On April 28th at 5:00 p.m. ET, the Vermont Women’s Fund and the Vermont Community Foundation will co-host This Way Up, a virtual event to examine the potential of women’s entrepreneurship, the opportunities and pitfalls associated with business ownership, and why gender impacts financial outcomes. Moderated by Vermont Public Radio’s Jane Lindholm, the event will feature four women business owners from southern Vermont.
This topic is a bit of a mystery in Vermont as there is no conclusive data on the number of women-owned businesses in the state. Based on US Census data, the Change The Story initiative issued a 2016 report on “Women Business Owners and the VT Economy,” which showed there are approximately 23,000 women-owned businesses in the state.
“There’s huge potential for women entrepreneurs to create new businesses, significantly increase their revenues, and hire an employee or two—and we haven’t adequately focused on their needs and barriers until now,” says Meg Smith, director of the Vermont Women’s Fund. “With the right tools and technical assistance, women entrepreneurs can help grow Vermont’s economy along with their own communities. And with job losses among Vermont women among the highest in the nation, this is the time to expand women entrepreneurship in our state.”
The Vermont Women’s Fund and the Community Foundation are excited to have four leaders from this community participate in the event:
· Julie Lineberger of Wheel Pad in Wilmington
· Jewelz Johnson of Jamaican Jewelz Food Truck and Catering in Bellows Falls
· Lisa Lorimer of MamaSezz Foods (and former owner of Vermont Bread Company) in Brattleboro
· Nancy Koziol of couch + cork in Bennington
More evidence of women-owned businesses from the region are represented in a gift box that comes with the price of a $20 ticket. Ticketholders will receive by mail a mix of products from Tavernier Chocolates, Small Batch Organics, Dorset Daughters, JJHapgood General Store and Eatery, OWL Energy Bars, and Rosie’s Wonders Connection Cards. This Way Up is underwritten by local sponsors: Bank of Bennington, Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, Mascoma Bank, and Cabot Cheese.
Learn more about the event and purchase your ticket at vermontcf.org/this-way-up.
The Vermont Community Foundation inspires giving and brings people and resources together to make a difference in Vermont. A family of hundreds of funds and foundations, we provide the advice, investment vehicles, and back-office expertise that make it easy for the people who care about Vermont to find and fund the causes they love. We envision Vermont at its best—where everyone has the opportunity to build a bright, secure future. Visit vermontcf.org or call 802-388-3355 for more information. For information on our COVID-19 response, visit vtcovid19response.org.
The Vermont Women’s Fund is the first and largest philanthropic resource in the state founded specifically to advance women and girls in Vermont. Founded in 1994, it is a component fund of the Vermont Community Foundation and awards annual grants to nonprofits around the state that serve women and girls with programs that promote economic self-sufficiency, career development and systems change. Learn more at vermontwomensfund.org.