EWC26 Comes to a Close


The 26th Annual Entrepreneurial Woman’s Conference (EWC), Women’s Business & Buyers Mart, was a smashing success for the Women’s Business Development Center and attendees! The conference could not have come at a better time, as small business owners are looking to be fiscally responsible, yet stay ahead of the game.

In just one short day, guests saw over 200 exhibitors, 362 tweets, eight government officials – including Illinois Governor Pat Quinn– one dynamic keynote speaker and six awards given to well-deserving companies and organizations. Over 70 women business owners met one-on-one with procurement officials during Contract Connections, while hundreds were able to make connections at exhibitor booths.

Attendees also benefited from the opportunity to network with each other. Here’s a quick snapshot of this year’s attendees, an impressive group of women business owners:

• 31% of attendees have been in business for more than 21 years

• 47% of businesses represented generate annual revenues over $1 million

• 58% were WBE certified companies

Not only are these numbers impressive, they illustrate exactly what Terry Savage, Chicago Sun-Times financial columnist and moderator of the EWC Women’s Forum Breakfast, said: “We should have a WBO [woman business owner] run for President because we do know how to create jobs.”

To see more pictures from this year’s event, please click here. To see highlights from past years, please click here.

Pictured from left to right: Richelle Shaw, CEO RTS Publishing, LLC, who was the only female African-American public utility owner in the nation at one time; Laura Ricketts, director of Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball and chairman of the Chicago Cubs board; WBDC co-presidents Hedy M. Ratner and Carol Dougal; Sue Bhatia, CEO Rose International, Inc., one of the largest certified Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) companies in the country; Terry Savage, Chicago Sun-Times syndicated financial columnist, finance expert and best-selling author, who moderated the panel; and Christie Hefner, executive chairman, Canyon Ranch Enterprises and former CEO, Playboy Enterprises.


About Hedy M. Ratner

Hedy M. Ratner is founder and co-president of the Women's Business Development Center, the largest, oldest and most comprehensive and successful women's business assistance center in the U.S. She blogs about entrepreneurship, working women, success stories, small business and more in “Windows to Business Success.”