WMU News

Women's business expert to outline certification process

May 24, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- Area entrepreneurs can learn how to certify their businesses as "woman-owned" at a Western Michigan University workshop offered twice next month.

Michelle Ann Richards will present "Your Woman-Owned Business: Certified at Last!" from 9 to 11:30 a.m. on both Friday, June 2, and Thursday, June 8, at the Kalamazoo County Chamber of Commerce building, 346 W. Michigan Ave. The program, part of a series of workshops offered by WMU's Women's Business Development Center, is free and open to the public.

Richards is president of the Michigan Women's Business Council and executive director of the Center for Empowerment and Economic Development in Ann Arbor. A driving force and advocate for women's business ownership for more than a decade, Richards was among the 100 business and economic leaders who attended the White House Women's Economic Summit in 1997. She earned her master's degree from the University of Michigan.

The Center for Empowerment and Economic Development provides women and minorities with the tools and resources to succeed in business. The Michigan Women's Business Council, a program of the CEED, is the only women's business center serving the entire state of Michigan. The council provides certification to woman-owned businesses, along with access to a network of major corporations and government entities, which contract with woman-owned vendors.

WMU's Haworth College of Business established the Women's Business Development Center in 1999 to offer support to female professionals and entrepreneurs through training, group and individual problem-solving consultation, current business information and networking opportunities.

For more information or to reserve a seat, contact WBDC Director Pat Guenther by phone at (616) 387-2714 or via email at <patricia.guenther@wmich.edu>.

Media contact: Jessica English, 616 387-8400, jessica.english@wmich.edu

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