October 25, 2015

Jacqueline Lara

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              

Rockville, MD, October, 25, 2015 –On November, 5, 2015, Maryland Women’s Business Center (MWBC) will kick off the first of three fifth anniversary events with a breakfast celebration at the Best Western Plus Rockville Hotel and Suites. Registration is $25, and includes a breakfast buffet, invaluable networking, and a special goodie bag. Throughout the year, the celebrations will spotlight client successes, StartRight! winners, special programs, new initiatives, and culminate with an awards luncheon in October 2016.

Over the years, MWBC has helped nearly 5,000 women entrepreneurs start, sustain and grow women-owned enterprises. In 2014, MWBC expanded their reach into Prince George’s County and Frederick County with satellite offices, and November will mark the first anniversary for both locations.

“As MWBC looks toward celebrating this momentous achievement of being of service to women entrepreneurs for five years, we would like to use this opportunity to thank all of our supporters and acknowledge the successes of our clients,” said Kiesha Haughton Smoots, Managing Director of Maryland Women’s Business Center. Sponsors for the November 5 event include Best Western Plus Rockville Hotel and Suites, Allegra, and “Women’s Business Report” as seen on News Channel 8.

Carol Ibe, Founder of JR Biotek, LLC and StartRight! 2015 third place winner received services in MWBC’s Prince George’s County location, and stated this about her experience, “The StartRight! 2015 Women’s Business Plan Competition gave me the opportunity to improve my business plan, and create an elevator pitch for the first time. The entire process will help prepare me for future opportunities to successfully launch my business venture.” In November, Ibe will pitch her business to a panel of judges for NACUE’s Varsity Pitch Competition in London.

MWBC’s milestone comes at an interesting time when the region has been praised as one of the best cities for women entrepreneurs to live and work, yet deep cuts have been made to small business funding. In response, MWBC is launching a fundraising campaign to raise $100,000 from individuals and businesses by October 2016 to continue providing a variety of business support resources, and roll out new initiatives that meet the growing needs of their clients.

“We know that women entrepreneurs are playing a vital role in the growth of our economy, and we want to be sure they realize we are a resource they should tap into,” added Kiesha Haughton Smoots, Managing Director of the Maryland Women’s Business Center.

The public can get involved in MWBC’s fifth anniversary celebrations by attending an event , following the fifth anniversary hashtag #MWBC5, and making a donation online at

About Maryland Women’s Business Center

Maryland Women’s Business Center (MWBC) was established in 2010 as a program of the non-profit Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI) to help people throughout the region start and build successful women-owned enterprises that are positioned for long-term growth. MWBC conducts specialized training, offers individual business counseling, and provides unique resources.  Our special initiatives include a Childcare Business Development Program and StartRight! Women’s Business Plan Competition.

About Rockville Economic Development, Inc.

Rockville Economic Development, Inc. (REDI) is a public-private partnership formed in 1997 by the City of Rockville, Maryland to strengthen and broaden the city’s economic base through business entrepreneurship, expansion, retention, and recruitment programs.

REDI offers guidance and support to help businesses at all stages of growth launch, locate and expand in Rockville. For more information, contact 301-315-8096 or visit