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01 November 2007

Women's Talkabouts Entrepreneur Networking Event Marks One-Year Anniversary

They represent six different counties and a range of industries, but the women entrepreneurs who attend HACC’s monthly Women’s Talkabouts have one thing in common - to learn from their peers how to successfully manage a business. For the past year, they have come together at a series of free informal networking events hosted by the college’s Institute of Entrepreneurial Studies.

When they gather from noon to 1:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16, for “Website Development for Your Small Business,” the entrepreneurial series will mark its one-year anniversary. Entrepreneurs who have participated in prior sessions are invited to attend the celebratory program in Suite 231, Three Penn Center, 349 Wiconisco St. in Harrisburg.

Leading the discussion will be Kimberly Evans-Werner, owner of Impeccable Pages, which offers Website validation and development. Evans-Werner, whose business is based in Lancaster County, said the program will be beneficial for women thinking about starting their own business, as well as those who have launched their business but have yet to develop a web presence.

“We’ll cover topics such as domain names, email, design and development of the actual site and what is a host company,” Evans-Werner said. “It will be an intimate environment in which participants can comfortably ask questions that will benefit just about everyone in attendance.”

Every session of Women’s Talkabouts is led by a local female entrepreneur. In the first year of the program, topics ranged from marketing and how to build a customer base to effective use of the Internet. The sessions have drawn an increasingly larger group of participants as the program has evolved, said to Fran Verotsky, director of HACC’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies.

“What is really interesting is that every time we offer one of these sessions, we get repeat participants, as well as new entrepreneurs,” she said. “The program continues to grow.”

Because of the popularity of the program, some changes are on tap when the program resumes in January 2008, said Lisa Steffen, business counselor.

“One of the initiatives we have planned is to expand the Talkabouts into Lebanon and Carlisle,” she said. “We want to go that one step further by taking it to the attendees.”

Plans also include changing the format of the session titles into questions, such as “Do you know what your bank has to offer?” and “What problems have you encountered in your first year of business?”

“It will encourage more discussion if we ask a question. I think women will be able to relate to it in a more personal way,” Steffen said.

Women interested in attending should call 221-1311 to reserve a seat. For more information, you can send an email to Lisa Steffen at the contact address below. Participants are encouraged to bring a brown bag lunch. HACC will provide a dessert and beverage.

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