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April 2012

WBC Sponsored Events

The Certification Maze


WBE, MBE, DBE, 8(a) SDB: - it's easy to get lost in the terminology, much less the process! If you want to know: 

Will they help your business? How much do they cost? Which ones do you need? Will your business even qualify for certifications? How do you use them effectively once you have them?  
After this seminar you will understand the ins-and-outs of city, state, federal and national certifications and how they can help your business grow.  
April 25, 2012 
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 
Women's Business Center 
Cost: $25 - lunch provided 
FastTrac® Forward: Are you there yet?

Ah remember the good old days happily crafting your business plan and elevator pitch with other FastTrac® participants? Mary Lou encouraged you to add a budget here, or a more defined target market there. Yeah, those were the days.

Fast forward three months, six months, maybe even a year. Have you followed your bliss, implemented your plan and posted your open-for-business sign? If not, this workshop's for you. Terri S. Turner, FastTrac® 
 graduate shares how she moved past, "I'm going to do it," to full-fledged entrepreneur. In 90 minutes, Terri will give you concrete steps for moving forward sooner rather than later. Take your plan off the back burner, turn up the heat and get refocused on turning your plan into reality.

Afterwards, talk to Dorothy about WBC resources that can help you get to "go".

April 17, 2012 | 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.
Location: Women's Business Center
Cost: $ 10 | Light snacks provided.

SmartConnectKC Networking 

Wake up and meet me for coffee!


Join Luann Feehan of Smart Connect KC along with OneKCforWomen for a cup of coffee as you network with other entrepreneurs. Make new friends and build your business. This months event is sponsored and hosted by the Culinary Center of Kansas City.  


Friday, April 27, 2012 | 8:30 to 9:45 a.m.

$10 Hosted by: OneKC for Women at the Culinary Center of Kansas City 

7920 Santa Fe, Overland Park, KS 66204

Register online here 

Microloan Recruitment Sessions

Men welcome  


Need a loan to help start or grow your business? Unable to get a loan through a bank due to start up status, small size of loan or credit issues? Then you may be a candidate for the new Kansas City Microloan program. 

  • Microloan: between $500 and $50,000 in size. Average loan amount $8,000
  • Targeted toward those who have been turned down by a bank for a traditional loan and who cannot self-finance/friends and family finance.   
  • Interest rates between 8 - 12%, terms up to 72 months 

Attend a free informational seminar to learn more about this program and what you need to do to prepare for the process.  


Session Dates & Locations:

Monday, April 16, 2012 | 11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.      

Enterprise Center of Johnson County
8527 Bluejacket Street | Lenexa, KS 66214  


Thursday, April 19th | 4:00 - 4:45 p.m. 

1900 Vine | Kansas City, MO 64108 


Click Here to learn more


Mentor Recruitment

Information and Networking Session April 24, 2012 


The WBC will be pairing graduates of the Spring FastTrac New Venture for women with an advisory council of three to four seasoned business owners, individuals who work closely with businesses and high level corporate intrapreneurs. If you are interested in serving in a mentoring capacity for a startup women owned business, contact Dorothy Browning for more details. 

FastTrac® New Venture for Women

Fall dates announced!


A FastTrac® certified facilitator leads this 10-session business-training program for entrepreneurs. It provides a structured time to focus on your business and on yourself. Guest entrepreneurs and subject matter experts illustrate business concepts and share their real-life business experiences.    


Class size is limited to 30 participants

Classes meet Sept. 13, 20, 27, Oct. 4, 11, 18, 25, Nov. 1, 9, 15 
Fee: $450



Dorothy Browning if you are interested in signing up for this course.  

WBC Partner Events

ECJC Workshops 

Seminars offered by the Enterprise Center of Johnson County


The Process of Raising Capital - April 12, 2012


Investment-Grade Presentations - April 26, 2012

Time & Location

11:00 am - 1:00 pm (lunch included)

The Enterprise Center of Johnson County

8527 Bluejacket Street, Lenexa, KS 66214

Business Growth Made Simple: 7 Keys to Exceptional Results

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Presented by Joe Calhoon. Sponsored by the National Speakers Association. For details and to register, go to http://www.nsa-kc.org/    

SBA Matchmaking Conferences

 June 21, 2012


These conferences give small disadvantaged businesses access to guidance on federal contracting, face-to-face meetings and opportunities to team with larger businesses.


For details and to register, go to:


Growing Your Business in Today's Changing World

April 17, 2012 - Thinking Bigger Speaker Series 


Presenting Jeff Hoffman of Priceline.com.  

Sponsored by Johnson County Community College and Thinking Bigger Business Media 

For details and to register, go to



In This Issue
The Certification Maze
FastTrac® Forward
SmartConnectKC Networking
Microloan Recruitment Sessions
Mentor Recruitment
Fall Dates for FastTrac®
ECJC Workshops
Business Growth Made Simple
SBA Matchmaking Conferences
Thinking Bigger Speaker Series
Client News
Not for women only: 


Men are welcome at almost all of the seminars and networking events held at the WBC.

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!



WBC Client News

FastTrac Graduation


The Spring 2012 FastTrac® New Venture for Women class, completed in collaboration with the Kauffman FastTrac® program graduated 19 women on April 4th. This pilot program included not only all the great FastTrac® content, but also special modules designed to address specific issues identified as challenging for women entrepreneurs.  Graduates who are in active start up will be given the opportunity to be paired with an advisory council of mentors who will assist them in navigating their first 9 months to one year of business.

Microloan Program Picks up Pace


The microloan program is filling a much needed gap in financing.  By the end of March we have closed fifteen loans since the inception of the program at the end of October.  Most recently two larger loans went to: 


Paula Johnson, owner of My Three Sons Daycare to expand her home and outdoor play area.  This will allow her to care for more children as well as offer overnight care, a much needed service for night shift parents.  She will also be employing additional staff to assist in the care.  Paula is a Women's Employment Network grad from eons ago, one of many who ultimately chose self-employment as their road to financial security.    


Valerie Jennings, owner of Hippie Chow, a mouthwatering organic granola producer used her loan to purchase ingredients in bulk. Housed in the Ennovation Center in Independence, she is growing her business by leaps and bounds (check out all the sites Hippi Chow is available in in Kansas City alone), she can keep costs low by buying in bulk, but isn't quite to a level where bank financing was feasible, but soon!    


Several smaller loans also closed, some to help individuals rebuild credit, some as working lines of credit to allow contractors to pay employees while waiting for their payment, and some to fund the purchase of very small business needs.    


We'd like to thank recent contributors to the loan loss reserve fund:  Kansas City Missouri CDE, Heartland Business Capital, Equity Bank and Miami County EDC.  Our ultimate success with this program will depend on our ability to fund the loan loss pool so we are able to ask the SBA for matching funds on a scale of 10 dollars for every dollar in the loan loss fund.  

Colleen White Testifies before the U.S. Senate Outreach and Steering Committee

Colleen, president of Strategic Workplace Solutions was one of thirteen women invited by the committee to participate in a hearing in March to address women's business, workforce and non-traditional occupation issues. Her input will be used to help establish policy and legislative agendas for the Senate. 

Laura Schmidt featured in 913 snapshot

March 27, 2012


"Notes to self" socks help you put your best foot forward - Read the full article by Sue Babson in last week's Special to the Star 

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  




In a Feb 2012 survey by the Center for Women's Business Research, 71% of business owners said their most important bootstrapping technique used in 2011 was delaying purchases, followed by delaying their own compensation which tied with using credit cards. For the full survey results click here.

According to the new American Express Open report women-owned firms are exceeding overall sector growth in seven of the 13 most populous industries, and there are several industries in which women business owners are standing toe to toe with their competitors in terms of revenue accomplishments.  To read the full report click here   


News from the Women's Business Center

Peer-to-Peer Roundtable Opportunity for Women Business Owners


"...the people who have the best solutions to the problems I face are often the people facing those problems themselves."

- Denise Lockaby 


Wanted: Busy woman business owners seek like-minded individuals interested in meeting monthly for peer-to-peer mentoring opportunity facilitated by an experienced business owner.  

Give yourself the opportunity to meet  regularly with a small group of women business owners to engage in creative brainstorming, networking and sharing of resources, idea's and encouragement. Come with issues and concerns and leave with ideas and solutions.

Roundtables are formed of non-competing women business owners who have similar size businesses and challenges. We are currently forming a Growth Roundtable for businesses who have been in business at least two years, have at least one employee (or multiple contractors) and gross revenues of at least $100,000 or more and poised for growth. Roundtables are fee-based.  


Call or email Dorothy Browning to discuss participation: (913)-492-5922 dbrowning@kansaswbc.org  

Introducing "Skirt Strategies" www.skirtstrategies.com 

Created and lead by two exceptional women - Katie Snapp and Carol Wight  


Katie Kessinger Snapp - Katie Snapp is a skirt strategist, empowering women to lead and succeed. During her first career as an engineer at Honeywell, she was selected to participate in their corporate change and became one of the top trainers in leadership and team building. Katie Snapp has been designing and delivering leadership techniques in industry, government, Fortune 500 companies and small businesses. Katie's experience in a production environment led her to realize the unique contributions that women offer to the workplace, yet also see the dilemma of being the minority in leadership.

In 2009 Katie published Skirt Strategies: 249 Success Tips for Women in Leadership and has used the Skirt Strategies platform to reach more networks of women.

Carol M. Wight  - At 21, Carol opened her first restaurant. By the time she was 30 she owned three successful restaurants with 150 employees.  Utilizing entrepreneurial skills and restaurant expertise, she became an international consultant in destinations such as Abu Dhabi and Tokyo. Carol is CEO of a non-profit organization, and co-founder of Skirt Strategies, an online platform to deliver feminine leadership support.

Over the next several months, we will be sharing some of these tips with you in our monthly newsletter, and give you an opportunity to assess your leadership strengths.

Read, Learn and Prosper!!

This month's tips: 

Identify what female integrity looks like and live toward leading with it.  
Ask yourself who you want to be in this world.  The answer to this question is much more inspiring and is the beginning of your journey to female integrity.) 


Grow your credibility.  Get certifications when you can.  
You are always better off  having irrefutable credentials. This won't get you all the way there, but it will help. 
Unique Funding Opportunities


Very few grant opportunities exist to help start or grow a new business. The Women's Business Center has recently discovered two new opportunities for our entrepreneurial clients: 
  • The Eileen Fisher grant program seeks applicants from wholly women-owned businesses that combine the principles of social consciousness, sustainability, and innovation to create new businesses or invigorate existing ones. Five grant recipients' receive a $12,500 grant, mentoring from internal EILEEN FISHER teams and a trip to New York City for a three-day workshop with EILEEN FISHER committee members and past grant recipients. For details click here 
  • KickStarter is the world's largest funding platform for creative projects. Every week, tens of thousands of amazing people pledge millions of dollars to projects from the worlds of music, film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and other creative fields. This is not about investment or lending. Project creators keep 100% ownership and control over their work. www.kickstarter.com 


If you have a website, you are a potential exporter.  The local SBA office has been requested to identify and see what forms of assistance our local exporters may need. Their goal is to assist in the effort to double exports by 2015.  If you have made sales overseas or would like to and feel the SBA could be of assistance to you, please click here and send Dorothy an email describing the type of assistance you need.


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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