Published April 05, 2023
SCORE Bucks County’s recent Women Building Businesses conference drew women entrepreneurs from as far away as Washington D.C., and as close as Bucks County and Philadelphia. In all, 200 women attended what had been an annual event until the pandemic. The fourth edition returned in 2023 following a three-year hiatus.
SCORE Bucks County Chairwoman Linda Zangrilli, who helped organize the event, said attendees provided overwhelmingly positive feedback following the daylong conference. Held at Parx Casino, the event featured a keynote address from NBC10 anchor Tracy Davidson, as well as informative sessions from several successful women entrepreneurs, plenty of networking among attendees and tables from seven event exhibitors.
“Our goal for this conference was to provide practical, usable information to our women entrepreneurs and I think all of the speakers delivered what we asked for,” Zangrilli said.
Davidson kicked off the day with an inspirational talk about her rise to fame amid challenges in her upbringing.
“She was so warm, so welcoming,” Zangrilli said. “Everybody really liked her message. She also engaged with the audience on a personal level during the networking breaks.”
In choosing the speakers, Zangrilli strived to select women whose expertise would resonate with attendees and provide valuable insight that could be immediately implemented. The topics were derived from subjects that SCORE mentors hear day after day from clients.
“We tried to deliver what they need in their businesses,” Zangrilli said. “You don’t just need inspiration, you need information.”
Social media is one of the top issues for many SCORE clients, so Zangrilli enlisted social media consultant Jennifer Gardella, who discussed how to target your ideal customer via social media channels.
Employment attorney Christina Reger offered a talk on HR tips for small business, focusing on up-to-date information on employee issues, as well as how laws are changing in the field.
Melinda Emerson, the SmallBiz Lady and author of several books including “Fix Your Business,” outlined the 12 P’s of running a successful small business. The short “snippets” helped break up the message into smaller pieces and made for an “entertaining” discussion, Zangrilli said.
Lynne Williams, an expert on LinkedIn offered guidance on personal branding on LinkedIn.
Sonya Pappas shared the importance of knowing your numbers in terms of women business owners properly valuing their products and services.
“Most of our clients have trouble in this area,” Zangrilli said. “They don’t take the time to analyze the costs associated with running their businesses and often, don’t know if they are profitable. Consultants or service providers, women especially, have a hard time valuing their services.
Colleen LaCoss, Women’s Business Enterprise Center East, director of certification and business development, discussed how to get your woman-owned business certified and what certification means.
At the beginning of the event, Zangrilli took time to acknowledge Ron Davis of Parx Casino for his support of SCORE’s women’s events. Davis sang during the brief interaction and the audience loved it. The introduction set the tone for the day.
“We gave the participants a lot of detailed information, but the speakers delivered it with humor as well,” she said.
Zangrilli has now set her sights on the chapter’s fifth Women Building Businesses event in 2024.
To learn more
Recordings of all the Women Building Businesses sessions are available here: https://www.score.org/buckscounty/4th-annual-women-building-businesses-conference.
Since 1964, SCORE has helped more than 11 million aspiring entrepreneurs. Each year, SCORE provides small business mentoring and workshops to more than 375,000 new and growing small businesses. With more than 70 members across Bucks and Eastern Montgomery counties, SCORE Bucks County provides over 4,300 free mentoring services annually to local small business owners through one-on-one counseling and small business seminars. To stay up to date on news and happenings, join SCORE Bucks County’s email list. Text SCOREBUCKS to 22828.