Leading Women Entrepreneurs event focuses on challenges women face as business leaders

The 2016 Leading Women Entrepreneurs finalists were announced and invited to network together on May 4 at the Money, Power, Procurement and Media event held at The Palace at Somerset. They joined hundreds of top women business leaders at an event that not only celebrated the distinguished achievements of New Jersey’s top women business leaders, but provided actionable information and connections that would foster further growth.

The LWE finalists collectively generate more than $6 billion in annual revenue, employ thousands, support hundreds of non-profits and are strong advocates for women. The event was a way to discuss the challenges that hold women back and how they can get to the next level.

Although these women have reached a certain level of success, all business leaders face challenges. Studies reveal women often experience additional obstacles their male peers are not likely to encounter.

“Some of the top barriers women business owners encounter are lack of capital funding, access to influential networks and creating an effective visibility platform,” said Linda Wellbrock, founder of Leading Women Entrepreneurs (LWE). The mission of LWE is to showcase success stories of women who were able to break these barriers.

The event kicked off with an expert panel geared at answering questions entrepreneurs have about access to capital. Panelists covered topics that included venture capital, angel investing, private equity and lending. The media panel included guests from Fox 5,NJ Biz, New Jersey Monthly magazine, Comcast, NJ.com and more.

“I especially enjoyed the sessions on building an automated marketing plan and capturing the power of your brand. I am looking into ways to implement several of the ideas I learned that day. It was absolutely awesome to get immediate feedback on my pitch from the panel of media experts. I’m looking forward to the next opportunity to grow my business,” said Cheryl McCants, president and chief executive officer, Impact Consulting Enterprises.

Mary Jo White, senior vice president and financial adviser at Morgan Stanley said, “It was an amazing event because businesses had the opportunity to network with a room full of investors, media and procurement participants. So many powerful resources were in that room”.

Alicia Scales, head of diversity from Pfizer, discussed how entrepreneurs have used procurement as a door opener and how the process of certification can help when doing business with the government and the public and private sectors.

“My colleagues and I had a great experience at the Money, Procurement, Power & Media Event. We made some amazing contacts in the business community. Linda, the founder of LWE, has done a lot of work growing the network over the years. Through this event, she shared her secrets of success and introduced the Top 150 LWE finalists of 2016 to her own trusted advisers, now that’s what I call paying it forward,” said Sharon Gordon, partner, CohnReznick

LWE invites individuals to join in its mission of showcasing success and sharing resources in the community to encourage further business growth. Lead sponsors and partnering organizations included: The Palace at Somerset, TD Bank, CohnReznick, Morgan Stanley, Social Fix, NJ.com, Infusionsoft and more. For a full list of speakers, sponsors and partners, visit www.LWEWORLD.COM.



From left, Sharon Gordon of CohnReznick; John Ason, an angel investor; Cynthia Colucci from TD Bank; David Epstein from Bentley; and Cheryl Moss of Skoler & Co.


From left, Jasmine Cordero of The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development, Alicia Scales from Pfizer Global Procurement and Raul Mercado from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.


Mary Jo White, senior vice president and financial adviser for Morgan Stanley.


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