Local entrepreneur hosts first ever networking event to help inspire other female business owners

Local business owner hosts first networking work shop for female business owners.
Local business owner hosts first networking work shop for female business owners.(WRDW)
Published: Mar. 7, 2022 at 12:04 AM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -A former recipient of business support through the Comcast Rise program hosted a networking event to help women gain business resources.

The goal of both programs is helping female entrepreneurs get started in the business world, and help them overcome challenges female business owners face when starting.

Marquitta Rucker, the Owner of SWAT Foundation, and a former RISE program winner, knows first hand the challenges of starting a business.

“Some of the challenges we ran into were operating from home, funding. Funding is always competitive when you’re a small business first starting out,” said Rucker.

Stacy Roberts, a lecturer of Management and Marketing at Augusta University’s Hull College of Business, said women entrepreneurs do face challenges when it comes to funding, networking, and balancing work and life, but a little help goes a long way.

“We all face the same things such as capital, balance, just trying to get in the mindset and get the resources to start a business,” said Roberts.

Providing those resources is exactly what Rucker aimed to do with the first ever “InfluenceHER” event.

“What we did here today is we gave women the tools they would need to be successful, when owning a business or when opening a business,” said Rucker.

Roberts said when it comes to operating successful businesses, a little support is essential.

“As women we say we can do it all but you do need to say ‘i need help’,” said Roberts.

One way women can get that extra support is through the Comcast RISE program, which provides funding and other resources.

“A lot of times people are launching a business, they’ve got a great idea they just might not know how to market it or they may not have the technology that they need,” said Alex Horwitz, the Vice President of Public Relations for Comcast.

The RISE program was initially started in 2020 as a way to help underrepresented business owners stay afloat during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and shutdowns.

It initially catered to business owners in the BIPOC communities, but now it has been opened to all women business owners.

“We took a good look at who, needed to benefit in addition to the folks that we were already helping and it only made sense to expand the program,” said Horwitz.

Horwitz said expanding this program was essential as female owned businesses were hit hardest by the pandemic.

“As a result women business owners are disproportionately hurt by the stifling effects of the shut down and more likely to close than those run by men,” said Horwitz.

In fact, this program helped Rucker establish her business, the SWAT Foundation led to her hosting the networking and informational event in hopes of helping others.

“They gave me a platform that I didn’t otherwise have to be successful,” said Rucker. “Since someone gave me that platform I wanted to also give other ladies that platform as well.”

Additional information about the program and instructions on how to apply is available on the program’s website.

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