With the recent passing of National Women’s Day, and being in the midst of Women’s History Month, I’ve been feeling rather empowered as a woman lately. I began to think of all the successful women in my own life and also those whom I admire from afar.
Politicians and Hollywood royalty aside, the women who shine in my mind, are those who have come from humble beginnings and clawed their way to the top by making a name for themselves. Yes, that’s right — I’m talking about female entrepreneurs. Women who have taken their dreams and passions and were hell-bent on making them become a reality.
I did a bit of research on how women can find ways to get their footing and take flight on a business idea. White Plains, New York, is home to the Women’s Enterprise Development Center, WEDC.
The WEDC aids women who would otherwise “lack traditional business and financial resources, including women transitioning off public assistance, displaced homemakers and Spanish speaking entrepreneurs,” according to the WEDC’s website.
The WEDC provides training programs, workshops and access to jump-starter funds for women who hope to create or expand their own business.
As I continued to navigate the website, I was astounded by all the different seminars and workshops the WEDC offered. Some of them catered specifically to Spanish-speaking women.
The center is able to provide clients with $500 – $50,000 in microloans and also offers a scholarship program. This was a pretty incredible fact to me as I assume a major deterrent of entrepreneurs is a source of money to start his or her business.
There are so many factors for women in the business world that may hinder them in their journey to success.
First of all, we’re women.
Our culture has put this unspoken rule in place that men are the natural-born leaders, and women are not. Many women aren’t taken as seriously as men the majority of the time and this is just a sad and unfair fact.
Secondly, because of this reality, many women who have brilliant ideas don’t feel empowered to take steps in creating their own business or going forward with their plans. They may fear rejection or fear their idea won’t be taken as seriously as a man’s would be.
This is why I believe centers like the WEDC are so crucial to the development of badass female entrepreneurs who have taken the time, energy and courage to pursue their dreams.
I think it’s sad that there are so many women out there who stop their creative process because of something as simple as gender or money. Centers like the WEDC provide the support, resources and information a woman needs to get her business off the ground.
You can make the impossible possible with the right determination and drive.
Take Sara Blakely for example. She is the founder of the company SPANX. While working in Florida at age 25, Blakely found the Floridian heat to be too uncomfortable to wear traditional tights under her dresses. She experimented cutting the legs off of her tights, but eventually perfected her design to the point where it became her own personal idea she felt was great enough to share with the rest of the world.
Four years later, she became one of Time Magazine’s Top 100 most influential people and has been listed the 93rd most powerful woman in the world by Forbes magazine.
A simple idea and investment led to this woman’s success. Thankfully for Blakely, she had the determination and support system behind her where many women do not.
Thanks to the WEDC and many centers like it, women are able to pursue dreams they never quite thought were possible.
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