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  • Writer's pictureLeigh Roach

Empowered Women, Empower Women

Can I get an amen? To all of our gal pals out there, do you or have you ever wanted to own your own business? When I was a little girl, I dreamt of becoming a Broadway dancer, a teacher, a district attorney... all great professions, but never did I think about being my own boss, which is kind of funny considering how "bossy" I am. Just ask Tam.

Six years ago, I stepped out on my own and started IDEAist Designs, a graphic and web design company, based in Central Kentucky (look how short my hair was!). I am "professionally" a trained, former accountant/CPA who spent years discovering that I had a passion for something else - art. After many years of hard work, sleepless nights, self-education and luck, I left a lucrative and stable job to become an entrepreneur. Flash forward four years later and I opened up another business, Kentucky Taste Buds (KTB), with bff Tamara Schneider. While KTB may look like mere fun and games, it is an actual company. We do have a blast, don't get me wrong, but we are strategic, targeting KY-based sponsorships, endorsements, appearance fees, etc... that we not only believe in but want to see succeed. We are nowhere near striking it rich, but it is an added income for us and we absolutely love it.

So, why am I telling you all of this? Because I think it's important that we as women share our entrepreneurial hearts and lessons we've learned to help other women do the same. In a world of cattiness and jealousy, women do not do enough to lift one another up. One of the three tiers of our mission at KTB is to support and encourage local economic growth, especially for females like us. Where we can offer advice, education and support, we will.

This week we are releasing a podcast with two women who are dedicating their lives to helping women through their work at the Women's Business Center for Kentucky. This organization, formed in 2011, "helps women entrepreneurs, especially those who are economically or socially disadvantaged, start and grow businesses in the state of Kentucky. The WBC of KY is one of over 120 women’s business centers across the country that provides technical assistance to help women start and grow their small business."

We are so impressed that such an offering exists and we are excited to spread the great news to everyone. Women-owned businesses are on the rise and there are so many resources and opportunities for women to learn about.

If you are looking to start a business or know of someone who is, WBC is absolutely a great place to start. I wished I had known about it at the time I started my own company. They offer many services including:

• Quality Business Education • Access to Micro and Small Business loans and loan package preparation • 1:1 Business Technical Assistance • Business Development Planning and Marketing Strategies • Networking Opportunities • Training programs for new and emerging businesses

In addition, they have periodic meetings and conferences, one of which Tam and I are attending on October 18th in Lexington! It's called the 7th Annual Women in Business Expo Conference. It's a day of a day of empowerment and training to hear, learn and be inspired by keynote speakers, engage in informative breakout sessions, visit exhibitor booths, and most importantly, network with other entrepreneurs and business owners. There is even a highly anticipated business pitch contest at this year's expo! Now is your chance.

For a full list of conference details, including speakers, agenda and location, click here. If you are on the fence about attending, get off of it. You are one decision away from completely changing your life! Please join us as we network with like-minded women who are carving out a piece of their pie and helping other women do the same!

To listen to this week's podcast called "Empowered Women, Empower Women", click one of the applicable links below.


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