For the second time under the guidance of Upper Edge, the Women’s Business Center at Canisius College was awarded the Oath Grant of $18,500.00 to continue their E-Network program that was started last year to help women owned businesses in Niagara County.
For eight years the Women’s Business Center has offered programming to women owned businesses throughout Erie County and the impact can be readily seen. So far over 148 businesses in Erie county have participated and results have shown that this program has helped women grow their businesses in the earliest of stages. Now the time has come for the same changes to be made in Niagara County.
Before the establishment of this program, one of the greatest difficulties in accessing WBC support for women business owners in Niagara County was the time it took to travel to Canisius College. With the WBC center not being in the most accessible of places, the solution became clear: bring the programming to them. Since then the WBC has begun to rotate locations throughout the County for easier access but still face challenges with the initial phasing for the E-Network Program. Such problems include the ability to reach the various communities of business owners and inform them about the opportunities that exist to support their growth. With the Oath Grant however, the WBC can continue to reach out to various communities and business and work with economic development leaders to bring opportunities to female member businesses.
There is a very real and apparent need for empowering programs that will support and guide the need of women owned businesses, especially in Niagara and Erie County. This need can be seen in the numbers of individuals who have signed up for the E-Network program and continue to attend the sessions throughout the year.
One sample of the Niagara County E-Network program reads:
“Be a part of a powerful network of women business owners establishing in the Niagara region. Receive
training from experienced business coaches and support from peers – everything in an effort to strengthen
your network and elevate you and your business to the next level. The program will last for ten months and
will contain not only in-house training sessions, but visits to larger and established businesses in the region,
and connections with participants from other educational programs as well.”
The WBC has been establishing connections with women owned businesses since its founding in 2003 and has, and will continue to, help guide, support and empower thousands of women business owners in years to come.