Women’s Empowerment Summit to Assist Women in Business, Register Now

Women’s History Month presents a perfect opportunity every March to gather women together to discuss the challenges that remain for women-owned small businesses and to provide a strategic roadmap for success. The School District of Palm Beach County, Office of Diversity in Business Practices is hosting its Inaugural Women’s Empowerment Summit on March 20th from 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Fulton-Holland Educational Services Center.

Women from both the public and private sectors will discuss the bias and challenges that women-owned small businesses continue to face, and provide solution-driven advice on how to overcome them.

“Successful women entrepreneurs are usually inspired by other successful entrepreneurs and by having a fair and equal playing field in which to pursue opportunities and obtain work. All of us at the School District wish to create an inclusive, fair and inviting culture in which vendors can pursue opportunities,” said Dicky Sykes, Director of Diversity in Business Practices for the School District.

The panel will be moderated by Melody Thelwell, Chief Procurement officer of Miami-Dade County Public Schools and includes:

  • Chasity Ash, Lead Small Business Technical Analyst, Office of Small Business Utilization/GSA
  • Lena Barkley, Lead Manager, Workforce Initiatives, CVS Health
  • Teresa Boyd, Senior Vice President, Market Manager Business Banking, Chase
  • Sara N. Davis, Field Account Manager, United Healthcare
  • Shereena Coleman, Vice President, Business Facilitation & The Glades Region Business Development Board of Palm Beach County, Inc.
  • Arminda ‘Mindy’ Figueroa, Chief Marking Connector & Founder, Latin2Latin Marketing + Communications
  • Ann McNeill President, MCO Construction & Services, Inc.
  • Hue T. Reynolds, Executive Director, Office of Supplier Diversity, Florida Department of Management Services
  • Young Song, AIA, ASID, President, Young and Associates, Inc.
  • Tammy Cao, Pharmacy Manager, CVS Health

CVS Health and United Healthcare to provide women with onsite immunizations and information on disease management.

To register for the event, email Heidi Galloway, or call (561) 681-2410. Join the conversation on Twitter  and Facebook @pbcsd #EmpowerHerPBC.

About Women in Business:

When a woman-owned business succeeds, the entire community benefits. Every time a woman entrepreneur gets income, they pay for education, healthcare and their children eat better and their lives improve.  Women are the economic glue, the infrastructure that hold families and communities together.  The District is proud and honored to hold its first Inaugural Women’s Empowerment Summit to encourage and support the growth of small, women-owned businesses.   The statistics below validate the importance of women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs impact  to America’s economy stability and growth.

As of 2016, it is estimated that there are now 11.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States, employing nearly 9 million people and generating over $1.6 trillion in revenues. Between 2007 and 2016, the number of women-owned firms increased by 45%, compared to just a 9% increase among all businesses.

 According to the 2012 U.S. Census Survey of Business Owners by the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) women of color are starting businesses at record rates. There are 1,521,494 businesses in America owned by black women, a 66 percent increase since 2007. Despite having challenges, over the past nine years, the number of women-owned firms has grown at a rate fully five times faster than the national average.

“The 2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report” Commissioned by American Express Open, stated the greatest amount of growth from women-owned firms has occurred in the South.  Currently, the states with the greatest numbers include: Florida, Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Louisiana, these states exceed the national growth rate by 10% or more.  Florida is leading the pack, up by 67%, when it comes to growth in the number of women-owned firms within the last ten years.

 In Fiscal Year 2016, nearly $800 million in SBA-backed loans were approved for women-owned small businesses in the Southeast Region.  This represents a 15% increase in lending from the previous year.  In the first three months of fiscal year 2017, $207 million was issued in SBA-backed lending to women-owned businesses; a 25% increase over the same period last year.  Increased lending means small business growth, an improved economy and more job opportunities for workers.