October webinars support women-owned businesses

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Free events offer insights and information from industry leaders

information provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (October 4, 2020) – In honor of October’s National Women’s Small Business Month, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) will host a series of webinars to support the advancement of women-owned businesses. The discussions were scheduled by DCEO and a host of industry partners, including Groupon, and will offer support and insights for small businesses to grow, position themselves, and seek out resources that will help them overcome the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“While traveling the state on small business walking tours, I have witnessed firsthand the creativity and impact of businesses owned by women in Illinois, with an increasing presence by women of color,” said Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton. “As the chair of the Illinois Council on Women and Girls, I am excited about these seminars being provided by DCEO. They will create networking opportunities and support for women who own small businesses as they meet and hurdle economic challenges brought on by COVID-19 and more.”

Events for businesses are free to join.

October 8 at 2pm – Empowering Her with Resources during COVID-19 and Civil Unrest

Groupon and the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity will present a session focused on an inclusive business environment and ways to propel the growth of women-owned businesses with government and private sector resources. This conversation will feature opening remarks from Illinois’ First Lady MK Pritzker, DCEO Director Guthrie, Groupon CFO Melissa Thomas, and a keynote from Andrea Zopp, CEO of World Business Chicago. Panelists include: Marianna Markowitz, CEO of the First Women’s Bank; Charity Marcus, CEO of Black Women Business Owners of America; Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce; and more.

October 22 at 2 pm – Women Get Involved in Manufacturing

In honor of Women’s Small Business Month and Manufacturing Month, this webinar focuses on ways to uplift women in manufacturing roles through the insights of industry leaders. The talk will focus on helping students, with a closer look at what it takes to enter the industry. Panelists include: Erin Hallstrom, Influential Women in Manufacturing; Annie Mouhaupt, Owner of Moho; Melissa Lederer, Owner of MHUB; and more.

Various Dates – All in for Women: BIG Webinars

The DCEO Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE) will host a seminar on the Business Interruption Grant Program (BIG). In this webinar, women-owned businesses will learn about eligibility, program details, and the application process. Technical assistance support will also be provided for the last 30 minutes of every session. Workshops on BIG will take place on the following dates:

  1. Tuesday, October 6, 2:00 p.m.
  2. Saturday, October 10, 10:00 a.m.
  3. Tuesday. October 20, 2:00 p.m.
  4. Tuesday, October 27, 2:00 p.m.

The Governor’s Business Interruption Grants (BIG) program has deployed nearly $20 million for women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs, on top of over $150 million provided for childcare provider businesses statewide, largely owned by women. A $220 million second round of BIG funding is now active. More information is available on DCEO’s website.

More information on National Women’s Small Business Month events is available from Ibie Hart, Women’s’ Business Development Manager, at [email protected].