WASHINGTON, Sept. 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- For many small businesses, getting solid advice is paramount to success. This week, counselors and mentors from across the United States will be armed with a new set of tools to empower women-owned businesses, thanks in large part to AT&T*.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is holding its annual Women's Business Centers Training Conference Sept. 19-21 in Washington D.C., where participants will learn how the latest in technology, marketing, financing, research, and international trade can help small businesses become more profitable by streamlining processes and cutting costs.
In keeping with President Barack Obama's initiative to help women-owned businesses grow, AT&T is sponsoring the conference attended by approximately 250 representatives from more than 100 Women's Business Centers across the country. WBCs offer training and counseling at the local level to women-owned businesses, including courses in finance, management, marketing, and online business, while tailoring services to meet the needs of their individual communities.
With more than 10 million women-owned businesses in the U.S., Women's Business Centers have become a vital resource of business training and assistance and also a link to loans and federal government contracts for women entrepreneurs. Established by the SBA's Office of Women's Business Ownership in 1988, the network of individually operated centers aims to support socially and economically disadvantaged women interested in developing business enterprises within their communities.
"This conference is extremely valuable to the success of our Women's Business Centers, which are looking for practical ways to improve their local programs and services," said Ana Harvey, Assistant Administrator of the Office of Women's Business Ownership. "The fact that participants can interact and learn from industry leaders and from each other, is a motivating factor in the implementation of new tools or resources to help women-owned businesses thrive."
During the conference, AT&T executives will offer insights on financing options – a key focus area for small businesses – available through the company's Capital Services unit and on the use of cutting-edge technology solutions, including mobile broadband and mobile applications, to increase productivity, reduce costs, and expand their customer base.
In addition, AT&T will offer tips and analysis for the Office of Women's Business Ownership website and individual WBC websites to maximize the information and resources available to businesses. AT&T specialists will offer advice on content development and search engine optimization to help increase the participating centers' online visibility and influence.
"Women-owned businesses are a key driving force for the growth of our economy, and we want them to feel empowered by the resources available to them," said Cathy Martine, AT&T Executive Vice President of Small Business Solutions. "This conference allows center representatives access to industry insight that can help the small businesses they consult back in their hometowns and, ultimately, grow their local economy.
"For example, AT&T is offering information and counseling around financing and technology solutions for women-owned businesses, who may lack the internal staff and resources to be fully up to speed on these fronts."
Small businesses looking to find information about other AT&T products and services can visit AT&T Small Business. For free business resources such as webinars, white papers, training, case studies and best practices, they can visit AT&T Small Business InSite.
*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.
AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation's fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile broadband and emerging 4G capabilities, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T | DIRECTV brands. The company's suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive are known for their leadership in local search and advertising.
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