10th annual Women's Business Conference - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

More than 500 in attendance for 10th annual Women's Business Conference


Eau Claire (WQOW) - Today women earn almost 60 percent of all college degrees, but they hold only 14 percent of the top jobs in America's big companies.

The Women's Business Conference in Eau Claire celebrated 10 years of helping to boost women in the business world on Thursday.  Karman Briggs, the Director of Jobs and Business Development at Western Dairyland, says, "The cool part of this event is seeing how these businesses are evolving from year to year. "

For small business owner, Melissa Kossow, this was the second year she's has had an exhibit on display at the Women's Business Conference. She started her business; It's UpDo You, eight years ago after she ran into a dilemma getting a product she loved. 

Kossow says, "The kiosk went out at the mall, out of business, and in 2005 I was hounding the supplier and saying "I need more pieces!" and she said, "Why don't you sell this stuff?", which I had no idea you could! So I was like, I'm going to sell it, I know what I'm going to do with my life!"

You maybe are wondering where inspiration for the name comes from, "It's really generally up to you if you want to tell someone if it's fake or not. So, it's a play on words," says Kossow.  

The conference is the perfect place for women wanting to explore the business world. Cheri Dostal, the Owner and Founder of Evolve Wellness, says, "My first time at the conference was as an attendee, so I was really looking to learn how to start a business, basic marketing, basic business plan skills, budgeting, the nuts and bolts of what am I getting myself into."

Briggs says, "Finding partners and strategic partners, people they can collaborate with, like the lenders, business development specialists, the financial planners, the attorneys, and the accountants."

More than five hundred women were in attendance this year. "At this point in history, women are actually starting businesses at a faster rate than men, however there are still far fewer women owned businesses than male owned businesses," says Briggs.  

Kossow shares her advice for those just getting started,"Just do it afraid. I definitely was learning as I was going."

Over one hundred different businesses were on hand for Thursday's event.

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