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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Women’s Entrepreneurial Conference Highlights Resources

Jun 08, 2016 11:06AM ● By Kelly Cannon

By Kelly Cannon | [email protected]

Holladay - The first annual Women’s Entrepreneurial Conference brought businesswomen from around the valley to not only learn about the resources available to them, but also network with each other. Held on April 20 at Holladay City Hall, the event was hosted by the Salt Lake Chamber Women’s Business Center. 

“We’re here to help women start and grow a successful business,” said Ann Marie Wallace, executive director of the Salt Lake Chamber Women’s Business Center. “The entire center has a focus on women in business.”

The conference was geared toward women-owned businesses. These businesses are ones where women have the majority of ownership and control and are responsible for the day-to-day management, short-term and long-term planning and are the highest in compensation.

The focus of the conference was to educate women business owners about the resources available to them to help their business grow and thrive. 

“Most women don’t know about these resources and don’t know most of them are free,” Wallace said. “These resources help them power their business forward.”

Wallace explained these resources are often provided by a nonprofit or a government entity and are either free or at a minimal cost. 

The conference also gave a chance for the women to network with each other. Wallace said it’s common for women in business to not reach out to each other because they don’t know what is the best way to do that. 

The Salt Lake Chamber Women’s Business Center offers three main resources for women in business. The first is free consultations for women business owners. The businesswomen meet one-on-one with a professional consultant to discuss their specific needs. The second resource is training. These are weekly events that teach women how to be business owners. These events are either free or $10. The last resource is networking. The center helps women build a network through the Women’s Networking Group. 

Emily Potts, owner of Sugar House Coffee, learned about the conference through the Women’s Networking Group. 

“I came because I wanted to be surrounded by empowered women and I wanted to see what resources are available to women,” Potts said. 

Potts explained one thing she learned during one of the sessions at the conference is how credit can work for you or against you.

Lydia Martinez, owner of Elle Marketing and Events, came to the conference because her business was one of the sponsors. She also found out about the conference through the Women’s Networking Group.

“I am passionate about supporting women in business,” Martinez said.

She also wanted to use the opportunity to network with other women business owners. 

“Women often feel isolated or alone, like they’re the only one,” Martinez said. “Being surrounded by other women business owners is inspiring.”

According to the American Express OPEN report, there are over 83,300 women-owned businesses in the state of Utah. Since 2007, women-owned businesses in Utah have grown at five times the national rate. These businesses have added an estimated 340,000 jobs since 2007. Currently, Utah is tied for second for the number of self-employed women. 

Nationally, one in three businesses is women owned, accounting for 11.3 million women-owned businesses. Nine million people nationwide are employed by a women-owned business and $1.6 trillion in revenue is generated by women-owned firms.