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SCORE Profiles Successful Women in Business for Women’s History Month
by Bridget Weston
June 14, 2024

In the U.S., women own 13 million businesses that support nearly 9.4 million jobs and generate $1.9 trillion in annual revenues. 

As our nation celebrates Women’s History Month during March, we recognize the achievements and contributions of some women entrepreneurs who are also SCORE clients.

Laura Gmeinder Coaching & Consulting

After 14 years, Laura Gmeinder said goodbye to her corporate job in 2014 to pursue a passion for motivating business leaders with coaching and consulting. Soon, however, she realized she could best help others by leveraging her strengths. Laura worked closely with SCORE mentor Steve Stone to hone her professional speaking presentations and trainings, so she could inspire, engage and educate. Their collaboration resulted in booking 24 speaking engagements in 2017 and doubling YOY revenue for the Fitchburg, WI-based business.

Chamos Language Academy

Venezuelan-born Vanessa Guerrero-Pinate and Lorena Guerrero wanted their children to become fluent in Spanish and develop an appreciation for their heritage. After recognizing that other parents wanted the same for their kids, the women sought guidance from SCORE mentor Rob Duncan, who prepared them to launch Chamos—the name drawn from the affectionate Venezuelan term “little buddy.” Now, their Jacksonville, FL company, which launched in 2017, offers lessons in Spanish language and culture through fun, hands-on activities in daycare centers and elementary schools.

Alliance for Positive Change

In 1990, amidst the U.S. HIV/AIDS epidemic, Sharen Duke launched the nonprofit to improve the lives of people living with and at risk for the disease. The group, formerly known as AIDS Service Center NYC, has since developed a proven approach that supports New Yorkers managing chronic illnesses, addiction, and other challenges. Sharen turned to SCORE in 2010 when her nonprofit felt the weight of the economic downturn. Mentors Munir Saltoun and Alvin Roselin helped create a marketing plan as well as a strategic financial plan that would keep the organization on the path to financial sustainability. Under Sharen’s leadership, Allied for Positive Change’s budget has skyrocketed from $10 million in 2010 to $22 million in 2017.

Vera Bradley 

Barbara Bradley Baekgaard and Patricia Miller transformed $500 and shared love for functional fashion into one of the most widely-recognized names in accessories. The pair, who launched in 1982, worked with SCORE mentor George Cook to fuel growth by using best practices, such as creating a business plan as well as developing bookkeeping and inventory procedures. In 2017, the Ft. Wayne, IN-based company pulled in net revenues totaling nearly $486 million.

Visit our new Women Business Leaders' Resource Center HERE.


Other resources for Women in Business

Whether you’re still in the idea stage or a small business veteran, you have plenty of resources to help you launch, manage, grow or sustain your vision.

Find a wealth of information and first-hand insights on websites like:

The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) women-owned business online hub shares resources like funding opportunities and training as well as information about the Women-Owned Small Businesses (WOSB) Federal Contracting program.

The National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) supports women with resources, education, and advocacy. 

The Association of Women’s Business Centers shares success tools through a range of services, including training, business development, and financing opportunities. The group has member centers across the U.S.

SCORE offers no-cost guidance to all entrepreneurs. From hiring a first employee to managing cash flow, our extensive mentor network delivers the tools, resources, and insights to help you make the most informed decisions for your business. Find your SCORE mentor today.

About the author
Bridget Weston
Bridget Weston
Bridget Weston is the CEO of the SCORE Association, where she provides executive leadership and works directly and collaboratively with the Board of Directors to establish the vision and direction of SCORE.
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Funded, in part, through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, and/or recommendations expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.

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