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Women’s Business Center at Cornerstone Alliance Celebrates National Women’s Small Business Month

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September 23, 2020
BENTON HARBOR, Mich. October is National Women’s Small Business Month, an opportunity for the Women’s Business Center at Cornerstone Alliance to celebrate the growth and accomplishments of female entrepreneurs and the vital roles that they play in Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren counties. According to the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), Women own 20% of employer businesses nationwide which accounts for 9 million employees and generates $1 trillion in sales. Since 2004, the WBC has supported entrepreneurs and put their dreams to work by serving over 4,438 small businesses, helped start or grow 226 businesses, created additional jobs, and brought over $6.2 million into Southwest Michigan. These positive outcomes are the result of continued growth and training opportunities offered by the WBC, the mentorship of existing clients, and the consumer support for small businesses.
All entrepreneurs are welcome to participate in the upcoming events as we recognize National Women’s Small Business Month in October and celebrate Women’s Entrepreneurship Day in November. 
Visit to register.
Sweat Equity: Mixing Business and Fitness
Maddog 5/1, Renaissance Athletic Club 
October 14, 2020 5:30 p.m. - Renaissance Athletic Club
Maddog 5/1 and the Renaissance Athletic Club share their creative alternatives to fitness. Learn to make self-care a priority by destressing before your day starts, between meetings, or after the workday. Participants will take away fitness techniques to practice from the comfort of their office or home. 
Is an Online Store Right for Your Business?
JLN Studio
October 19, 2020 5:30 p.m. – Cornerstone Alliance
There are many people thinking of selling online due to the current Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting impact on business. Learn from Julie Nitz, of JLN Studio, how to prepare your business to showcase your products online.
This workshop will be the pre-requisite to qualify for the How to Build Your Store on Shopify, November 7th.
The Power of the Women's Circle:
Challenges and Successes of Women-Owned Local Businesses
Melanie Owen & Lauren Kniebes
October 28, 2020 5:30 p.m. - Lazy Ballerina Winery
Melanie Owen & Lauren Kniebes of Lazy Ballerina Winery will moderate an open forum conversation with women entrepreneurs. The discussion will focus on the obstacles and pivotal moments that have empowered them to overcome the adversities of being a female business owner.
Women's Intuition in Business:
Thriving in a Male Dominated Industry
Victoria Knight, Gloria Ender, Olivia & Laura Starks 
November 4, 2020 12:00 p.m. - Zoom
Women entrepreneurs share their stories of operating a business in a non-traditional role. Join Victoria Knight owner of Hard Hats & Heels, a construction contractor and real estate agent; Gloria Ender, owner of Freedom Finishing manufacturing, and Olivia & Laura Starks of Starks Funeral Home. Their discussion will focus on why they chose to pursue a career in a male dominated industry, the barriers they have overcome, and the advantages in wages and other benefits.
How to Build Your Store on Shopify
JLN Studio
November 7th, 14th, 21st, 2020 9:00 a.m. – Cornerstone Alliance
Has the current pandemic caused a need for you to shift your retail business online? Maybe you have been considering a new virtual career path as a shop owner? This 3-day workshop facilitated by Julie Nitz, of JLN Studio, will teach how to build your e-commerce store on Shopify. You will be paired with a web designer that will assist you in creating a website by guiding you through adding your logo, contact information and product images/content, linking your social media platforms, and basic management tools.
*Pre-requisites are required and can be found on the website.
Women's Entrepreneurship Day Online Celebration
Rhonda Gipson-Willis
November 18, 2020 10:00 a.m. - Zoom & Facebook Live
Celebrate women in business and participate in this online event encouraging leadership and entrepreneurship with keynote speaker Rhonda Gipson-Willis. Captivating and engaging, Gipson-Willis is a skilled dream catalyst who possesses an uncanny ability to create community wherever she goes. She is the Founder/CEO of RGW Ventures, a leadership development, coaching and training firm. Fueled by 20 plus years in the mental health field, she unhinges reticent potential and makes the enigmatic recognizable. Her ability to recognize untapped potential propels her clients to strive to accomplish their dreams. Gipson-Willis will present "Challenging Our Challenges” teaching how to escape the Super Woman/Man Syndrome. While uncertainty and change are inescapable during a pandemic, learning how to lead through ambiguity/risk and identify what we call “Uncertainty Triggers” will lead to success. You will learn to embrace worry to remain in a state of being a logical and accurate thinking contributor. You will also have the opportunity to participate in our speed networking session dedicated specifically to introduce new businesses started during the pandemic and promote the veteran business owners that have thrived throughout. The Women’s Business Center will premier four new promotional videos showcasing “Who We Are” and the business communities we serve in Berrien, Cass, and Van Buren counties.
Contact Dubelsa Mata-Garcia at or (269) 757-0225 for more information.
About Cornerstone Alliance
Cornerstone Alliance is a non-profit, investor-governed economic development organization primarily focused on increasing employment opportunities, private sector capital investments and the local tax base in Michigan's Great Southwest; with specialized business services offered in economically distressed areas.
About Cornerstone Alliance Small Business Services
Cornerstone Alliance Small Business Services provides technical, business, and financial assistance to small businesses with an emphasis on income disadvantaged and women owned businesses. The Women's Business Center and Cornerstone Alliance and the Microloan Program are funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.