World Class of ’06 Featured

11:01am EDT February 27, 2006
If you’re looking for a way to gain an edge in your business-building career, I suggest that you take in “This Way Up: Building A World-Class Business,” scheduled for March 28 at the Westin Convention Center. Once again, Smart Business has chosen to be a sponsor of the conference.

A highlight of the event will be keynoter Marie C. Wilson, founder and president of The White House Project, co-creator of Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day and author of “Closing the Leadership Gap: Why Women Can and Must Help Run the World.” Breakout sessions before and after lunch will offer valuable practical advice for owners of businesses small and large, mature or start-up.

Women have made significant strides in recent years in closing the leadership gap. While they still tend to trail men in salary level for similar positions and relatively few hold top management spots at the biggest corporations, women haven’t let that stop them from breaking into the business world, even if they haven’t had complete success in cracking the glass ceiling. The response by women has been to redouble efforts to launch their own enterprises.

As of 2005, there were an estimated 10.1 million majority-owned, privately held, women-owned companies in the United States, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Between 1997 and 2002, the number of women-owned firms increased by an estimated 14 percent nationwide, twice the rate of all firms. Employment at women-owned businesses increased by 30 percent — 1 1/2 times the U.S. rate — and sales grew by 40 percent, the same rate as all firms in the United States.

We at Smart Business encourage that kind of progress to continue, and we think that there are plenty of benefits to be accrued by all who attend the conference. If you are a woman business owner, you’ll find it informative, enlightening and inspiring. And business owners who want to help women in their organizations develop into better leaders will find the conference beneficial, as well.

You can find details on the conference at I hope to see you there.