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Certification can start the contracts flowing

Connecting certified women business owners and corporations to do business is the main driver behind the Women’s Business Enterprise Council.

And there are plenty of success stories because of it.

Kelli Vaz, vice president of Service Point Consulting, said becoming a certified women business owner through WBEC-West has grown her Las Vegas-based sales management consulting company exponentially.

“Most of our clientele are certified women business owners so when we go to WBEC conferences, we find a lot of our clients there,” Vaz said. “Our existing women business owner clients are also great referrals.”

More than 1,400 members from Nevada, Southern California, Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming and Hawaii make up the regional chapter, WBEC-West.

“We provide a platform for women business owners looking to do business with corporations and put them in the same room,” Vaz said. “There’s a lot of encouragement to do business among ourselves as well.”

Anna Siefert, Nevada community liaison for WBEC-West, said each state operates differently and hosts various events for educational purposes and to recruit potential new members.

To join WBEC-West, you must provide numerous financial reports to prove that you are at least 51 percent owner of your company. Certification can take up to 90 days.

Once you’re certified, Chair Julie Robinson said, huge contracts from corporations can result.

“This certification proves that we’re the real deal, and it’s easier for corporations because they don’t often have time to vet us,” she said.

Certification serves as a ticket for members to get education about how to approach a corporation and use their certification effectively.

WBEC-West in Nevada hosts quarterly events that are designed to benefit its certified women business owners.

“Everything is centered on education,” Siefert said. “We also look to cater to our non-certified entity as well so they know how to find us.”

For 2015, WBEC-West seeks to create value-driven meetings to produce genuine connections and grow its membership.

“A lot of dynamic women-owned businesses don’t know about WBEC-West, and we want to inform and recruit them,” Paz said.

Robinson said that everyone in WBEC-West seeks to propel women’s careers.

For more information on WBEC-West, email Anna Seifert at Anna@wbec-west.org.

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