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About Us

No matter your passion, interests, previous entrepreneurial experiences or ambitions, the Women’s Business Center (WBC) has specialized opportunities that will expose you to new ways of thinking while supporting your unique goals.

Since its inception in 1999, The WBC has developed a rich and diverse set of offerings that cater to the needs of women and people of color seeking to start and grow their own enterprises. We offer free one-on-one advising meetings to help you launch, technical assistance and training to grow your skills, and networking programs to strengthen your business to business connections. Now that glass ceilings are cracking wide open, our guidance is more important than ever before!

Under the umbrella of the Entrepreneurial Center (EC), we specialize in turning ideas into viable businesses and break-even companies into sustainable, profitable, and scalable enterprises. We work and exist thanks to our alliances, and are funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. In addition to the resources we have onsite, business information and support are available at the SBA's Office of Women's Business Ownership and at your local district office.

We are part of the University of Hartford's Barney School of Business, named one of the nation's most outstanding business schools by The Princeton Review. We are also an active member and participant in the Association of Women's Business Centers (AWBC), the organization that supports the national network of over 100 Women Business Centers across the U.S. Its role is to make our voice heard in Washington, advocating for continued support of the WBC program and communicating the centers' collective impact.

Meet the Team

We know it takes a village. After helping thousands of local businesses get off the ground, we understand that it takes a team to launch a dream. Meet our in-house Dream Team below:

James C. Lofink
Interim Director; Adjunct Professor
Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship

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Lacey Banks McGill
Women's Business Center Executive Director
Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship

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Shelli McMillen Orosz
Program Manager of Marketing and Technical Assistance, Entrepreneurial Center and Women's Business Center
Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship

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Elaine Thomas Williams
Business Advisor, Entrepreneurial Center and Women's Business Center
Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship

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Jeannette Punsoni Dardenne
Business Advisor, Entrepreneurial Center and Women's Business Center
Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship

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Jack Antonich
Business Advisor, Entrepreneurial Center and Women's Business Center
Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship

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Vanessa Fanis
Database and Technology Coordinator, Entrepreneurial Center and Women's Business Center
Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship

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Mary Flores
Administrative Assistant
Management, Marketing and Entrepreneurship

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University Connections

Barney School of Business

The Center staff and clients interact with Barney faculty and students on many levels, each sharing their knowledge and skills. The Center provides internships to Barney business students, offering them valuable experience in the small business community. Barney faculty members bring their expertise to various Center programs.

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The Construction Institute

The Institute provides ways of thinking and being that challenge the status quo and advance the way environments are designed and built. It is the only association that includes all industry professionals working together to take responsibility for the future of the Architecture, Engineering and Construction industry.

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Thank you to our funders

Entrepreneurial Center funders

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