Business: The State of Women’s Entrepreneurship

Tuesday, Jan 23, 2018 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM

Join Fran Pastore, founder and CEO of the Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC), for a conversation on the history of women’s entrepreneurship in the United States, including the current trends and challenges and the role that women’s entrepreneurship will play in the future. Coffee and light refreshments served. Register online. For more information, contact Ellen Janpol, Business Librarian, at ejanpol [at] westportlibrary [dot] org.

Fran Pastore is the founder, President and CEO of the Women's Business Development Council (WBDC) which is Connecticut’s leading organization for championing female entrepreneurship and women’s economic equity. Since 1997, WBDC has created thousands of women owned businesses and generated hundreds of jobs in Connecticut. In 2016, WBDC clients produced an estimated $6 million in tax revenues for the state of Connecticut. Ms. Pastore is a tireless advocate on the topic of women and entrepreneurship and has spoken nationally and internationally on behalf of women’s business ownership and economic equity.

Ms. Pastore served a three year term as an appointed member to the President’s National Women's Business Council (NWBC), an independent source of advice and counsel to the President, Congress, and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). She serves on the Board of Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP).

Globally, Ms. Pastore has traveled to Rwanda with the Business Council for Peace (BPeace), to work with female genocide survivors in developing entrepreneurial skills to open the very first ice cream shop in the country. In conjunction with the U.S. State Department and University of Connecticut’s Office of Global Affairs, Ms. Pastore taught women entrepreneurs in rural Costa Rica financial management and business strategies. Most recently she worked with The Center for Creative Leadership is Addis Ababa, Ethiopia teaching young women networking skills, financial management and business development. She serves on the Advisory Council for The Akilah Institute for Women, a college in in Kigali, Rwanda, Africa.

Over the past two decades, Ms. Pastore has testified before the U.S. Congress on multiple occasions, and was been instrumental in the passage of legislation benefiting women entrepreneurs. She has received WIPP’s prestigious Public Policy Award, and was honored by the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame.

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