Workshop for women entrepreneurs held at St. Mary's

SOUTH BEND, Ind.--- Indiana Asset Funders Network held a workshop for women entrepreneurs on Thursday. The purpose of the event was to provide resources and help access funding for women who have or are looking to start their own businesses. 

Thursday's workshop featured panel discussions and group sessions on challenges women face when starting their own businesses.

"I think it’s really important as a community that we embrace the notion that there are systemic changes that need to be made and we stop treating women as though there’s something wrong with them for the kind of challenges that they face," said Willow Wetherall, Director of St. Mary's Women Entrepreneurship Initiative. "Instead of coaching women to be more confident and more persistent and going after capital or getting the support that they need, we need to realize that there are institutional changes that need to be made."

Some of those challenges include access to capital, insufficient social networks, and bias. Despite those road blocks, the Midwest saw substantial growth over the last five years. The region has seen a 21 percent increase in women owned businesses since 2014.

"This region has a phenomenal infrastructure to support entrepreneurship, and we just need more people engaged, because there is real potential for more entrepreneurs to grow and start their business," said Taryn MacFarlane, Program Director of the Indiana Asset Funders Network.

Other participating partners included SoGal, South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership, and Startup South Bend - Elkhart

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