The National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC) celebrated the 2016 Women in Construction Week with a ceremony at the Connecticut State Capitol on March 11, 2016.
During the event, the University of Hartford’s Entrepreneurial Center (EC) was honored for its significant role in supporting Connecticut women small business owners in the construction industry. The Entrepreneurial Center supports women in construction through its largest initiative, the Women’s Business Center (WBC), and through the Small Contractor Development Program.
The NAWIC awarded the EC with a plaque recognizing it as a “Champion for Women in the Construction Industry.” Congressman John Larson’s office presented the EC with a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition and the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) gave the EC a Certificate of Special Acknowledgement.
“We are proud to support the hardworking and capable women in construction develop as business owners and prepare to take on larger projects,” states Sandra Cahill, Director of the Entrepreneurial Center.
“Part of the WBC’s mission is to help the government reach its goal of awarding 5% of federal contracts to women-owned businesses, a goal which was met for the first time in 2015,” she adds.
The EC was recognized in conjunction with its partner, the Metropolitan District (MDC). The MDC and EC run a Small Contractor Development Program (SCDP) that identifies the unique challenges and issues that contractors face within their industry and then focuses intense training and technical assistance in those areas.
Training includes topics such as contract readiness, lean management, marketing, and bonding. Many of the trainings are taught by local general contractors in addition to EC advisors. Because of this close connection to the construction industry, the program helps small contractors to make connections with general contractors and resource partners. The WBC is an active participant as well, supporting the growth of women-owned contracting businesses.
Additional SCDP partners include the MBDA, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the Connecticut Construction Industries Association, and the Connecticut Department of Community and Economic Development.
The University of Hartford’s EC provides hands-on coaching and business training for new and expanding small businesses, as well as aspiring entrepreneurs, throughout Connecticut. Its largest initiative is the Women’s Business Center, funded in part by the SBA, which specializes in serving women in business.
Part of the nationally renowned Barney School of Business, the EC helps small business owners and employees to gain the business skills needed to succeed in the marketplace through business advising, technical assistance, educational programs, and networking events. For more information, visit www.hartford.edu/ec.