Hear how one woman is opening the door for hundreds of others
Michelle Richards has been working with women in Michigan and throughout the US since she completed college. Her passion is in helping women start and grow their own businesses. As funding is often the biggest challenge, you will learn in our podcast how she helps women and minorities find the funding they need and rethink their businesses for these fast-changing times. She is truly an in-the-trenches warrior, advocating for level playing fields for those who too often are overlooked, ignored or left behind. I find her story incredibly inspiring and I know you will too.
You can watch my interview with Michelle here:
More about Michelle Richards
A founding board member of the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council, Michelle has served as its Executive Director since its inception in 1984. A Michigan-based nonprofit organization, Great Lakes WBC is committed to empowering women and minorities economically through access to capital assistance programs, business development training, vendor certification and business-to-business networking.
Undeniably, access to microcredit is one of the most important tools needed for economic justice. Under Michelle’s leadership, Great Lakes WBC was one of the first microloan programs in the country. Its small business loan program has distributed over $5.5 million in microloans and created 1800 jobs across nine Michigan counties, and its business training program has trained more than 15,000 women business owners.
In 1998, Michelle became a Regional Partner with the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, enabling Great Lakes WBC to provide women’s business enterprise certification and procurement opportunities to its clients.
As a national and regional advocate for women business owners, Michelle has been honored with numerous awards, including the Athena Award, the Michigan Small Business Administration Women’s Business Advocate of the Year Award, and the National Association of Women’s Business Owners/Greater Detroit's Red Tape Buster Award. In addition, she was recognized as An Influential Woman in Businessand by Business Direct Weekly Magazine. In 2014, she was honored by the American Institute of Diversity and Commerce as a distinguished recipient of a Women's Business Enterprise Hall of Fame Award.
Want to start a business but not sure how? Here are some places to start:
- Blog: How Do You Grow A Business In A Fast-Changing Market?
- Blog: What Will It Take To Be An Entrepreneur By Desire?
- Podcast: All In: How Women Entrepreneurs Can Think Bigger, Build Sustainable Businesses, and Change the World
- Our Ebook Primer for Entrepreneurs
- My award-winning book: "On the Brink: A Fresh Lens to Take Your Business to New Heights"
- Simon Associates Management Consultants website