Dear ,


Happy New Year! 


With only nineteen days down in 2013, the Women's Business Development Center (WBDC) is prepping for our best year yet! 


With two new programs going into full effect - the Women Vetrepreneurship Program and the Micro Finance Program, we are hitting the ground running.  Both programs are designed to be responsive to the needs of today's women business owners.  The Women Vetrepreneurship Program, in partnership with the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs, will create a women veterans support network that leverages existing resources for both business development and social service needs.  The Micro Finance Program makes loans up to $25,000 available to Chicago businesses directly through the WBDC. 


2013 is an exceptionally special year for the WBDC with four significant events (see sidebar) that we are excited to share with our clients and hope you too will share them with the women-business owners in your network! 


Continue reading to learn how the WBDC can help you grow your business in 2013!


Warm regards,
Hedy M. Ratner & Carol Dougal
Co-Founders and Co-Presidents

Update: Online/On-Demand
website The WBDC is pleased to announce Team Ingage Partners has been selected as the vendor for the implementation and launch of our online/on-demand learning project, expected to be available in spring 2013.  Team Ingage Partners is a joint venture led by Ingage Partners, a WBE Certified business, with TiER1 Performance Solutions. Read more>
Event: WBDC-MN 10th Anniversary

Over the last ten years, the WBDC has been pleased to support the growth of women-owned businesses through its satellite office, WBDC-MN, located in Minneapolis. Currently led by program director Natasha Fedorova, with the support of associate director Katie Lang, the WBDC-MN has grown to be a hub of connections, resources and opportunities for certified Women's Business Enterprises (WBEs) throughout Minnesota. Read more>

Alert: Customer Service Survey
Workshops As we continue to grow our service offerings, we want to ensure we are providing what you need as a current or potential business owner.  If you have worked with us over the last year, please take a moment to complete our Client Satisfaction Survey and be entered to win one of five great prizes!
{Click Here to Complete the Survey}
Save the Dates!

March 5, 2013:
WBDC-MN 10th Anniversary at the Evening of Celebration Minneapolis, MN 

June 1, 2013:
15th Anniversary Child Care Business Expo, 
UIC Forum,Chicago, IL 

June 25-27: 
WBENC National Conference -Minneapolis, MN 

September 26: 
 27th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman's Conference, Women's Business and Buyers Mart 
 McCormick Place, Chicago, IL

About Us

For over 26 years, the WBDC has been the place for women to achieve their entrepreneurial dreams of starting, strengthening and expanding their businesses.


Now in our third decade, we continue to need your help to meet the ongoing challenges of delivering high-quality services to our clients and achieving our organizational goals.

Learn more>


Social: WBDC Takes Ownership of Inspired Women LinkedIn Group 

The WBDC is pleased to announce the generous transfer of ownership from BMO Harris Bank to the WBDC of the Inspired Women LinkedIn Group! The Inspired Women group is a place for its members-women business owners and executives in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin-to discuss, share and connect on topics relevant in their professional (and sometimes personal) lives. It is a productive, professional forum where you can ask, and answer, questions of your peers.  We encourage WBDC clients to join and grow your business with us. Learn more and request to join here> 

Advocacy: Beijing Municipal Women's Federation Visits WBDC
Question: What is the distance between Beijing and Chicago? 

Answer: 10,971 Miles  

Beijing Women's 2012


That's how far the Beijing Municipal Women's Federation travelled in December 2012, for a morning of thought leadership, advocacy and information sharing.  12 women from the Beijing area learned about what the WBDC is doing in Chicago, as well as around the world, for women's rights.


The impressive group of women, made up of doctors, vice presidents of labor unions, business owners, a director of the Beijing Women's International Exchange Center, professors and more, were articulate and animated as they dialogued with the WBDC staff.  These women are at the forefront of fighting more>
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January 2013 Edition