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      Grand Island to Host Conference to Grow Women Entrepreneurship

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      To help celebrate Women's History Month in March, The U.S.Small Business Administration and the Rural Enterprise Assistance Project'sWomen's Business Center will host a day of speakers designed to inspire andoffer down-to-earth advice for women to start or grow a small business.

      The Women Entrepreneur Conference is scheduled for March 20from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the YWCA of Grand Island, 211 East Fonner ParkRoad.

      Patricia Brown-Dixon, Region VII Administrator, U.S. SmallBusiness Administration and Rebecca Greenwald, Region VII Advocate for the SBA,will offer remarks. Additionally, among those on the agenda are:

      • Ann Martin, the president of Idea Bank Marketing, will present: "Women Are Natural Born Marketers";
      • Karen Linder, Linspiration, Inc., and author of The Women of Berkshire Hathaway, will speak on "Ladies Who Launch";
      • Sean McGuire of Omaha-based E.D. Bellis will offer advice for business owners to prepare for the provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act;
      • Odee Ingersoll, director of the Nebraska Business Development Center, Kearney, will present solutions to small business succession planning;
      • Alison Martin, owner of Grand Island-based Two Paw Prints and The Tail Waggin; Margaret Kring, owner of My Fair Lady's Fashions in Holdrege; and, Tonja Broadwell of Kelly Supply./KDSI of Grand Island will host a panel on women entrepreneurship.

      The event also will offer a half-hour fun and fast "SpeedNetworking" event to connect entrepreneurs with resource providers and othersmall businesses.

      From 2009 to 2010, according to figures provided by the SBAOffice of Advocacy, women-owned small businesses in Nebraska rose 14.2 percentto 45,000.

      Small businesses significantly impact Nebraska's economy.They represent 96.6 percent of all employers and employ 50.9 percent of theprivate-sector labor force. Small businesses are crucial to the fiscalcondition of the state and numbered 164,465 in 2010.

      To register, please call Monica Braun, REAP Women's BusinessCenter Director at (402) 643-2673 or Lisa Tedesco, Business OpportunitySpecialist at the SBA at (402) 221-7229, or visit the web site at www.sba.gov/NEconference.

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