Women’s History Month at WBDC


This year’s theme for Women’s History Month is Women’s Education – Women’s Empowerment. While we often celebrate Women’s History Month with images of women like Susan B. Anthony and Amelia Earhart staring proudly into the camera, remembering great women and events that moved women forward in business, society and politics should also recognize improvements made in the nearer past.

At the WBDC, we celebrate a history of 26 years of empowering and educating women business owners, who are breaking through barriers and making their own history. Take a moment to look back at letters from WBDC Co-Presidents Carol Dougal and Hedy Ratner over the last few years. Additionally, the WBDC is proud to share a visual timeline of our organization’s past through our newly renovated Facebook Timeline.

2011 “We became standard-bearers in a movement, empowering women through business ownership.”

2009 “As fierce advocates of women’s economic and business development, now, more than ever, it is vital to showcase and grow the incredible accomplishments of women business owners whose impact on the economy has been seismic.”

2007 “We are mindful, however, that reputation does not lead to success; success leads to reputation. And a good reputation leads to great responsibility. We are where we are because we have remained as faithful to our mission in 2008 as we were in 1986, the year we began. While our mission may calibrate as times change, the core remains the empowerment of women through successful business ownership.”

2006 “We came from longtime careers and volunteer hours advocating for women’s health, education and employment parity. And based on our frontline experience, we knew one thing: Women’s empowerment depended upon economic independence. We figured one surefire way to get there was through business ownership.

We had no shortage of clients. The women who entered our doors were single, married, widowed, divorced, with kids or childless. What they had in common was ambition, drive and a desperate need for business skills, role models, encouragement and support.”

2004 “In 2003, over 34% of all businesses in the Chicago metropolitan area are women-owned, and women of color own one in five of these businesses. Naturally, there are an estimated 6.2 million women-owned businesses generating $1.15 trillion in sales and employing 9.2 million workers.

Within this context, the Women’s Business Development Center continues as a national leader and innovator in economic development and empowerment of women. We remain steadfast in our dedication to generating economic opportunities and an enhanced quality of life for women and their families.”

Share these empowering quotes with others and let it be reiterated that every month is Women’s History Month!


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.”