Child Care Providers as Business Owners Focus of Latina Conference 2012

Gwen O’Brien
Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary's College
(574) 284-4579

September 19, 2012 (Notre Dame, Ind.)—The Saint Mary’s College Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI), in partnership with the Indiana Association for Child Care Resource and Referral (IACCRR), will host Latina Conference 2012: Developing a Better Future on Saturday, September 29. The event will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Student Center at Saint Mary’s College. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Click for a campus map. The cost to attend is $35 and lunch is included. This year’s event will be presented in Spanish and is intended for Latina child care providers. The focus of the conference is to help child care operators see themselves as business owners. Saint Mary’s students will be on hand as translators for interactions with English-speaking bankers and vendors at the conference. Child care will not be provided at the event.

The morning keynote speaker is Allert Brown-Gort, associate director of the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies. He will speak on how education is the foundation of a quality life. The notion is if Latino teachers and parents are educated and supported to become their children’s most effective advocates, their children will be better positioned to succeed.

Conference sessions include budgeting for personal and business success, nutrition and fitness habits in a child care setting, dual language in early childhood, and child care facility licensing rules and regulations.

The afternoon keynote speaker is Martha Smith, project director for WEI, who will speak on turning a dream into a successful business. In her position with WEI, Smith has led entrepreneurial outreach in the South Bend community, including the initiation of SPARK, an 11-week entrepreneurial training program, and offering assistance to Latina women business owners, among other efforts. Before joining the College in 2010, Smith was a local entrepreneur with 24 years of experience in small business management.

For more information on WEI and the Latina Conference 2012, email or call (574) 284-5262.

About the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI): The Department of Business Administration and Economics and the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership at Saint Mary’s College launched WEI in 2010 after the College received a $245,000 Small Business Administration grant to support women’s entrepreneurship in the region. Though the grant has expired, WEI is sustained through the generosity of Jack Ruhe, professor emeritus of business, alumnae, and local banks including KeyBank, 1st Source, and PNC. WEI partners with community businesses, non-profits, and other organizations to provide financial and business education services to women entrepreneurs. WEI is pronounced "we."

About Saint Mary’s College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, women’s institution offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study. Saint Mary’s College has six nationally accredited academic programs: social work, art, music, teacher education, chemistry and nursing. Saint Mary's College ranks among the top 100 “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” for 2013 published by U.S. News. Founded in 1844, Saint Mary’s is a pioneer in the education of women, and is sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.