Women's Business Center of Utah Blog

We just talk about the good stuff.

Partnering with SBDCs

A big part of our project was connecting with the statewide Small Business Development Centers (SBDC). I knew they could be a huge help in coordinating local focus groups and helping us get important information from rural women business owners. Ann Marie planned a conference call with Mike and Jason from the state SBDC office so we could ask them about presenting this idea to the regional directors across the state. They were so willing to help and I was so grateful for their willingness to get involved! They have a meeting with all the regional directors on October 1st, so they are going to present the project to them then! Woot woot!

Malissa Richardson

Rolling with the Punches

Part of being a good leader is helping others catch your vision. But sometimes no matter how hard you try, some people just don’t want to see it. I had been receiving some very positive feedback from many county representatives expressing sincere interest and appreciation for our project, so I was feeling pretty good! One afternoon I received an email reply from someone who was very skeptical about the success of our program. They were very frank about their feelings on the real impact we would be able to make through our efforts. As you can imagine I was disheartened by the person’s criticism, but I understand that we can’t win all our battles! Rather than taking it personally, I further explained the goal of the focus groups and thanked them for any help they could provide! Sometimes we just have to learn how to roll with the punches, find new roads, and keep moving forward!

Malissa Richardson

Reassuring Responses

During the first week I had been trying to contact representatives from each county who might be able to help coordinate focus groups, I hadn’t been receiving any responses. I started to become discouraged and realized that it would be harder than I had imagined to get the focus groups going. Suddenly I received a response from a gentleman in the county I thought would be the hardest to arrange a focus group! It had taken me so long just to find someone I could email from that area who might be able to help us, so it was a big deal even just to hear back! He expressed his gratitude and excitement about our project and said he was looking forward to getting involved in arranging for the focus group. I was such a relief to receive such an enthusiastic response, especially from a place where I least expected it!

Malissa Richardson

Getting Started

Let’s Get Started!

I couldn’t be more thrilled to be working for the Women’s Business Center! It’s always exciting to be a part of a new project and get to make it all your own. My favorite part of working here is the people I work with. All of them are so educated, driven, and fun! I have so much to learn from all of them! Ann Marie has been so great to give me so much say on what this project will ultimately look like. Having the trust of your supervisor is empowering! As the rural outreach VISTA, my goal is to understand the needs of the rural women business owners throughout the state of Utah and build programs to meet their needs and help them succeed gloriously! Their success is our success! This project has the potential to impact women all over the state and it’s exciting to be a part of it!

Malissa Richardson


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