October is National Women’s Small Business Month. Small businesses are the backbone of Frederick County’s economy, and the variety of businesses that call Frederick County home help to shape our community. FCOED, along with our partners, offer a number of services and resources to help small businesses thrive. “Frederick County is a great place to start or grow a business,” says Karen Kalantzis, Senior Business Consultant with the Maryland Women’s Business Center. “There are many resources available to help people get started as well as ongoing support along the way. Reach out to just one support organization and chances are you’ll also be connected to the whole ecosystem. We genuinely want to see you succeed.”
Below are some of those resources for women in business.
The Frederick County Office of Economic Development’s EmPOWER program is all about empowering underrepresented businesses, including women-owned businesses. EmPOWER includes monthly networking events, an 8-week mentoring program, business directory, and an Employer Resource Toolkit. You can register for the October EmPOWER Networking event here. To learn more about EmPOWER or resources for your business, contact Shana Knight, Senior Business Development Manager for Diversity & Inclusion, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 240-285-4781.
The Frederick County Chamber of Commerce’s Women in Business Committee organizes networking events for Frederick County women throughout the year, as well as S.H.E. Week, a weeklong celebration of women in business held each summer. One of the signature events of S.H.E. Week is the S.H.E. Pitch competition, where a group of Growth Stage and a group of Idea Stage businesses present their pitches to win prizes.
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers personalized business counseling, as well as trainings for entrepreneurs in all stages of business. Their courses cover everything from writing a business plan, to marketing, taxes, funding, cybersecurity and more.
The Maryland Women’s Business Center (MWBC) also provides businesses counseling services to support business owners one-on-one. They work closely with female entrepreneurs is all stages of business looking for guidance. They also offer workshops and events for women in business to connect and learn. Each month, the MWBC hosts a networking event called Coffee and Connections for Frederick County business owners. The next event is on October 27th in Frederick, and the theme is “Helping Small Businesses Thrive in Today’s Digital Economy.” You can learn more and register here.
SCORE is another great resource available for small businesses in Frederick County. SCORE offers mentoring from experts in a variety of fields, as well as workshops and webinars.
The Governor’s Office of Small, Minority & Women Business Affairs focuses on connecting small businesses across Maryland to economic opportunities in both the public and private sectors. The office hosts a variety of educational workshops each month. To recognize Women’s Small Business Month, the office is holding Maryland Women's Small Business Celebration 2022 on October 21st, featuring Maryland First Lady, Yumi Hogan.