SBDC Brings Women Entrepreneurs to SUNY Canton

Networking was the key topic for new business owners attending the Small Business Development Center’s Women in Entrepreneurship and Business Conference.


HELPING WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS - Pictured are (l to r) Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Director Dale Rice, Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, Cathy Pokines of the U.S. Small Business Administration and SBDC Business Advisor Michelle Collins at the recent Women in Entrepreneurship and Business Conference at SUNY Canton.

“Many new and potential business owners spoke with their peers or other professionals who have gone through the same process of starting a business,” noted SBDC Business Advisor Michelle Collins. “Conversation between new and veteran business owners instills a sense of confidence and camaraderie that can soften the challenges and help others share in success.”

Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava was one of the keynote speakers at the conference. She emphasized the importance of building strong client relationships in business.

Scozzafava was involved in her family’s business for 37 years and noted the role of other women in her personal business education. “Every step along the way there has been a woman to help me,” she said.

Kim Otis, owner of the Black Lake-based Echoes on the Lake grocery store inspired her peers and described her own experience working with the SBDC to startup her business. SBDC business advisors helped her evaluate the costs and risks of her business ventures including the purchase of her highly-profitable pizza ovens. Otis said the business advisors were equally valuable as she negotiated with governing agencies.

SUNY Canton Chief of Staff Carli Schiffner, Ph.D. spoke about women’s role in business from a historical perspective during one of the sessions of the conference. Attorney Roger Linden of Cappello Linden and Ladouceur of Potsdam was on hand to provide legal advice to prospective entrepreneurs. Absolutely Business magazine was the major media sponsor of the conference.

SUNY Canton President Joseph L. Kennedy helped bring the SBDC’s Women in Entrepreneurship and Business Conference to SUNY Canton this year. The SBDC also offers free direct counseling and a wide range of management and technical assistance services. Business advisors can help start-ups develop a business plan, assist existing businesses preparing to expand, and offer resources for industry-specific topics. For more information, e-mailĀ



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