Recognizing Their Achievements

Annual event to honor women-owned businesses

By Kevyn Burger
Fri, 2017-02-24 13:54

Some of Minnesota’s top 370 certified Women Business Enterprises will be in the spotlight on March 2 at the 11th annual Celebration of Success, hosted by the Women’s Business Development Center.

“In addition to the business owners, we invite our corporate, governmental, and community partners to the event and it’s a very relaxing atmosphere,” Natasha Fedorova, program director of the WBDC. “It creates a great platform for making informal connections and that strengthens relationships.”

Six awards will be presented during the upcoming event. The evening will recognize KNOCK, Inc. and its founder and CEO Lili Hall as Minnesota’s WBE of the year; 2017’s Future Forward Award goes to rising star Alyza Bohbot, owner of Alakef Coffee Roasters, Inc.

Federova believes that the accomplishments of the businesses that will be recognized will have the potential to inspire other women owners as they run and grow their companies.

“Opportunities are not handed to you. Women knock on doors and make connections. They have to compete on price, quality and customer service when they’re bidding for business,” she says.

Fedorova notes that the evening affirms the value of going through the certification process for businesses owned by women.

“From a competitive standpoint, the certification can be the icing on the cake. Being certified gives these business owners a leg up,” she notes.

Some large companies with government contracts are required to do business with women, veteran and minority-owned firms. Federova believes the owners of those businesses bring assets to the table.

“All companies are looking for innovation and they know that small business is where innovation starts,” she says. “Women and minority-owned businesses know about cost savings and efficiencies. They bring that knowledge into the supply chain.”

The Celebration of Success will be held at the McNamara Alumni Center at the University of Minnesota on Thursday, March 2.

The event begins at 3 pm with a panel focusing on corporate supplier diversity and contracting trends; the reception follows at 5 pm. There is no cost for the event, but registration is required. Only a few spots remain for those who would like to attend.