Every entrepreneurial journey starts with a dream, and this year’s National Women’s Business Conference reconnected hundreds of the nation’s women business owners with the joy, passion and more they felt when they first started their businesses.
“Year after year, and decade after decade, NAWBO’s legacy and impact is created by women business owners who want to support one another and see each other succeed,” says Karen Bennetts, NAWBO National Board Chair, of the entrepreneurial women and their supporters who came together in-person for the first time since 2019.
The annual NAWBO event—held last month at The Galt House in Louisville, Kentucky—was presented by Bank of America for the 10th consecutive year. “We are committed to working with NAWBO to ensure that entrepreneurs nationwide have access to the tools, resources and expertise they need to succeed,” says Jill Calabrese Bain, Managing Director, Small Business, Specialty Banking & Lending, Bank of America.
In addition to the incredible fun and connection that filled the conference days, the speakers were inspiring and provided tangible takeaways. Molly Bloom, speaker, entrepreneur and bestselling author of the memoir Molly’s Game, said that she felt at home in a room full of women and entrepreneurs. “The important thing,” she says, “is the lessons we learn from the failure, the adversity and from our own mistakes that make us formidable.”
One of Molly’s lessons was that we have to stop waiting for permission. “We have to go inside and decide this is our life and we have to be in the driver’s seat, win or lose,” she shared. Another lesson was the art of letting go. “There are some things that we can’t control,” she says. “It’s so important to be able to move past that and put yourself in the present moment because that’s where you have power and agency over your life.”
Magie Cook, a successful Latino businesswoman who started Maggie’s All-Natural Fresh Salsas and Dips and grew it into a multi-million-dollar company that Campbell’s purchased, shared about overcoming her own adversities (she grew up in an orphanage in Mexico and was housing insecure in her early years in the U.S.), plus how she’s used her success to give back to orphaned children in her home country.
“We are always going to face adversity—no matter what in our lives,” Magie shared. “Whether you are a small company or a big company, when you think about something you truly care about, there are always three character traits present.” Those are resiliency, resourcefulness and relentlessness. “These are the three pillars of the success mindset according to how I live.”
The conference included breakout sessions and workshops on today’s timeliest business topics as well. There were Continuing Legal Education sessions on the future of the workplace after the pandemic as well as sessions on winning the race for talent in today’s increasingly diverse world, getting creative with social media business strategy and reels, reimagining diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEI&B) for an even greater impact and more.
The event culminated with the much-anticipated 2022 Woman Business Owner of the Year Award sponsored by Bank of America. The three finalists—Diana Dibble, president of Design To Delivery Inc, Moira Vetter, founder and CEO of Modo Modo Agency, and Shital Daftari, founder and CEO of Saris and Things DBA SNT Biotech—were honored during the awards gala before Moira was announced as this year’s top winner.
NAWBO is now offering a WBC2022 Playback option for those who would like to revisit the inspiration and education or experience it for the first time. Registration opens this week; watch for details!
Also, registration is open for next year’s WBC—October 15-17, 2023 in Austin, Texas. Watch for exciting speaker announcements in coming months! Meanwhile, reserve your spot here.