As I reflect on 2023, I extend warm wishes to all. I express gratitude for the valuable insights gained from our shared experiences, and the continuous learning that unfolds with each passing day. We have served 750 clients this year by hearing and understanding their challenges, connecting them to resources, and offering additional learning opportunities to help them move forward in business. Our team equips clients with the education and training they need to make informed business decisions, and we are proud to be a collaborative partner within North Dakota’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

In every setting, our clients echoed the need for peer-to-peer business connections. In response, we launched two new or reimagined networking events to provide a space for casual, intentional connections. Women-Owned Pop-Ups happened in four communities with an average attendance of 30. Strong Women, Strong Connections took place in five communities across the state, averaging 38 attendees per event. Our annual Women’s Business Summit moved to Medora in May, welcomed over 65 attendees, and created an opportunity to connect with other business owners, lending partners, and national and state entities committed to supporting entrepreneurs. Our state certification program has grown to over 75 women-owned businesses, see a list here.

Additionally, the legislative session provided an opportunity for us to partner with Childcare Aware of North Dakota to help meet the needs of the state’s childcare providers via business and technical education we offered through a custom-built virtual program called Industry Intensives. This provided a platform for learning within a specific industry and a mechanism for connection and collaboration so childcare providers from across North Dakota could help meet the needs of local families, soften some workforce challenges, and operate a stable business that cash flows.

Through it all, I find myself profoundly inspired, recognizing the significant impact women-owned businesses make in their home communities and the economic contributions they offer to North Dakota as a whole. I extend my heartfelt thanks to the NDWBC team members for their dedication and service to our mission, our Board of Directors for their strategic guidance, and our numerous volunteers, committee members, and invaluable partners. Special appreciation is reserved for organizations such as the Small Business Administration (SBA), ND Department of Commerce, Bush Foundation, Otto Bremer Trust Foundation, USDA, Marathon Petroleum, Childcare Aware of North Dakota, Dakota Business Lending, and Association of Women’s Business Centers. Through such partnerships, we ensure access to future funding opportunities and essential resources, allowing us to elevate our clients closer to realizing their entrepreneurial dreams.

This holiday season, my sincere wish for you is to enjoy good health, peace, resources to help guide your 2024 business goals, and ample funding opportunities. As our dedicated team, strives to enhance opportunities for all women to access the resources they need, I am committed to doing everything within my power to contribute to this shared goal.

In closing, I encourage you to reflect on the value of having a voice and want you to know I am grateful for the privilege of amplifying the economic voice on behalf of women-owned businesses and advocating for an equitable future for all entrepreneurs.

With deepest gratitude,

Christy Dauer

NDWBC Executive Director

Annual Report