Often when we ask businesswomen who bank with National City how we can be more helpful to them, they ask us to create opportunities to broaden their network and expand their perspectives on growing and managing their business. Cleveland’s seventh annual panel discussion of the issues impacting women in business today, Perspectives: Women Who Excel, presented by Smart Business and National City, is designed to deliver on both objectives.
Whether through forums like the Perspectives conference or by providing the business and personal financial resources that companies and individuals require to flourish, our support of women in business is critical to a growing economy, where women are majority owners of 30 percent of America’s privately held firms — 50,000 in Cleveland alone. National City, now a part of The PNC Financial Services Group Inc., is honored to be recognized as a leader in this mission.
For more than 150 years, National City and PNC have helped to build strong communities through executive leadership, strategic investments and employee volunteerism. One example is our network of Women’s Business Advocates, a team of bankers who are passionate about supporting women entrepreneurs and executives. In fact, our advocates are named in a study commissioned by the prestigious Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation as a best practice for providing businesswomen with access to capital. Together, National City and PNC are closing in on a pledge to lend a combined total of $7.5 billion to women-owned small businesses by 2010.
We also care about causes you tell us you care about. PNC’s Grow Up Great program, a 10-year, $100 million investment in early childhood education, is enabling four Cleveland arts and cultural institutions to develop a $2 million joint program, funded by The PNC Foundation, called Our Kids and the Arts — A Great Early Start. In addition, our nationally recognized commitment to green business practices has enabled us to lower costs and increase efficiency and productivity while enhancing the communities where we live, work and play.
These accolades are important because they recognize the same thing our customers do — PNC has the people, products and tools to help you succeed in all aspects of your financial life. In this issue of Smart Business, our hope is to also inform and inspire — with insights on achieving balance in work and life from six extraordinarily accomplished Women Who Excel.
Paul Clark is regional president of Northern Ohio for National City, now a part of PNC.