There was a buzz in the room.
Energy, enthusiasm, people meeting and greeting one another. Animatedly talking to representatives from banks, government agencies, and SCORE. And the program hadn’t even started yet.
Finally Kate Bolduc took the microphone. And the 2018 Greater Hartford SCORE Women’s Entrepreneur Conference had officially begun.
Held at Goodwin College on May 15, 2018, this was the first Women’s Entrepreneur Conference. And what a conference it was! More than 80 people came to talk about the everyday challenges that face women entrepreneurs.
With Sandi Coyne as Moderator, five dynamic women told their entrepreneurial stories to encourage and teach other women how they did it.
• Rev. Dr. Shelley Best – Pastor and creator of The 224 EcoSpace
• Erin Emmons –Owner of The Lucky Taco restaurant, which started as a food truck
• Capri Frank – President of Miller Foods, third generation of a family-owned business
• Marsha Kulcsar –Franchise owner of two Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning locations
• Pam Reynolds – Principal of a law firm specializing in corporate and commercial law, finance and estate planning
They talked about the unique opportunities and challenges associated with their business type or stage. Non-profits, start-up, succession planning, buying a business, and dealing with the legal and financial side of the business.
There was so much to learn. Because each panelist’s experience was so diverse, even the panelists were taking notes.
After the panel discussion, the audience peppered the panelists with questions of their own. Like, “How do you motivate your team when they don’t own the business?” “Why and how can you develop an exit strategy before you start your business?” “How do you keep track of your clients and prospects?” They even asked about their morning routines.
Even when the formal program ended, people waited in line to talk further.
And they didn’t just talk with the panelists. Almost every table had lively discussion with people trading business cards and planning to get together. Women connecting with other women, which is what the Greater Hartford SCORE planning team intended when they planned the conference.
A young woman with a hula-hoop business talked with an older woman who just got her real estate license. She’s on her third career. 5 women at the same table who found out they all love to travel – and were planning where they could go together. A jewelry maker talking with a musician. And the 11 resources generously sharing their time and information to women trying to start or grow their businesses.
Early feedback was positive.
Here’s what some attendees said:
“I made a good contact in the panel and am meeting with them soon.”
“I really enjoyed the event. The panel was wonderful.”
“Looking forward to attending more programs.”
If you were at the conference, thank you for your enthusiastic participation. If you missed it, there’s still plenty more you can take advantage of. Like SCORE workshops. You can attend in person or attend live and pre-recorded webinars – all for free. If you’d like one-on-one mentoring, “Find a Mentor” page is for you. (And keep your eye out for an announcement about the Second Women’s Entrepreneur Conference.)
Operating a small business is a big job. You don’t need to face your business challenges alone.
Wherever you are on your entrepreneurial journey, SCORE is here to help you.