Washington, DC, and her work inspired her husband to open his own Women’s Development Center in Washington DC, called Women Entrepreneurship Center (WEC).
Ruth Ann Beddow, a former USF professor, is now the director of WEC.
Beddows’ goal is for women to become the majority of the women entrepreneurs in the country, not just in business.
She said she and her husband are hoping to bring in a total of 20 women to WEC this year.
The USF partnership with WEC has created a unique program to serve women entrepreneurs.
They’ve created a program that includes an incubator and support to help new entrepreneurs land jobs, a support system to provide mentorship and training, a program for mentors, and an opportunity to get involved in the community.
Beddows says the USF-WEC partnership is unique because it’s not just about women.
Women are also in it.
Beds is the executive director of the US Fertility Center, an incubation and training program that helps women get their businesses off the ground.
“The women we serve are a very diverse group,” she said.
While the partnership between WEC and the US Foundation is one that can benefit women in every industry, Bedds said it’s also a unique partnership because it doesn’t just involve women entrepreneurs; it also includes business owners and managers.
Bedds believes the US government can and should support businesses in every sector and industry, and that’s why she’s so committed to creating a program to help women succeed.
“When women can create their own businesses, then there are more opportunities for them to grow and thrive,” she says.
“And that’s what we want to do.
We want to make it easier for them.”
The goal of the program is to reach out to women entrepreneurs through a variety of educational and networking opportunities, Beds said.
They offer free mentoring and training sessions, mentoring programs, as well as a network of business owners, mentors, business owners mentors, leaders, and managers who will be available to share their expertise and connect them with other women entrepreneurs interested in opening their own business.
“There’s so much potential in this program.
If we can reach out, we’re going to help them do what they love to do: start a business,” she added.
She says the women who are able to succeed will not only be able to open their own company, they will be able learn from those who are successful and have made the jump to start their own venture.
This program is part of a nationwide program that offers free support and mentoring to women in need.
In addition, Bessens has set up a Facebook page that she’s hoping to grow over time to allow women to connect with other like-minded women who want to connect to the same resources and support.
“We want to bring a bit of diversity to the business community,” she noted.
“This is not a white male dominated space.
We are women of color and there is a need to connect.
We need to be on the same page, and we need to make that connection.”
As for the future, Busses is confident in the future.
“It’s about being positive and encouraging, and giving each other the confidence to get the business started.
We’re going for the biggest, most successful companies.
We don’t want to focus on the smallest, most underserved, most underrepresented companies,” she concluded.
“We want the companies that are the most powerful to succeed.”