The Women’s Business Center held a luncheon on May 13th to celebrate the winners of the 5th Annual Ignite Awards! The awards were created to bring the business community together with women entrepreneurs to support their business growth and foster a thriving economy. There is a real need for the greater business community in WNY to come together to celebrate and support Women-Owned Businesses. According to research done by the WBC, since 2016, the annual growth rate for the number of women-owned firms has doubled annually and now make up more than 42% of all businesses in the U.S. However, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed the diverse challenges that working women and female entrepreneurs face daily. Last year, during the pandemic, the WBC served nearly 350 unique individuals/businesses which resulted in: 12 new businesses launched, access to 29 new business loans, and over $29 million in gross revenues. With a focus on inclusion, 43% of WBC businesses are self-described as Black or minority-owned.
Nakiea Cook, owner of NC county and consulting solutions, originally started a business with a mission in mind of helping the next generation. She set off to show teens the importance of understanding cash flow, how money moves and how financial literacy is extremely important in order to navigate life efficiently and effectively. Then word spread about her knowledge and expertise. Her business grew to teaching the teens parents, and then it grew again to business owners. Being a Black-owned business and a female accountant, Nakiea feels that the odds are sometimes stacked against her being successful but that actually drives her. She wants to break those barriers on what an accountant should look like or how they should function. She’s proudly unconventional!
Read the full story at buffalorising.com