Boosting women-owned business in WNY

July 10, 2014 Updated Jul 10, 2014 at 9:41 AM EDT

By Elizabeth Carey

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July 10, 2014 Updated Jul 10, 2014 at 9:41 AM EDT

Talk about mixing business with pleasure. The Women's Business Center (WBC) at Canisius College plans to do just that by combining a women's business seminar with a summer outdoor festival.

The second annual Women's Business Center Festival will be held Monday at Larkin Square. Women-owned businesses will be showcasing their products and services while women-owned food trucks will be serving up dinner.

The free event will be complete with networking and more and is open to the public. Sara Vescio is the executive director of the WBC at Canisius. She says the event is important to boost this growing business segment. "Women business owners represent the fastest growing segment of our economy so we want to support that," she said. "The WBC knows that making them successful is imperative for the community and economy."

The goal of the WBC is to bring education, connection and community to women business owners so the event will feature networking, counseling, roundtable discussions and more.

This year, there is money up for grabs at the festival for a female entrepreneur to advance. "We're going to have a success stimulus competition. We're going to give $5,000 to the business that wins the competition," Vescio said.

The entries are in, and on Monday, four semi-finalists will pitch "live" to the audience and judges on how they can best utilize $5,000 towards their business.

The winner will be announced Monday. The festival runs from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Larkin Square.

You can get more details at www.wbcwny.org.

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