Host Jeremy C. Park talks with Phala K. Mire, President and CEO of the Women’s Business Enterprise Council South, who provides an overview of their efforts and programs as a regional partner organization of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the U.S. and a leading advocate for women entrepreneurs. The mission of WBEC South is to advance and enhance business opportunities between corporations and WBEs through a reputable certification program, education and professional growth. WBEC South has more than 950 certified WBEs and 50 corporate partners in the region that includes Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee and the Florida Panhandle. During the interview, Phala talks about their various programs, their impact, advice for women entrepreneurs, how the community can get involved in their efforts, and more.
- What is the Women’s Business Enterprise Council South?
The Women’s Business Enterprise Council South (WBEC South) is a regional partner organization of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), the largest certifier of women-owned businesses in the U.S. and a leading advocate for women entrepreneurs. At a national level, we have 15,000 certified women business enterprises or WBEs and 150 corporate partners who support our organization.
- What is the mission of WBEC South?
Our mission is to advance and enhance business opportunities between corporations and WBEs through a reputable certification program, education and professional growth.
- We have more than 950 certified WBEs and 50 corporate partners in our region that includes Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee and the Florida Panhandle.
- These WBEs contribute $16.5 billion to the economy and create 73,000 jobs.
- What programs do you have to support women business owners?
We have several innovative programs for women entrepreneurs at every stage of their business including:
- WB Collective: We launched a new co-working space in Nashville at the INK Building downtown and also have one in New Orleans. We have private office suites, conference rooms, mailboxes, event space for women executives and CEOs to connect and thrive at com.
- WB Marketplace: We created the largest virtual marketplace for WBEs and corporations to connect at com.
- Women’s Business Center South: We had a grand opening celebration in Memphis for this new center at Crosstown Concourse funded by SBA. Our team provides business and finance coaching, tools and resources for WBEs to grow their ventures at org.
- Enterprising Women of Color: Open to ALL women-owned companies of color, offering resources, training, coaching and events for business growth at org.
- How can people support WBEC South?
If you’re a woman-owned business, we invite you to join us for our programming to build your network. If certification is right for you, we can help you with that as well.
We need corporate partners who are committed to supplier diversity to join us by sponsoring our programs and, most importantly, contracting with WBEs.
Check out our website at https://www.wbecsouth.org/ to sign up for the newsletter to stay up to date on ways you can be involved in WBEC South.
How can people find out more about WBEC South?
- Visit our website to learn about certification, register for events and programs at https://www.wbecsouth.org/.
Recent Media Coverage:
Nashville Business Journal: Coworking space exclusively for female entrepreneurs aims to facilitate collaboration and connection
Commercial Appeal: ‘A pleasure and an honor’: Women’s Business Center South helping Memphis entrepreneurs
NOLA.com: Enterprising Women of Color Business Center names new director