Wyoming Business Tips for March 18

March 12, 2012

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Debbie Gorski, WSBDC social media community manager

"Do you have any workshops available for women who want to start a business?" Lynn, Pinedale

Yes, we do. The "She! Virtual Women's Business Conference" is April 16-27, and is being offered online.

This is a virtual conference (a Wyoming first, we believe) and a first for Wyoming women business owners. No travel is required and no hotel rooms need to be reserved. Attendees will participate and interact from the comfort of their own homes and computers. In conjunction with the conference a telesummit, "She! Knows Money," is scheduled April 10-12.

The event will be presented in an interview format with a variety of speakers scheduled. Participants are asked to register separately for each event. For more information on how to register and to view a draft agenda, visit the website at https://www.uwyo.edu/sbdc/she.html.

The conference specifically targets Wyoming women who want to start a business or who are already in business. The concept for this conference developed from an awareness that Wyoming is last when it comes to wage equity between men and women (2010 American Association of University Women report).

The conference will focus on strategies, resources and information from a variety of speakers to increase success for women-owned businesses. Speakers include Reiva Lesonsky, CEO of Grow Biz Media; Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce; Jason Kintzler, owner and CEO of PitchEngine; and Thea Marx, owner of Contemporary Western Design in Cody.

"She!" conference sponsors believe Wyoming's women entrepreneurs can play a key role in turning that statistic around. Known as the "Equality Stat," Wyoming has a long list of firsts for women, including first state to allow women to vote; first woman voter, Louisa Swain; the nation's first woman governor in Nellie Tayloe Ross; first woman Justice of the peace, Esther Hobart Morris; first woman elected to a state office, Estelle Reed, state superintendent of public instruction; and the first all-woman jury.

We also are proud that we care about fair and equal wages. Symbolically, we chose Tuesday, April 17 (Equal Pay Day), to kick off our conference with a keynote talk from U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis. We will focus on the state's large pay gap between men and women.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments is available at http://www.wyomingentrepreneur.typepad.com/blog/.

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email wsbdc@uwyo.edu or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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