MONTROSE – When Sue Hansen and Terri Leben decided to form the Women’s Business Alliance of Colorado, it was because so many women in business had asked for it.
Leben said there are no groups for women in business in this area; the closest is the Mesa County Women’s Network in Grand Junction.
Leben said she would like to see the new alliance include women from all over this area – from Crawford to Ouray to Telluride.
Hansen, a well-known motivational speaker and business consultant, and Leben, a former director of the Montrose Chamber of Commerce who worked for years as a bank executive, will pool their own resources and bring in outside experts to offer their collective expertise.
To kick off the new organization, the women will host an introductory meeting on Feb. 24 at the Holiday Inn Express in Montrose. This first meeting will focus on using creativity to get through a tough economy.
“Never before have we tackled an economy as we have today,” says a flier advertising the event. “We need to embrace new and innovative ideas if we are to enjoy the success we want in 2011.”
The cost of the event is $50, which includes a dinner buffet and dessert hosted by Ginger Magnolia. Registration begins at 5 p.m., along with a cash bar and networking, and the program starts at 6 p.m. To make advance reservations, call Leben at 970/901-6761, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or log onto the alliance website at www.wbacolorado.com.
The cost of joining the alliance is $300 per year, Leben said, and brings many benefits, including dinner meetings, monthly educational events, educational luncheon meetings, a future women’s business directory, free advertising on the website, and more.
“Part of the cost of membership is to bring in educators,” Leben said. “We have one gal that’s going to come from back East who’s a sales guru to teach people how to sell in this different world and environment.”
Women face different challenges in business from men, Leben said, because they often also have to care for either children or parents and usually carry most of the burden of household responsibilities, from doing the dishes to managing the family budget, in addition to running their own businesses.
Leben said she hopes that the WBA can help women with all they have to do and still manage their businesses in a dynamic and productive way.
Leben said she had started a women’s group when she was heading up the chamber, but it seems to have fallen by the wayside.
“Since I left the chamber, there’s been no women’s groups, and a lot of women are asking for it,” she said. “But we are not competing with the chamber.”
Women also tend to ask for advice more than men – 69 percent versus 47 percent – which makes a women’s alliance that much more valuable, Leben said.
“It’s not primarily a networking organization, but that will be a byproduct,” she said.