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Delaware offers an array of resources for women in business

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Delaware is home to a variety of resources that offer services like education, mentoring, planning, financial guidance and general support for women in business. We rounded up a list of just some of the services available in the state.

Great Dames Inc.

318 Queen St. | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19147


Mission: Help women discover their Great Dameness and unleash it to create powerful changes in their lives, careers and communities. Great Dames builds awareness and financial
support for causes that are vital to women and girls.

Great Dames offers programs that enable women to activate their strengths with purpose and passion, including the Remarkable Ideas Competition, Powerful Conversations speaker series and peer advisory groups. For instance: Great Dames Remarkable Ideas competition finds, funds and supports women who have innovative ideas that improve the quality of life and help people connect and collaborate with each other. Great Dames Peer Advisory Groups offer a think tank environment where women can find and give support, solve problems and achieve their goals among like-minded women.

President and CEO: Sharon Kelly Hake
Facebook: Facebook.com/great.dames
Twitter: @Great_Dames
LinkedIn: Linkedin.com/in/sharonhake/

Lerner Women’s Leadership Forum

University of Delaware, Lerner Hall
20 Orchard Road | Newark, Delaware 19716

Mission: Empower female leaders and promote gender equity in the workplace through research, training and development.

The Lerner Women’s Leadership Forum offers mid-level female leaders a unique executive educational experience to clarify your vision, build critical competencies, and connect with a cohort of peers, mentors and advisers. The leadership forum is offered twice a year, with alumni programming for continued connection after the program. More broadly the Lerner Women’s Leadership Initiative supports additional research and learning experiences connecting UD students and faculty with a broader community.

Co-founders: Wendy K. Smith; Amanda Bullough, Barbara Roche
Facebook: Facebook.com/lerner.udel.edu/womensforum
Twitter: @proftheyndysmith;
Email: womensleadership@udel.edu

YWCA Delaware

100 W. 10th St., Suite 515 | Wilmington, Delaware 19801


Mission: YWCA Delaware is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.

How they’ve helped women in the business community: One of YWCA’s main priorities is to help women and families to build wealth and ensure long-term financial stability. Through Wo(men) Achieving New Directions (WAND), YWCA offers interactive learning for people to turn their great ideas, side jobs and hobbies into viable and profitable businesses. Existing businesses and start-ups receive technical assistance on a range of issues related to business growth and success. Work Readiness boot camps are offered for those new to the workforce, have barriers to employment or are pivoting to new industries. In addition, YWCA offers a comprehensive economic empowerment program that includes access to financial coaching, homeownership counseling and other asset-building opportunities.

YWCA partners with leading experts, government agencies and the private sector to make sure every woman has options in both work and life. As part of the Wo(men) Achieving New Directions initiative, they launched a DIY entrepreneurship workshop series that features different topics every month at the new Route 9 library all in service of making small business owners competitive in an ever-changing landscape. YWCA has three service locations: an emergency and transitional housing facility in Wilmington, a community services office in Newark, and a community services office in Georgetown.

Executive director/president: Stephanie Staats, Chief Executive Officer
Facebook: Facebook.com/ywcadelaware, Twitter/Instagram: @ywcade
Email: info@ywcade.org

The Women’s Business Center at First State Community Loan Fund

100 W. 10th St., Suite 300 | Wilmington, Delaware 19801

Mission: The Women’s Business Center (WBC) program is to act as the catalyst for in-depth and outcome-oriented business services to women entrepreneurs, both nascent and established, a number of which are socially and economically disadvantaged.

The WBC is a “hub” for specific women business development and support services in the state of Delaware. The WBC provides business training that includes courses on business plans, financing, social media, assists in loan preparation, and marketing analysis. In addition, the WBC provides the opportunity for new women-owned businesses to be mentored by successful women business owners.

The WBC also helps connect women business owners to capital to help start or grow their business. As an official SBA Resource Partner, the WBC also partners with SCORE and the Small Business Development Center.

Program Director: Sara Crawford-Jones
Facebook: Facebook.com/WBCDelaware
Twitter: @WBCDE
Instagram: @DEWBC

Fresh Start Scholarship Foundation

P.O. Box 7784 | Wilmington, Delaware 19803


Mission: Improving women’s lives through education.

The Fresh Start Scholarship Foundation provides college scholarships to women who have had a gap in their education. Since 1996, they have provided more than $925,000 in undergraduate scholarships to more than 200 women with financial need who are attending Delaware colleges and universities. In 2018, they will cross the $1 million mark. Their scholars earn degrees in areas ranging from business to health and human services. Fresh Start scholars have an average GPA of 3.5 and a graduation rate of more than 70 percent.

Board president: Sarah Kenney
Facebook: Facebook.com/freshstartscholarshipfoundation
Email: fssf@freshstartscholarship.org

Delaware Office of Supplier Diversity (OSD)

100 Enterprise Place, Suite 4 | Dover, Delaware 19904


Mission:The OSD assists the entire supplier diversity community of minority, women, veteran, service disabled veteran, and individuals with disability owned businesses in competing for the provision of commodities, services, and construction to State departments, agencies, authorities, school districts, higher education institutions, and all businesses.

Women Business Enterprises (WBE) are part of Delaware’s supply chain. OSD certifies WBEs for inclusion in and access to state business-to-government (B2G) opportunities. Certification and services are free.

Executive director: Michelle N. Morin
Facebook: Facebook.com/OSDDE/
Email: Michelle.Morin@state.de.us; osd@state.de.us

National Association of Women Business Owners (Delaware Chapter)

P.O. Box 467 | Greenville, Delaware 19807-4657


Mission: To enable women business owners to grow by coming together to share mutual experiences, exchange information, and develop business skills. They have helped women in the business community through business education panels and forums taught by business subject matter experts throughout the Delaware community.

NAWBO Delaware is a resource for businesses where women can network and introduce their companies to the community. NAWBO Delaware is a great resource for women to take advantage of membership, as well the NAWBO Institute, e-learning opportunities, Leadership Development and the Annual National Women’s Conference.

President: Chantal Towles
Facebook: Facebook.com/NawboDelaware
Email: info@nawbodelaware.org

Inspiring Women in STEM


Mission: To provide opportunities for learning, inspiration and professional growth for women in science, technology and engineering careers, and in leadership in science-based and high-tech companies.

The organization delivers programs that help women leaders and future leaders achieve their full potential. Conferences provide environments where professional women can learn, grow and connect. They also encourage engagement with nonprofit organizations with STEM education programs for girls to mentor and inspire the next generation of women leaders.

Founder and co-chair: Jennifer Kmiec
Facebook: @inspiringwomeninSTEM
Twitter: @InspiringSTEM
Email: inspiringwomeninstem@gmail.com

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