• WBDC Women-Owned Small Business Day at the State Capitol Draws More than 200

    Media contact: Eve McGrath FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    WBDC Women-Owned Small Business Day at the State Capitol Draws More than 200

    Governor Malloy Proclaims March 30, 2016 “Women-Owned Small Business Day”

    Stamford, CT (April 1, 2016): On Wednesday, March 30, 2016, the Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC), of Connecticut, held their third annual Women-Owned Business Day at the State Capitol entitled, “Your Dollars, Your Business, Your Vote. ” More than 200 were in attendance including entrepreneurs, business owners from across the state, and national business leaders. Over 75 elected officials formed the Host Committee. The inaugural sponsor for this event was Citizens Bank.

    Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy proclaimed March 30, 2016 “Women-Owned Small Business Day” in Connecticut and stated that, “The Women’s Business Development Council is a leading force in promoting financial and business training in Connecticut. . . .Over half of the 9.72 million small business jobs projected by 2018 are expected to be created by women-owned businesses.”

    Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman opened the Day by stating, “Connecticut is the proud home to more than 100,000 women-owned businesses-companies that generate billions of dollars in sales, help the state attract talent, and diversify our economy.” She continued, “I applaud the WBDC for their efforts to raise the visibility of these businesses, and to provide a support network so they can grow.”

    The Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development, Catherine Smith, thanked the business owners for choosing Connecticut and urged them to turn to the many fine colleges and universities in the state for hiring.

    “Across the country, the number of women-owned firms in the U.S. continues to climb,” said Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff, 25th District (D). “Women-owned businesses account for roughly 30% of all Connecticut businesses and are a critically important piece of Connecticut’s economy, generating billions of dollars in economic activity.”

    The legislative co-chairs of WBDC “Your Dollars, Your Business, Your Vote,” Patricia Billie Miller, Deputy Speaker, State Representative, 145th District (D), and Terrie Wood, Assistant House Republican Leader, State Representative, 141st District (R), proudly supported the women growing businesses in the state. “Women-owned businesses are essential to Connecticut’s economy” Representative Miller said, “I’m glad to see women entrepreneurs being engaged in the political process, because they offer a valuable perspective. There are countless discussions within the legislature about how to create jobs and foster business growth, and those are things women business owners are doing every day.”

    While Representative Wood noted, “Women are natural leaders in so many ways. We listen well, solve problems effectively, combine intuition and common sense to create and build successful businesses. Statistics don’t lie…women rock in the business world!”

    Giving both inspiration and hard-earned knowledge to the attendees were: Jennifer Bisceglie, President of Women Impacting Public Policy International (WIPP), and additionally President and CEO of Interos Solutions, Inc. and Vigillence, Inc., who explained the WIPP WE Decide 2016 program which aims to educate the candidates, the media and voters on the issues of importance to women entrepreneurs this election season; Lisa Maass, President, Citizens Bank, Connecticut, talked about the vital role and commitment Citizens Bank has to women entrepreneurs in Connecticut; and Magdalah Racine-Silva, President and CEO of DMS International, spoke about her personal journey as an entrepreneur growing a technology focused business and as an advocate for women in business. Shari Kaufman, Founder innovativekids, Sugar LuLu, patent holder, is a client of WBDC and she discussed how the WBDC programs and mentors helped her to expand her businesses.

    Following the speakers, three workshops led by industry leaders took place. There were:

    Access to Capital/Business Finances Workshop with Moraima Gutierrez, Assistant District Director for Economic Development, U.S. Small Business Administration, Carolyn Welch, SVP, Business Banking, Citizens Bank and Janet Siegenthaler, WBDC Manager Business Counseling & Access to Capital; Government Contracting Workshop with Jennifer Bisceglie, President, Women Impacting Public Policy International and Magdalah Racine-Silva, President & CEO, DMS International; and Branding for the Entrepreneur Workshop by Melissa Squeo, Founder, and Fred Squeo, Partner CarmaCreative. Information gathered at these workshops is being compiled and presented to elected officials for their information and response.

    Other elected officials who attended the WBDC Day and acknowledged the important role women-owned businesses play in making Connecticut’s economy stronger were (in alphabetical order): Joe Aresimowicz, House Majority Leader, State Representative, 30th District (D); Paul M. Formica, Minority Whip, State Senator, 20th District (R); Tony Hwang, Assistant Minority Leader, State Senator, 28th District (R); Themis Klarides, House Republican Leader, State Representative, 114th District (R); Noreen S. Kokoruda, Minority Caucus Chairman, State Representative, 101st District (R); Carlo Leone, Deputy President Pro Tempore State Senator, 27th District (D); Art Linares, State Senator, 33rd District (R); Matthew Ritter, State Representative, 1st District (D); Ezequiel Santiago, Deputy Majority Whip, State Representative, 130th District (D); Sean Scanlon, State Representative, 98th District (D); Caroline Simmons, State Representative, 144th District (D); Cristin McCarthy Vahey, State Representative, 133rd District (D); Tami Zawistowski, State Representative, 61st District (R); Lezlye Zupkus, State Representative, 89th District (R).

    Fran Pastore, President of WBDC, closed the event by thanking the elected officials for attending and for their support of important initiatives that assist the financial growth of women owned business. She also encouraged more women to become involved in the political process. Ms. Pastore stated, “Women-owned businesses bring more than $15 million in annual revenues to Connecticut. Our wallets and our voices are important – we are helping to grow this state and our country’s economy. Women are very good at helping other women – we must continue to do so.”

    WBDC supports economic prosperity for women and strengthens communities through entrepreneurial and financial education services that create and grow sustainable jobs and businesses across Connecticut. Head-quartered in Stamford, WBDC, a 501(c)(3), has offices in Derby, Danbury, Hartford and Waterbury.

    For a complete list of programs offered by WBDC visit, or follow WBDC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram #ctwbdc