Illinois programs for women-owned businesses

In recognition of  National Women's Small Business Month, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) recently announced it will host a series of webinars to support the advancement of women-owned businesses. The discussions scheduled by DCEO and a host of industry partners, including Groupon, will offer support and insights for small businesses to grow, position themselves, and seek out resources that will help them overcome the effects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, National Women Business Month, and Manufacturing Month, this webinar will discuss how Latinas in manufacturing got into the business, pivoted, and expanded into leadership roles. Speakers include but not limited to: Patricia Mota, President & CEO, Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE) Brenda R. Wheeler, President, Jason Mechanical Corp. Rosa Maria Barnes, HR Business Partner, The Kraft Heinz Company Nancy A. Garcia, Chief Executive Officer / President, Noble Machine, LLC

October 8 at 2pm - Empowering Her with Resources during COVID-19 and Civil Unrest
Groupon and the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity will present a session focused on an inclusive business environment and ways to propel the growth of women-owned businesses with government and private sector resources. This conversation will feature opening remarks from Illinois' First Lady, MK Pritzker, DCEO Director Guthrie, Groupon CFO Melissa Thomas, and a keynote from Andrea Zopp, CEO of World Business Chicago. Panelists include: Marianna Markowitz, CEO of the First Women's Bank, Charity Marcus, CEO of Black Women Business Owners of America, and Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce, and more.

October 22 at 2 pm - Women Get Involved in Manufacturing
In honor of Women's Small Business Month and Manufacturing Month, this webinar focuses on ways to uplift women in manufacturing roles through the insights of industry leaders. The talk will focus on helping students with a closer look at what it takes to enter the industry. Panelists include: Erin Hallstrom, Influential Women in Manufacturing, Annie Mouhaupt, Owner of Moho and Melissa Lederer, Owner of MHUB, and more.

Various Dates - All in for Women: BIG Webinars
The DCEO Office of Minority Economic Empowerment (OMEE) will host a seminar on the Business Interruption Grant (BIG) Program. In this webinar, women owned businesses will learn about eligibility, program details, and the application process. Technical assistance support will also be provided for the last 30 minutes of every session. Workshops on BIG will take place on the following dates:
For information on how to register for the National Women’s Small Business Month events planned for businesses click on dates above or contact Ibie Hart, Women’s’ Business Development Manager, at