Celebrating a Decade of Empowerment: Highlights from the 10th Annual Women-Owned Business Day in Connecticut

Connecticut's community of enterprising women gathered at the Legislative Building in Hartford on a rainy morning for a significant event—the 10th Women-Owned Business Day.


Organized by the Women's Business Development Council (WBDC), this annual event stands as a beacon of networking, empowerment, and policy dialogue, specifically tailored for women entrepreneurs across the state.

Dr. Melissa-Sue John of Lauren Simone Publishing House was among the notable attendees, alongside a spectrum of entrepreneurs and legislative leaders.

The day kicked off at 9 AM with check-ins managed by WBDC staff including Kenyata Banks and Megan Weaver, setting the stage for a day full of engaging discussions and networking. 

The event showcased a strong lineup of influential figures, including testimonials from small business owners, Alina Gutierrez, owner of Three Little Bears Child Care, and Shivonne Mathison, owner of Cura Home Care Services.

After a warm welcome by Gilda Bonnano, attendees were greeted by Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz and Fran Pastore, CEO of WBDC, who both highlighted the strides made towards supporting women entrepreneurs in Connecticut. Political leaders in attendance included the Honorable Robyn Porter, State Representative and Chief Majority Whip, the Honorable Patricia Billie Miller, Democratic Leader, and the Honorable Heather Somers, State Senator and Republican Leader.

A standout moment came when the Honorable Patricia Billie Miller discussed the progress achieved by the WBDC, particularly for women of color.

It's worth noting that Black women are the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S., increasingly closing the gap in the business world with their innovation and resilience.

The event also featured poignant video testimonials from recipients of the Ignite grant, celebrating the real-world impact of such initiatives. Dr. John was honored during this segment, spotlighting her contributions and achievements within the community. Discussions on various support mechanisms like the Launch Pad grants and the Child Care Business Opportunity Fund were also highlighted, emphasizing the breadth of resources available to women-owned businesses.

The morning discussions culminated in a 2024 Legislative Session panel, moderated by Fran Pastore, which delved into the stakes for business in the upcoming year, providing vital insights for all attendees.

The event wrapped up with closing remarks and a convenient grab-and-go lunch, a fitting end to a day filled with inspiration, empowerment, and community.

In attendance were also inspiring entrepreneurs Lolly Nichols of The Greener Gift and Jodi from Jodi's Cup of Health. Both businesses, founded and nurtured by black women, exemplify the innovative spirit and determination that characterize the fastest-growing segment of the entrepreneur community. We encourage our readers to support these businesses by visiting The Greener Gift and Jodi’s Cup of Health to learn more about their unique products and services.

As the 10th Women-Owned Business Day concluded, the message was clear: Connecticut is committed to nurturing and expanding its vibrant community of women entrepreneurs. Here's to more growth, success, and empowerment for women-owned businesses in the years to come! Let's go, women-owned businesses!

Older Post

Leave a comment