The Women's Business Enterprise National Council offers a variety of ways to connect to their dynamic network of WBEs (Women's Business Enterprises) and Corporate supporters. The pinnacle of this networking happens during their national conference, however.
This year's conference is in Philadelphia, PA on June 22-25, 2014. A projected attendance of 3,000+ put it at a grand, but manageable size to navigate for networking opportunities and workshops. It certainly is the largest event of its kind in the nation for women business owners.
This year, over 300 exhibitors will fill the Business Fair floor showcasing their products and services. Exhibitors include WBEs themselves who wish to do business with like-minded companies, and corporations who want to encourage WBEs to do business with them via their Supplier Diversity initiatives.
Supplier Diversity is about economic growth. Corporations understand that broadening their supplier base brings flexibility, cost-efficiency and innovation. Sometimes a diverse-owned businesses is introduced to a major corporation by doing business with a prime (a majority-owned, larger business who sub-contracts) and sometimes a corporation chooses to mentor and invest in a diverse-business enterprise directly, enabling you to provide services/products in the future. (Here's a LINK to an article in "Minority Business News" about Dell's Suppler Diversity staff and their concerns.)
Economic growth is the best reason for a WBE to attend this national conference. By attending you'll:
- learn from peers: hear stories that resonate with your own experiences
- support your peers: share stories that will educate others
- network, possibly even attend a face-to-face matchmaking session, with corporate representatives: you are the face of your company ... smile and share it!
- learn from case-study sessions, about what to learn from failing (always important!) and how others walked a road of success
- meet allies: sometimes it takes a village to approach a corporation; team up and try out
- learn jargon: every industry has it, you want to understand it
DIR encourages WBEs who are ready to explore working with a bigger client base to attend. For more information, visit WBENC's site.