Women entrepreneurs lose center, gain institute

Swamp Fox

Women entrepreneurs lose center, gain institute

By MAURICE THOMAS Staff Writer
The State

The Center for Women Entrepreneurs at Columbia College closed last week, but
many of the programs will continue through the college's Leadership Institute.
The college decided to close the center to shift resources to other educational
programs. But it didn't want to lose all of the center's programs, said Linda
Salane, vice president for strategic planning and assessment and director of
the institute.
Programs to be continued include the center's networking luncheons and
workshops on topics such as doing business with government agencies.
A list of programs will be announced this month, Salane said.
The institute also will work with other women's organizations and the State
Commission on Women. Like the Center for Women Entrepreneurs, the Leadership
Institute is part of Columbia College's mission to serve as an advocate for
women.
However, the institute won't provide the one-on-one consulting the Center for
Women Entrepreneurs did to help people develop their business plans.
The counseling is being dropped because other groups and programs in the
Midlands, such as the U.S. Small Business Administration and SCORE (Society
Corps of Retired Executives) offer similar services, Salane said.
The Center for Women Entrepreneurs, started in November 1995 and funded by
Columbia College and the SBA, has offered assistance to men as well as women.
But its focus has been on providing counseling and resources to help women
start and maintain a business.
Susan Davis, who has been the center's director, said it lived up to its
mission. Davis will be a part of the Leadership Institute and teach in the
department of Economics.
One of the center's greatest accomplishments was the Web site
www.discoverbusiness.com, Davis said. It was created with the help of the
Internet company Syneractive and Barbara Rackes, its chief executive officer.
The SBA will continue to maintain the Web site.
The Web site gave the program a national and international reach, Davis said.

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