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2024 Women’s Business Center of the Year Award Conferred to Stamford Office

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) presented the Women’s Business Development Council (WBDC) Stamford office with the 2024 Women’s Business Center of the Year award for Connecticut. At the Small Business Resource Expo and Award Ceremony, which took place on May 2 at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut, in collaboration with CBIA, WBDC was formally recognized.

The Southwestern Business Center at WBDC in Stamford is the recipient of this particular honor. It has been providing training and counseling to women-owned small companies and prospective female entrepreneurs since it first opened its doors in 1997. More than 660 clients were assisted by the Southwestern Business Center in 2023 in gaining access to almost $1.3 million in funding.

“We are truly honored by this recognition from the Small Business Administration and are proud of the amazing work being done at our women’s business centers in Stamford and across the state to support and empower Connecticut’s women entrepreneurs,” said WBDC CEO Fran Pastore.

Accepting the award for WBDC, Program Manager Erin Mercede said, “With the powerhouse team at WBDC, led by our founder Fran Pastore, I am so proud that we create a safe space for women of all backgrounds to learn the skills to run profitable businesses, and more importantly, that we help build their confidence in entrepreneurship.”

Apart from its main office located in Stamford, WBDC has regional branches situated in New Haven, New London, and Waterbury. The SBA Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) in Stamford, New Haven, and New London are part of a nationwide network of entrepreneurship centers around the nation that are intended to support women in launching and expanding small businesses. WBCs aim to “level the playing field” for female business owners who continue to encounter particular challenges in the industry.

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