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Women’s Small Business Expo on Saturday at UIC

The Women’s Small Business Expo will be held this Saturday, November 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Dorin Forum at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), 725 West Roosevelt Road.

City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin will lead a panel discussion about women leadership at small businesses and non-profit organizations.

The Expo is designed to inform and educate women small business owners about important resources and programs available to help create, grow and sustain their business. Women have buying power that is more than $1.5 trillion dollars, but their footprint in business is not what it should be. Data shows that despite women being more than 50% of the population, they still only comprise approximately 40% of business owners.

Women business owners are also less likely to apply for, or receive, funding from financial institutions to get the assistance needed to grow their businesses. Furthermore, we also know that despite the number of companies that are qualified as women owned business enterprises, very few of these businesses are awarded significant government contracts. Why? Simply put—knowledge and access. Hopefully, this Expo will close the gaps in financing opportunities and increase access to government contracts.

thumbnail no dot Womens Leadership Panel

Why is this Expo unique?

We will have 12 break-out sessions on a wide variety of subjects, including: how to get government contracts, where to find financing and best practices for marketing your business.

Also, there will be a Fireside Chat with Treasurer Conyears-Ervin and Marianne Markowitz, CEO and one of the founding members of the Women’s Bank of Chicago. She will talk about her journey from the Obama White House to the boardroom of the first bank owned, and run predominately, by women.

Additionally, there is a leadership panel with movers and doers from Google to AbbVie to City, County and State government.

And finally, there will be a business resources raffle for attendees, including free help with legal work and website design, just to name a few. More than 150 vendors have registered to participate in the Expo.

To register, go to







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