Over the years my work has taken me to many conferences and gatherings around the world that celebrate the achievements of women and their organizations. Woman are often in the forefront of social innovation tackling societal problems in creative ways using science, technology and the arts. Think of organizations like Woman to Women International, Girls Who Code or The Malala Fund; all global organizations conceived by women who saw a corner of the world that was in dire need of help. When I hear their stories, I am often amazed by their perseverance and courage. Unfortunately, at these conferences and events I was only ever able to catch a glimpse of their daily lives expressed from a stage.

Now I no longer travel the globe to cover female empowerment events; I live and work in the amazing County of Mendocino. I consider myself more fortunate than ever because I have met so many women in this county who have led extraordinary lives. Over the past few years as CEO of West Business Development Center I have come to know many of these women on a deeper level and they have shared their personal stories with me. Often, I am astounded as I hear what obstacles women have overcome, what they have learned and what they now give back to their community through owning their own business, volunteering or caring for their families. I see the same traits in them that I’ve seen in my travels around the world. The women I meet everyday in Mendocino are fierce, wickedly funny, have lived a life of courage and are often running and creating both social innovation or everyday businesses that are the heart and soul of this county.

Commitment, passion, courage exemplifies Mendocino women. Traits I see every day at work by the entrepreneurs who walk in our doors at West Business Development Center.  It takes courage to start a business. It takes passion to keep in going. And it takes courage to keep learning. It’s not surprising that West Business Development Center was begun by some of the most courageous women who set aside their challenges to serve a greater need in the community to help our rural economy grow. And we’ve seen in the last 30 years of our existence, when women are empowered to pursue their passions, it helps women, men and entire communities thrive.

While West Business Development Center started as a self-empowerment center for women in the late 1980’s – we now proudly serve all businesses from 1 to 100 in Mendocino County. For Women’s History Month, we want to recognize the diverse heritage women have given this county, and celebrate the richness they’ve brought to the table. I look forward to many more years of hearing extraordinary stories of small business owners who are making a difference in our community.

Become a West Business Development Center client and start your dream business in Mendocino County, or if you are already up and running, call on us for free marketing, accounting, or lending advice. We are here to make your business grow.

Or come and take one of our new workshops this year. We have an exciting slate, amazing teachers and you will meet lots of business owners just like yourself. We truly believe creating a community of entrepreneurs contributes to the sustainability and liveliness of our community.