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Women’s Business Network starts in Falls

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Fourteen local entrepreneurial women attended the first Women’s Business Network meeting back on Jan. 10 at the Coffee Landing Metro in downtown International Falls.

The event was organized by Jenny Dougherty, business consultant for the local Small Business Development Center.

The purpose of the network is to provide a time and place for women business owners to come together to discuss common issues related to business ownership and the added challenges/benefits for women business owners, in particular.

“I was thrilled by the dynamics of the group,” said Dougherty. “The women attending this first meeting represent the essence of business ownership in our region.

“They were creative, industrious, passionate, and talented,” she added. “The energy level was inspiring for everyone in the room.”

Businesses represented at the meeting covered a broad range of services, products, and talents, with several of the women doing more than one business.

Some women, in seemingly unrelated industries, had partnered up in new and unique ventures.

For instance, Colleen Fletcher of Fletcher Plumbing & Heating has partnered with Brenda Jones, a graphic designer and printing specialist with Northstar Publishing.

Their product? Gourmet jam.

“Women have always worn many hats, and are great at building successful partnerships,” noted Julie Schumacher, former SBDC consultant who currently is the custom training representative for Rainy River Community College.

“The creative synergy and supportive nature of this network has the potential to have a direct positive impact on our entire community,” she enthused.

Meetings of the Women’s Business Network will be held on the second Thursday of each month at 2 p.m. The Coffee Landing Metro will continue to be the location.

All area women business owners are invited and encouraged to bring business cards or brochures.

Dougherty welcomes inquiries at her SBDC office (1-218-283-8585) or via e-mail at jenny.keda@northwinds.net

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