NAWBO Phoenix has been the voice of women business owners in the Valley for more than 29 years. NAWBO has a long history of providing professional development for its members, influencing public policy and business trends, building leaders in the community and fostering relationships that grow businesses and build economic impact.
Our membership is recognized with awards and honors across the nation. This year we are proud to have one of our Past Presidents named Regional Administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Region IX. Donna Davis is a leader, motivator and tireless advocate for small business in California, Arizona, Hawaii, Nebraska and Guam and continues to support our chapter.
The “Power of NAWBO” was evident this year in the strong line-up of luncheon speakers, as powerful as Connie Mariano, M.D., White House doctor, along with our members who shared their expertise on social media and promotion. We heard about the Power of Storytelling, the Power of Imagination and the Power of Funding your Business along with many hands-on, practical topics shared at our NAWBO University.
The Power of Mentoring was evident in the statistics that were gathered at the end of the program. Sixteen new jobs were created, $100,000 in funding was secured, and our mentors and mentees increased their revenue by more than $500,000 during the program. (For more information on the Mentoring Program and to apply for the 2014-2015 program, which starts in September, see page 8.)
The YEA (Young Entrepreneurs’ Academy) Program fostered the launch of nine businesses led by high school students. YEA participants pitched their ideas to an investor panel and competed in a regional competition in Texas. They experienced a program that will give them tools for a lifetime.
Our Public Policy event gave us a toolbox full of ideas to affect policy and keep business owners informed while in their pajamas (through Internet access)! We heard from Lattie Coor, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO of the Center for the Future of Arizona, and Sarah Suggs, President and CEO of the O’Connor House to find ways to have “the Arizona we want.”
We strengthened our alliances with several local organizations. The Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce supported the YEA Program and the Maricopa Small Business Center (SBDC) provided business counseling to both mentees and mentors. NAWBO also worked to build strong ties with other community organizations through collaboration, outreach and community service projects.
Happy hours, neighborhood luncheons and special events were great ways to keep the Power of NAWBO flowing. And the Power of Fitness, which balanced out the schedule with a hiking event each month, has turned into a regular hiking group.
Our success this year is evident in the number of active members, a strong working board of directors and the continued support of our corporate partners. We are always moving forward to increase our membership, to enhance our corporate partnerships and to affect the community in a positive way. All of the programs, events, and community service projects are the result of commitment, passion and the engagement of our members.
With gratitude for the NAWBO team of volunteers, the community support and strong women leaders, I look forward to many more years of success for all of members.
Wishing you continued success,