Record Attendance at the 4th Annual Women’s Business Development Council Women-Owned Business Day at the Hartford Capitol

Stamford, Conn. – May 10, 2017 – The 4th Annual Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) Women-Owned Business Day took place on May 3rd at the State Capitol in Hartford with a record number of people in attendance. Under the theme of “Let Women’s Voices & Worth Be Known,” 16 presenters, including WBDC CEO Fran Pastore and Governor Dannel P. Malloy spoke to nearly 200 attendees about the importance of supporting women-owned businesses and the positive impact they have on the economy. The event gave attendees an opportunity to speak directly with elected officials and business leaders on matters of critical importance to women-owned business, from legislation to improving the business climate in Connecticut to access to capital and funding. 

“As we look to strengthen Connecticut’s economy, women entrepreneurs are critical to our success,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy. “In 2016, over 112,000 women owned businesses generated a total of $16.5 billion in sales in our state. It’s clear women-owned businesses are a bright spot in Connecticut’s economy and I commend the WBDC for leading the way in facilitating their continued growth.”

“Women entrepreneurs have made enormous contributions to the economy at the state and national level. Women-owned businesses are growing at an impressive rate five times faster than male owned businesses nationally and it’s critical that they have access to the right resources to continue to be successful,” said Fran Pastore, CEO, WBDC. “WBDC Women-Owned Business Day provided discussions with key national and state leaders to drive the continued growth of women-owned businesses and shine a light on their impact on the state and nation.”

Over the past 20 years, WBDC has worked with nearly 19,000 entrepreneurs and business owners from across the state. The WBDC develops women business leaders and strengthens the economy of Connecticut by providing financial and entrepreneurial educational programs and access to capital to start-up, emerging and established business owners. It also manages the WBDC Capital loan fund, the only financial program in the state that provides loans ranging from $5,000 - $50,000 along with one-on-one coaching and extensive financial and business development training for loan recipients.

“As women business owners, WBDC Women-Owned Business Day gave us an opportunity to speak with our elected officials and shed light on the significant role that women entrepreneurs play in driving and growing the economy in Connecticut,” said Camilla Gazal, co-president of Zaniac corporate and owner of two Zaniac Learning Centers in Connecticut and a WBDC client.  “It’s important that we get inspired, get engaged and get involved and that we let our voices be heard.”

“In Connecticut and across the country, women business owners play an important role in growing our economy and creating jobs,” said Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman. “WBDC Women-Owned Business Day is a great opportunity for women business leaders from across the state to talk about the specific issues that impact them—and ensure their voices are heard at the Capitol. Diversity in our business community is important and makes our overall economy stronger.”

WBDC Women-Owned Business Day was sponsored by Traveler’s and Praxair, Inc., and produced in partnership with CTNext, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Connecticut Innovations, a leading source of financing and ongoing support for Connecticut’s innovative, growing companies.

About The Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC)

The WBDC, a 501(c)(3) founded in 1997, is headquartered in Stamford with offices in Danbury, Derby and Hartford. To learn about the educational programs, to donate or volunteer please visit or follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn. 

photo caption:  Fran Pastore, CEO, WBDC addresses attendees at WBDC Women-Owned Business Day at the Hartford Capitol.

Media Contact:

Jessica Antle
Ardent Communication for the WBDC
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