• Annual Business Breakfast Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Groundbreaking Federal Law

    Women’s Business Development Council’s
    Annual Business Breakfast Celebrates
    25th Anniversary of Groundbreaking Federal Law for
    Women Entrepreneurs

    Stamford, September 10, 2013
    Contact Fran Pastore

    On Thursday, October 24, 2013, at 7:30am at the Stamford Marriott, the Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) will celebrate the passage of HR 50/50, the historic federal law that made it possible for women to access capital for commercial purposes without having a male relative co-sign a loan.  The momentous passage of H.R. 50/50, 25 years ago this October, led to an explosion in women’s entrepreneurship and the advent of a movement to train and educate women entrepreneurs across the United States.  WBDC has been a part of this movement for more than 16 years.

    This signature event, “Connect – Grow – Influence: Women with Impact,” will present a panel discussion on the growing effect of women business owners as decision makers, architects of change and economic influencers, with a focus on what the next 25 years will look like for women entrepreneurs.  More than 500 guests are expected to attend.  A distinguished group of women leaders from Connecticut will play a major role in this event.  The Honorable Nancy Wyman, Lieutenant Governor of the State of Connecticut, is the Honorary Chairwoman.  The Honorable Denise L. Nappier, Connecticut State Treasurer, will be a guest speaker.  Diana Sousa Jepsen, Vice President of Corporate Communications of Cigna Corporation, will serve as mistress of ceremonies.

    Teresa Younger, the Executive Director of Connecticut’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, will lead our 2013 esteemed panelists in this poignant discussion on women and their critical roles in the economy.  The 2013 panelists include Sarah Fisher, professional race car driver and CEO of Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, LLC; Susan Duffy, Executive Director, Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial  Leadership at Babson College; and Laurie Tucker, Senior Vice President, Corporate Marketing of FedEx Services.

    Today, women entrepreneurs have benefited from a new procurement program put in place so that women owned companies can bid for contracts with restricted competition-opening up a public market important to their success.  Access to credit is still an issue, but credit is no longer based on gender, and the women’s business center program is thriving throughout the country and right here in Connecticut in the form of WBDC!  We’ve come a long way since the passage of HR 50/50, 25 years ago, and based on new research, women have only just begun.

    What will the next 25 years look like?  “The WBDC annual breakfast has proven to evoke stimulating conversations with long-term consequences,” WBDC CEO, Fran Pastore said.  “WBDC is proud to bring this topic of national economic interest to the Connecticut community.  With women fueling economic growth at an unprecedented rate, WBDC intends to remain in the “driver’s seat”, helping women in Connecticut and around the globe achieve economic equity through small business training and education at all phases of business development,” continues Pastore.

    For further information, tickets, tables and sponsorship, please call 203.353.1750 or email WBDC at

    Connecticut ranks 22nd in the “economic clout” of women-owned firms, according to a new study which averages each states’ ranking in the growth of the number, revenue and employment levels of women-owned firms between 1997 and 2013.

    The number of women-owned businesses in Connecticut increased 35 percent since 1997 and sales at those firms increased by nearly 67 percent, in an analysis of U.S. Census data by American Express OPEN.  The review of state-by-state and national data estimates the number of Connecticut businesses owned by women increased to 97,800 this year.  Those businesses will have $15.5 billion in sales and employ 92,200 workers in 2013, according to “The 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report.”  Connecticut firms exceeded the national average in hiring employees (up 17 percent in the state vs. 10 percent nationally) and in sales growth (67 percent vs. 63 percent).

    Nationwide, women-led businesses have had a national growth rate of 1.5 times the national rate for all businesses.  In Connecticut, we’ve witnessed a 17.3 percent growth in jobs-or a whopping 92,000 positions-among women-led businesses from 2007-2011.  That’s 5.5 percent of our total 1.6 million jobs.  Over the last five years, these businesses have also grown sales at a faster rate than the national average 77 percent vs. 55 percent.


    Established in 1997, the Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women achieve economic equity through entrepreneurial training, financial education and professional development.  WBDC provides education, training, resources and connections to women (and men) at training sites throughout CT, offering a continuum of programs and services to clients in need while fostering influential relationships for successful business women at the other end of the spectrum.

    For more information, please go to