Business Empowerment for Women
Montgomery County Department of Economic Development actively supports or promotes several major programs for local women business owners:
1. First Friday Networking Group: If you would like to connect on LinkedIn and are a Montgomery County based woman entrepreneur, we welcome you.
2. Woman Owned Business Certification:
State/Local Contracting - To register as a woman-owned business to contract with the State of Maryland or Montgomery County, you can register with the Maryland Department of Transportation's Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) program.
Private Sector Contracting - In addition to federal, state and local governments, many private sector corporations have goals for doing business with women and minorities. In order to be considered as a vendor, most require or prefer third party certification. The Women's Business Enterprise National Council provides a national standard of certification that is accepted by over 800 corporations. For more information and to access the online application, please go to www.wbenclink.org. For updates on regional events and programs to learn more about certification, please contact the Women Presidents' Educational Organization-DC or Liz Cullen (see below).
General Certification Information - Download additional information regarding federal, state, local or private sector certification requirements and Small and Minority Business Directories.
3. Local Small Business Reserve Programs
Montgomery County - Montgomery County Department of General Services manages a vendor registration list specifically for County based companies. This vendor's list (LSBRP) provides County agencies the opportunity to contract with local firms on various contracts. LSBRP is a self-registration site, not a certification program. Go to Local Small Business Reserve Program for additional information or to register.
State of Maryland - Maryland based firms may also register as a Local Small Business through the Department of General Services. For information and opportunities visit the Maryland Small Business Reserve Program.
4. Technology Women's Network (TWN):
Women in technology based businesses have unique issues as well as opportunities because of their highly specialized fields. TWN provides women in technology business the opportunity to share ideas, concerns and learn about new programs available to their specific needs. Meetings are held every 10 weeks in various locations throughout Montgomery County. If you have questions or would like to participate, email Fizie Haleem for more information.
5. Rockville Women's Business Center:
The Rockville Women's Business Center provides emerging and expanding women business owners with training, mentoring, and other assistance programs. Visit the WBC at 95 Monroe Street, Rockville, MD 20850, or their website http://www.rockvillewbc.org/, or contact Lori Gillen, Managing Director, email@example.com for more information.
6. Women Executives Leadership Network (WELN)
WELN is a leadership network of organizations strategically teaming to drive women's business interests forward in Montgomery County.
Mission Statement: To leverage opportunities for women in business by sharing and promoting relationships, information, resources, and best practices.
Representatives listed below are organizational leaders who share a mission to provide business and professional development assistance to women. The contact information provided is for individuals who attend meetings held by the Montgomery County Department of Economic Development, Division of Business Empowerment, to bring the network together on a bi-monthly basis. The organizations listed provide services to Montgomery County female entrepreneurs and women in business.
Marie Rose Sirikari, President/Founder
Jade Zhou, President
15100 Vicars Way
Darnestown, MD 20878
Susan Horst, Immediate Past State President
Ann Marie Mehlert, President
Carol Plummer, Managing Director
Yun Jung Yang, President
11510 Georgia Avenue, Suite 150
Silver Spring, MD 20902
Nancy Daniel, CEO
6999 Cedar Avenue
Sykesville, MD 21784
Anne E. Whitt, President
National Association of Professional Asian Women
Vivian Kim, M.A., Chair
L. Content McLaughlin, Esquire, President
2400 Boston Street, Suite 102
Baltimore, MD 21224
Leslie Curran, President
Renee Lewis (WELN representative)
23008 Mount Vernon Avenue, #748
Alexandria, VA 22301
Julie Lenzer Kirk, CEO
Nancy Regelin, President
Lori Gillen, Executive Director
95 Monroe Street
Rockville, Maryland 20850
Lynne Benzion, Associate Director (WELN representative)
Rockville Economic Development, Inc.
95 Monroe Street
Rockville, Maryland 20850
Christine Warrington, Executive Director
P.O. Box 34043
Bethesda, MD 20827
Nancy Schimizzi, President (WELN representative)
10378 Democracy Lane, Suite A
Susan Potter, President
P.O. Box 1281
Rockville, MD 20849-1281
Sandra P. Eberhard, Executive Director
1120 Connecticut Avenue, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20036
Julie Lenzer Kirk, Chair, DC Chapter