POSITIONED TO ASSIST BUSINESSES BENCHMARK—Alice Williams of Women Empowered for Entrepreneurial Excellence, Ana Harvey of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership, Debra Mason of E-Magnify and Judy McNeal of the Business Development Resource Center are inspired after the Building A Benchmark business symposium. (Photo by Diane I. Daniels)


Statistics indicate that there are 7.8 million women-owned businesses in the United States reflecting a 20.1percent increase from 2002 to 2007. According to the National Women’s Business Council, 28.7 percent of all nonfarm women businesses across the country generate $1.2 trillion in total receipts with 11.7 percent of the firms having paid employees, employing a total of 7.6 million people across the country with a payroll of $217.6 billion.
In Pennsylvania there are 348,372 businesses employing 631,591, generating 80 billion dollars in sales. And in the metropolitan statistical area there are a reported 43,111 women businesses providing employment for 66,000 of the region’s workers generating 7.9 billion dollars in sales.
If it were up to Jayne Huston and the staff of Seton Hill University’s E-Magnify, the number of women entrepreneurs operating in the region would be even higher. Since 2006 their mission has been to strengthen the economic impact of women business owners as a collective force and to advance their growth through innovative programming in entrepreneurship and new venture creation.
While keeping on track with their mission, E-Magnify recently sponsored their 2013 annual symposium designed to help build a benchmark business. Speakers included Ana Harvey, assistant administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership; Lyn Doverspike, director, U.S. Commercial Service; Julia E. Trimarchi Cuccaro, attorney at law; Gayle Nuppnau, procurement liaison, PA Department of General Services Bureau of Small Business Opportunities; and Jacqueline Garry Lampert, senior health policy analyst, UPMC Health Plan.

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