When Gov. Ned Lamont announced last week a five-year, $46.6 million plan to expand small business assistance programs across Connecticut, the organization receiving the largest amount of that funding – $9.8 million – was one known to small business owners across the state.
The renown of the Women’s Business Development Council reflects 25 years of work by the Stamford-headquartered nonprofit to help more than 18,000 clients across the 169 cities and towns in Connecticut. Since the organization’s founding in 1997, WBDC’s programs have supported the launch or growth of more than 12,500 businesses – the vast majority of which are women-owned – and the creation or maintenance of nearly 26,000 jobs.
In an interview with Hearst Connecticut Media, WBDC founder and Chief Executive Officer Fran Pastore discussed the organization’s 25th anniversary, the impact of its programs launched during the COVID-19 pandemic and its long-term goals.