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November 2011

WBC Sponsored Events

Finding the right location for your business
Presented by the Women's Business Center  


Learn effective strategies to help you find the right location for your business. Discussion points include use of demographics, knowing what to watch out for in lease agreements, how to negotiate, and pro's and con's of commercial realtors. Both retail and office space selections will be covered. Session led by Susan Smith of Zimmer Real Estate Services 


November 10, 2011, 9:00 - 10:00 a.m., $10
Women's Business Center, 8527 Bluejacket Street, Lenexa, KS 66214


Register Online

Questions? Contact: Dorothy Browning 913-492-5922

Scorecard 2011: What is my Business Telling Me?

"Work on your business, not in your business" - Listening To Your Business®, a FastTrac program gives you a tested format for doing this. Spend three hours assessing and planning for 2012 and beyond guided by an experienced business coach.


December 7, 2011, 2:00 - 5:00 p.m., $80
Women's Business Center, 8527 Bluejacket Street, Lenexa, KS 66214


Register Online

Questions? Contact: Dorothy Browning 913-492-5922

The Tax Man Cometh


If you only see your accountant at tax time, your probably not helping your bottom line. A solid small business accountant will work with you throughout the year to minimize your tax burden. Led by Marquita Miller of Five Star
Tax & Business Solutions.


December 8, 2011, 9:00 - 10:30 a.m., $15
Women's Business Center, 8527 Bluejacket Street, Lenexa, KS 66214


Register Online 

Questions? Contact: Dorothy Browning 913-492-5922, dbrowning@kansaswbc.com

Flourishing in Retail: Planning for Success 

Introducing FastTrac® Growth Venture for individuals in the retail sector beginning in February 2012 


With the economy continuing to be a significant challenge for retailers, this class will allow business owners to review the current state of their business and plan for sustainability and profitability during the months that generally allow them to take time to look at business fundamentals.


Program customized for retailers - Offering this class specifically for retailers will maximum the benefit to the participants. Speakers will be industry specific experts, additional topics specific to the industry will be introduced, and a free mystery shopper analysis will be included in the cost of the class.


Free Financial Analysis - Completed prior to class, owners will discover the area's most critical for their continued success.


Send us Feedback - We would like to know the best time of day to offer the course (each session lasts 2.5 hours, there are a total of 7 sessions) and any content suggestions.


Send suggestions to: Dorothy Browning, dbrowning@kansaswbc.com

Christmas Wish List

 What do you want from the Women's Business Center?


As you put together your Christmas wish list, don't forget to think about the WBC - what do you want to get from us next year?  If you have feedback on specific programs, seminar topics or other events you would like to see us host, please click here to send us an email with your suggestions. 


(P.S.  While some of our programs such as FastTrac and our Roundtables are for women only, any of our seminars are open to men - we want to hear your feedback too.)

Mentoring Program to Begin in January: 


The WBC will be implementing several mentoring programs next year. We will begin in January by initiating a program for individuals graduating from the current FastTrac® class. Interested class participants will be paired with an advisory council that will meet monthly for six to nine months. 


Graduates of a previous FastTrac® class who are currently in the start up phase of your business are also invited 


Business owner or someone who supports small business and would like to participate as a member of the advisory council, please contact Dorothy Browning: dbrowning@kansaswbc.com or 913-492-5922. 

Partner Events

Global Entrepreneurship Week/GovFest:
Event part of Global Entrepreneurship Week  


The Women's Business Center made the decision to not sponsor a stand alone activity during Entrepreneurship this year. We knew you already faced "decision indecision" due to all the great events planned!  However, we will be participating in several events. 


See us at the curbside consulting session on November 14th (free but you need to sign up) and again at GovFest on November 17th (again, free is good!). 


And dont forget about the Kauffman FastTrac® Global Women's Summit being held on Nov 16th at the Kauffman Foundation (details below)

Kauffman FastTrac® Global Women's Summit
Event part of Global Entrepreneurship Week  


In conjunction with Global Entrepreneurship Week, Kauffman FastTrac® is hosting the FastTrac® Global Women's Summit targeted to aspiring and existing women business owners. The objective of the event is to drive support for women owned businesses and to foster the growth of the number of women entrepreneurs.

 Global Women's Summit

November 16, 2011, 8:00 am - 6:00 pm
Kauffman Foundation Conference Center

4801 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110

Cost: $75.00


Registration and Details: http://www.fasttrac.org/women


Contact: Michele Markey, 816-932-1257, mmarkey@kauffman.org

In This Issue
Finding the right location for your business
What is my business telling me?
The tax man cometh
Flourishing in Retail
Christmas Wish List
Kauffman FastTrac® Global Women's Summit
Kauffman FastTrac® Global Women's Summit
Women in the NEws
Featured Article
News from the Women's Business Center


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The Women's Business Center
The Women's Business Center offers mentoring, resources, and consulting to women in the Kansas City Metropolitan area who wish to become an entrepreneur or who are currently operating their own business.  Through business consulting, classes, workshops, networking, and peer mentoring the WBC is the key to running a successful business for Kansas City's women.


Find out how the Women's Business Center can help you. Click here to learn more!


Join Our Mailing List!


Women in the News

Erin Miller Moves Studio to Overland Park

FastTrac New Venture for Women alumni - Spring 2011


Partnering with artist Maiko Kuzinishi, they will be open by appointment only, but will be regularly participating in the Third Friday Art Walks. Erin will be showcasing her paintings and beautiful scarves alongside Maiko's one of a kind clocks and home decor items. 

Stop by and see her at her new downtown Overland Park Location:
7226 West 79th St
Overland Park, KS

Share the good news 


Are you a Women's Business Center client or volunteer?  Something exciting going on in your business?  Let us know if you have added a major product or service line, expanded your territory or won an award.  We will help you spread the word. 


Email dbrowning@kansaswbc.com  




2011 FUNdraiser at STUFF 


Tuesday Dec. 6th, 2011

6:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M.

Stuff - 316 W. 63rd Street, Kansas City, MO 64113

Free - R.S.V.P. Required 

Amie C. Hankel by Friday, December 2nd at 816-595-1297 or Ahankel@kcwen.org


This is a private shopping party for WEN supporters & friends on Tuesday, December 6th from 6 to 8 p.m.


Invite as many people as you like  - the more people the more money that will be raised for the Women's Employment Network. 


The store will remain open just for our group. 


STUFF will provide light refreshments for you and your friends and their experienced and friendly staff will be available to answer any questions that you may have.


You and your friends shop 'til you drop and when it's all said and done, WEN will receive a check for 15% of the sales from the event.  Way cool!



News from the Women's Business Center

WBC clients honored at the Kansas Department of Commerce Minority and Women Business Awards Luncheon


On October 11th, the Kansas Department of Commerce hosted its 27th Annual Minority and Women Business Awards Luncheon. Congratulations to WBC clients and alumni Lynette Burkhart (WEB Contracting), Judy Donnelly (Vista Connections) and Donna Craig (Leadership Resources) and all of the other women honored at the luncheon which focuses on recognizing women owned and minority led businesses creating economic opportunity for our region.

Join the WBC LinkedIn Group 


All WBC FastTrac® Alumni, Roundtable participants (past and present) and graduates of previous mentoring programs are invited to join the Women's Business Center of Kansas City Alumni  Group. This group is designed to allow individuals to seek resources and advice from other alumni. This idea was generated by current clients during a recent Growth Roundtable and FastTrac® class when participants realized what a wealth of talent existed in their own groups. Sometimes this talent was related to their current business, but frequently was related to a past job or skill set. Participants will be able to pose questions, ask for advice, and even ask for meeting time to discuss an issue (no direct selling please). Join in and share your talents.

What's new with NetWork Kansas? 


The Kansas Center for Entrepreneurship (dba NetWork Kansas) works to establish entrepreneurship and small business as a priority for economic and community development in Kansas. The center strives to promote an entrepreneurial culture throughout the state by connecting entrepreneurs and small businesses to the expertise, education and economic resources they need.


New resources available to growing businesses include the Kansas Capital Multiplier Loan and Venture Funds. These are programs that provide matching funds through a partner network to eligible businesses in communities across Kansas. Funding is provided through the United States Treasury via the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI). 


Read more about the Kansas Capital Multiplier Loan Fund & the Kansas Capital Multiplier Venture Fund

Microfinance Program Kicks off: 


OneKC for Women and Justine PETERSEN began their new program targeted toward assisting Kansas City Microentrepreneurs who need capital to start or grow an existing small business on October 28th. The goals of the program are twofold: to assist the individual in becoming more bankable either via traditional lending avenues or by a microloan program available through Justine PETERSEN. Amount of financing through the microloan program can vary, but in no case can exceed $50,000 through this program. The most typical microloan is in the range of $5,000 to $10,000. The first session which included both a general overview seminar and specific sessions for clients who were already working with entrepreneurial support organizations was a success. We will be repeating the sessions in January. If you are interested, give Dorothy a call to discuss participating in the next program. 

Notes from the desk of Hadijah Nankanja 

Hadijah has been in Kansas City since August serving in a four month fellowship through the Community Solutions program, sponsored by the State Department. She is assisting the WBC in thier microenterprise initiative.    


In Uganda, I manage a business incubator for women. The typical woman I work with earns an average income of $75 dollars a month with a family size of 7, has passed the startup stage and has regular revenue from her business. These women business owners face many of the same problems women business owners in America face, as well as some additional barriers. In Africa, most societies or cultures are male dominated were women have no ownership of property. This makes it extremely difficult for them to get a loan through the traditional banking system.


I have been researching microloan programs as part of my work for the WBC. Last week I participated in the kick off of the microenterprise program here in Kansas City. I heard the success stories of many of Justine Peterson's clients and know that a similar model could be very powerful in assisting the women in my incubator. I think about Ms. Sarah Abonyo who is a jewelry designer. Using recycled paper to make beads and later design necklaces, Sarah produces an average of one tin of loose beads a week. These beads can make two necklaces. The whole process of buying paper, cutting, stringing, vanishing involves going to different locations for the services. If Ms. Sarah has the needed tools like a hammer, paper cutter, paper in bulk, vanish, strings, she would be able to roll more beads and produce more necklaces and bracelets a week for sale and also deliver her orders on time. With a micro investment of $150 Ms. Sarah can acquire all the tools and materials in one place and become a more efficient designer with a better quality product.


 As part of my fellowship, I am tasked to implement a project in Uganda upon my return in December. I have taken up the challenge of developing a small microloan fund that will allow me to help women like Ms. Sarah Abonyo and other women in my incubator to grow their business. With as little as $3000 I believe I can establish a microloan program that will have an immediate impact on several of the businesses I work with. I will divide the loan fund into two. Half of it will be given out as loans immediately. The other half will be deposited with the Women In Business program (my host organization) where after six months the amount deposited will result into receiving that amount times three. This way the loan fund will be bigger and more women will be able to access funds.


As these women repay their loans, we will be able to not only extend the program to new businesses entering the incubator, but this will provide a road map to establishing a microloan program on  a bigger scale in the area around Wakiso where no such program exists currently. As a result I believe we shall see more women leaders with self-esteem and confidence, more children going to school, better health and nutrition for their families. This way we shall be growing communities through businesses at the same time growing businesses through communities.


Note from Sherry Turner, Executive Director of the WBC and President of WEN:

The Women's Business Center has valued Hadijah's work during her time here, and believes in the power of a microloan program.  The staff of the Women Employment Network and the Women's Business Center is supporting Hadijah in her efforts to start a microloan program for her incubator in Uganda by contributing seed money to start the fund.  If you are interested in contributing even a few dollars to the program, please contact Dorothy Browning to arrange for a contribution.  Hadijah will be providing regular updates to us on the results of the fund, which we will share with you. 

Happy Holidays: Secrets to Retail Success 


The recent panel discussion on enhancing sales around the holidays turned out to be a primer on how to be successful year round and pointed out that the fundamentals don't change with the season. Mary Carol Garrity (Nell Hills - in business 30 years) , Casey Simmons (Stuff - in business 15 years) and Elizabeth Demas (Avon Megastore - in business 6 years) shared their insights and strategies with new and existing business owners at the Women's Business Center in late September.  


Read the key points discussed at this session:


New Study from the Kauffman Foundation highlights women and entrepreneurship: 


If you didn't see the newest study released by the Kauffman Foundation on Women and Entrepreneurship, check it out at http://www.kauffman.org/newsroom . It discusses why women who now form 46% of the workforce and 50% of college students are only 35% of the number of people who are starting up new businesses.

Children's Mercy Hospital seeks survey participants: 


If you are a monther and at least 18 years of age, you can participate in a study helping Children's Mercy learn more about mothers and domestic violence. This will allow them to better serve patients and familes who experience domestic violence. You can complete the short online survey by going to http://www.childrensmercy.org/motherssurvey . The survey is completely confidential and requires 10 minutes or less to complete.

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Funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.  All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA