WEI Co-Hosts Northern Indiana Minority and Women’s Enterprises Fair

Gwen O’Brien 
Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary's College
Notre Dame, IN 46556
(574) 284-4579

February 23, 2012 (Notre Dame, Ind.)—The Saint Mary’s College’s Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI) and the Indiana Department of Administration’s (IDOA) Minority and Women’s Business Enterprises (MWBE) Division are proud to co-host the 2012 MWBE Northern Indiana Resource Fair. This year’s event, titled “Personal Empowerment for Small Business Owners,” will be held in the Student Center at Saint Mary's College on Thursday, March 15 from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The fair—described as part trade show, part workshop, and part networking—is free and open to the public. Space is limited, but advance registration is required. Lunch is provided. Those interested may register until Thursday, March 8 . Questions may be directed to Nate Lofton, business development manager, State of Indiana IDOA MWBE, via email or by calling (317) 234-5360.

“This event is geared toward minority and women business owners who are seeking essential educational resources and who are interested in learning about procurement opportunities available with state agencies, universities, casinos as well as private sector corporations and organizations,” said Martha Smith, WEI project director. “This is the second time this event will take place in northern Indiana and the second time WEI has co-hosted it.”

Workshops and special sessions targeted to meet specific business needs will be taking place all day. Business and state administration professionals will facilitate. Topics include:

  • Bonding Basics
  • Doing Business with the State of Indiana
  • Resources for Informed Decision Making
  • The Importance of a Small Business Strategic Plan
  • A State of Personal Empowerment for Small Business Owners

In addition, all morning there will be an IDOA-MWBE Assistance Center where business owners can complete the application for State of Indiana Minority or Women Owned Businesses certification. Also, professional representatives from SCORE—Counselors to America’s Small Business will host a Business Plan Assistance Center throughout the day to assist business owners with starting their business plans.

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 2012 published by U.S.News and World Report. Founded in 1844, Saint Mary’s is a pioneer in the education of women, and is sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross.

About the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative (WEI): In 2009, the College received a $245,000 Small Business Administration grant to support women’s entrepreneurship programming in the South Bend community, which led to the creation of WEI. The initiative was developed through the collaborative efforts of the Department of Business Administration and Economics (BUEC) and the staff of the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL). Through WEI, which got underway in the spring 2010 semester, the College is partnering with community businesses, non-profits and organizations to provide a number of financial and business education services to women entrepreneurs. WEI is pronounced "we."

About the IDOA Minority and Women's Business Enterprises Division: The Indiana Minority and Women's Business Enterprises Division is a multi-purpose service agency for all Minority Business Enterprises (MBE) and Women Business Enterprises (WBE). On behalf of the State of Indiana, the Minority and Women's Business Enterprises Division actively promotes, monitors, and enforces its MBE/WBE program in order to provide an equal opportunity to minority and women's business enterprises that seek to participate in the state's procurement and contracting process.

Note: This project is partly funded by a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). SBA’s funding should not be construed as an endorsement of any products, opinions, or services.  All SBA-funded projects are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.