Women's Business Center of Utah Blog

We just talk about the good stuff.

Cache Valley Launch Event

We hosted our second Virtual WBC launch event last week in Cache Valley and had a great time meeting so many new friends! The event was hosted in partnership with the Cache Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Professional Women’s Roundtable at the Logan Country Club. A highlight of the event was hearing from Renee Daly,  an commercial design entrepreneur in the area. By using local resources like the small business development center, she has been successful in building her business, Daly Design, from the ground up!  We also had the opportunity to announce 10 scholarships available for online training to women in Cache Valley, granted by the GOED Office of Rural Development. We are so excited for the women in Cache Valley to have access to this amazing resource!

Malissa Richardson
outreach@wbcutah.com


The Reluctant Entrepreneur

The Reluctant Entrepreneur

I was not born with an entrepreneurial spirit. Creative and occasionally adventurous, sure, but not entrepreneurial. Money was always tight growing up so the thought of owning my own business and the potential loss of capital if it went under terrified me. I thought I would be content to work for someone else and follow my creative pursuits as purely hobbies.Read More


Welcome to the New VISTA!

Welcome to the New VISTA!

This week we got a new VISTA, Tori Crookshank! Tori will be over the ethnic minority and refugee outreach program for the Women’s Business Center. I love having a fellow VISTA on-site with me. She is smart, driven, professional, and fun. I have enjoyed being able to give her advice and share my experiences thus far so that she can be successful in her new role. Tori is also a fellow Family Life major and BYU Cougar! It’s nice to have someone in the office who shares my love for BYU when almost everyone in the office graduated from the University of Utah! I’m looking forward to working more with Tori in our concerted effort to help women across the state of Utah build confidence, create opportunities, and experience success!

Malissa Richardson
outreach@wbcutah.com


Ready, Set, LAUNCH!

Today was the FIRST EVER virtual WBC launch! The team went up to the USU Extension in Brigham City (which, by the way, was only built last December and is SO beautiful and new!) and met over 50 women from the area who came to see what the Women’s Business Center is all about. Monica from the Brigham City Chamber was extremely organized and did such a great job of recruiting attendees and getting the word out. We couldn’t have done it without her. The event was great. Ann Marie told everyone about our new projects and resources. We met some great women in the area like Wendy from the local SBDC and Alison Johnson, the 2015 Businesswoman of the Year. Such great women to know! Our next step is to follow up with a focus group to see what women want and need as far as building and growing their businesses. We’re excited to be involved in Box Elder County and look forward to visiting other counties soon!

Malissa Richardson
outreach@wbcutah.com


PTAC Connections

Yesterday Deb and I had the opportunity to attend the PTAC Conference in Provo, UT. I met a lot of our partners and clients, as well as some new contacts that could potential serve as strategic partners in rural areas! There were some organizations like World Trade Center Utah that have rural outreach programs I’d like to look into more and see if we could do similar programming at the WBC. I also met Jodi Anderson, who conducted the first focus group in Cedar City! She was so kind and open to more collaboration. I hope we can work with her more in the months and years to come!

Malissa Richardson
outreach@wbcutah.com


Great Advice from Oklahoma

I talked over the phone with Jennifer Edwards from the Oklahoma WBC. Ann Marie met her at the WBC Conference in Milwaukee and gave me her contact information. It was so good to hear about the success their program is having in rural areas across Oklahoma! I typed out everything she told me and now have a really great framework to build our outreach program on. There is no need to reinvent the wheel and build something new if it’s already been done and works very well! The best advice she gave to me was to bring together strategic partners in each area to determine the needs of the women business owners in their community. That’s what I’m hoping to start on here in Utah!

Malissa Richardson
outreach@wbcutah.com


A Little Change in the Approach

The focus groups aren’t going as splendidly as I had hoped they would.  One only had a couple of participants and another had just a few words to sum up the answers to each of the questions. It seems like there is a lot of work going into each focus group and not a lot of great output. Yesterday I had the idea to supplement the focus groups with a survey with the same questions asked in the focus group. This way women’s groups can post it on social media, community leaders can share it via email, and I can directly contact business owners I find online and have them fill it out. It will be a lot less work to get each survey (hopefully!) and it gives me a lot more overall control of the project. Hopefully it goes better with the surveys! I’ve contacted some other women’s business centers around the county who can give me some better insights on how to start a rural outreach program.

Malissa Richardson
outreach@wbcutah.com


Rural Connections

When Ann Marie went to the SBA conference last week, she connected with a woman from Oklahoma whose entire job is to travel around the state and do rural outreach. An important tidbit that she told Ann Marie is that in order to reach out and build relationships with individuals in these rural areas, we need to go there in person at least once a year. She talked about how to make connections and foster a collaborative relationship. It was so nice to hear about how to do rural outreach from someone whose job it is to work on it full-time!  We have a long way to go before our outreach in Utah is as high-functioning as it is in Oklahoma, but we’re on our way to building a great program that will change so many lives!

Malissa Richardson
outreach@wbcutah.com


Meeting Pam Juliano

Ann Marie put me in touch with Pam Juliano, who has been involved heavily in public service around the State of Utah. One of her past positions even included being a coordinator over 11 VISTA sites! I was excited to meet with her because VISTA service is something she wholeheartedly believes in. We met in the strategy room and got straight to work! She told me about her work history and service background and I shared my current project outline with her. She was so knowledgeable about rural areas of Utah and gave me some very useful advice and feedback on my current plan of action. I was so impressed with her understanding of the specific areas we will be implementing our new programs.  We ended our conversation with talking about my background and future plans. She was so supportive and gave me advice for the graduate program I’m applying to this year.  It’s such a blessing to rub shoulders with people who inspire you to do great things!

Malissa Richardson
outreach@wbcutah.com


Climbing the Summit

Climbing the Summit

Jeff is the Economic Development Director in Summit County. I just got off the phone with him and am just so giddy about all the great information he was able to give me about Summit County. There is so much to learn about each area of the state! It sounds like there is enormous diversity in Summit specifically. He is putting me in contact with some women business owners from regions around the county, as well as the local women’s networking group and a local business accelerator. I am just always so grateful when people are willing to take the time to connect me with other people who can help this initiative succeed!

Malissa Richardson
outreach@wbcutah.com


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