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Woman Entrepreneurs Continue to Drive Innovation a..



Kellie LeDet, regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration, stood in front of more than 100 business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs, and high school and college students at Berkeley College in Midtown Manhattan and spoke to the three C’s of importance for women entrepreneurs: Counsel, Capital Access, and Contracting.

The Berkley College special event titled “Empowering Women Entrepreneurs in a Global Economy” led two panels of discussion in support of Women Entrepreneurship Week.

“Let’s not just talk about the glass ceiling,” Ms. LeDet said. “Let’s see what we can do about it globally. There are so many opportunities. It is ours for the asking.”

Ms. LeDet told women entrepreneurs the United States is full of opportunity for females and contracts $500 billion in goods and services each year. Women need to rise against the minority and take advantage of the resources available in both mentorship and capital, she continued.

The first panel, “The Growing Impact of Women-Owned Businesses,” gave insight into the day-to-day challenges of a woman entrepreneur and success in industries such as construction, media, and cosmetics. Deputy Commissioner, Business Services Division, New York City Department of Small Business Services, Rachel Van Tosh, encouraged women to stand-up to the pool of male-dominated business, as they make four times the revenue compared to women-owned companies.

“We believe if you support women entrepreneurs it uplifts not only them and their families but entire communities,” Ms. Van Tosh said.

At the second panel, Owner of BARRAZAStyle, Maria Barraza, told young women entrepreneurs to know everything about your business before starting one. She encouraged those in attendance to make sure the time is set aside for creativity and planning. President/Designer of BlackPhumelele Designs and Berkeley college student, Phumelele Kunene, told stories of how she explored different opportunities in global business, social media marketing, and crowd-funding.

Moderator and Host of the FiOS1 and NJTV broadcast program Life & Living wrapped up the panel saying, “The discussions were informative and enlightening. It was exciting to be part of such an important event that no doubt impacted the many aspiring young women entrepreneurs in attendance.”

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    The mission of Commerce and Industry Association is to be the leader in free enterprise advocacy for the purpose of fostering, through education, legislative vigilance and membership interaction, an economic climate that enhances business potential and makes New Jersey a better state in which to live, work and conduct business.

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