Maui Business

Women in Business Seminar Series Launches March 24 With ‘Opening New Doors of Opportunity’

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Leslie Wilkins, president and CEO of the Maui Economic Development Board, will be a guest speaker at a March 24 “Women in Business” online seminar. PC: MEDB file.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, a new “Women in Business Seminar Series” will kickoff March 24 at 12:30 pm with an online seminar titled: “Getting SBA Certified as a Woman-Owned Small Business: Opening New Doors of Opportunity.”

The series is being presented through a partnership of the Maui Economic Development Board and the YWCA Oʻahu’s Minority Business Development Agency’s Enterprising Women of Color Business Center.

In the introductory seminar, business owners will hear about the benefits of becoming certified as a woman (or minority) owned small business (WOSB/MOSB).

Guest speakers from the presenting agencies, and from the Hawaiʻi Small Business Development Center, will discuss:

  • How certification as a WOSB/MOSB will open doors for your business
  • How to access contracts and grants exclusive to a WOSB/MOSB
  • A quick highlight of the steps in the process

Further workshops will help participants leverage their SBA certification to take advantage of the opportunities with various agencies available to a WOSB/MOSB. 


All presentations are online and registration is free at

Leslie Wilkins, President and CEO of the Maui Economic Development Board (MEDB), said: “These workshops will help business owners understand the benefits of becoming WOSB/MOSB certified. Our MEDB team will also help participants evaluate which projects to pursue, from farm loans to government contracts to research grants, to name a few.”

Gary Albitz, Business Consultant with MEDB, added: “It is not about the journey to get certified but what benefits are available once you get there. The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides the training and the certification, and we want to encourage business owners to take the steps so that they can open doors to new projects.”

MEDB is a nonprofit corporation established in 1982 to focus on diversifying Maui’s economy. MEDB’s mission involves taking innovative actions that strengthen existing industry as well as diversifying through new opportunities.


The MBDA Enterprising Women of Color Business Center at YWCA Oahu is funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority Business Development Agency. It is one of five new business centers established across the nation in September 2020 to help minority women-owned businesses grow through financial and business counseling, workshops and other resources.

“We are excited to work with MEDB and SBDC to expand our reach across the state and promote the significant opportunities that certifications offer to women-owned businesses,” said Shan Wirt, Director of the MBDA Enterprising Women of Color Business Center. “This series is the perfect complement to our focus, which is to help minority women-owned businesses grow through business analysis, market access and access to capital. It is time to level the playing field.”


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