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PNC Bank helps to inspire women, minority business owners

Stacy M. Brown | 10/16/2015, 6 a.m.
Like good neighbors and responsible community partners, PNC Bank endeavors to support businesses that lack some of the resources of ...
On Tuesday, October 6, 2015, PNC sponsored the “Mind Your Business: Ladies Who Launch,” seminar and workshop at Morgan State University designed to provide valuable information and networking opportunities for young— mostly African-American— women entrepreneurs. Conference participants were also provided information about structuring a business, obtaining an MBE or WBE certification with the City of Baltimore and how to create profitable, mission-driven programs. (Photo: Tyrone R. Eaton)

Like good neighbors and responsible community partners, PNC Bank endeavors to support businesses that lack some of the resources of powerful corporate entrepreneurs.

The bank has regularly spearheaded or jumped aboard projects and events geared toward women small business owners.

Specifically, PNC has targeted programs that help Baltimore women realize their potential of becoming financially successful business owners.

“PNC is invested in the success of the local communities we serve and we are committed to supporting those with low to moderate income in small businesses while providing technical support so that small businesses can grow,” said Séson Taylor-Campbell, a development advisor for PNC Community Development Banking.

On Tuesday, October 6, 2015, PNC sponsored “Mind Your Business: Ladies Who Launch,” a seminar and workshop at Morgan State University designed to provide valuable information and networking opportunities for young— mostly African-American— women entrepreneurs.

The event included details on how to write a business plan; how to effectively communicate and how to create a marketing and social media plan. It also walked participants through various social, racial and gender challenges that are still prevalent in business.

Participants were also provided information on structuring a business, obtaining an MBE or WBE certification with the city of Baltimore and how to create profitable, mission-driven programs.

PNC experts also walked new and aspiring entrepreneurs through the process of obtaining business from the government and large institutions.

“It’s important that the small business owner develop a relationship with the bank,” Taylor-Campbell said. “Often mom and pop businesses, sole proprietors and small business owners don’t have the time or the resources to take a moment to go to the bank.”

Laura Gamble, PNC’s regional president for Greater Maryland said, building a new business takes a special determination and a unique vision.

“PNC has a real focus on working with women business owners,” said Gamble, who noted that the bank readily provides resources to help support the success of women business owners.

“Being a business owner can be really lonely.” she said. “It’s so helpful to get together [having this seminar] because women business owners are among the fastest growing group of businesses owners and, from PNC’s perspective, we look at what we can do to help further grow these businesses.”

PNC has partnered for more than two years to stage the “Mind Your Business” seminar with Baltimore’s What Weekly and the nonprofit Women’s Exchange.

Next year, the Women’s Exchange plans to offer expanded workshops and seminars throughout the city for women who have a passion for business.

PNC Bank officials say they too, will continue to support women entrepreneurs.

“We are looking at what we can do to help. We have women in business advocates at PNC and we are always looking at ways in which we can offer support,” Gamble said.

The seminar kicked-off with a talk by Maryland State Senator Catherine Pugh,

a successful businesswoman who is also president and CEO of C.E. Pugh & Company, a public relations consultant firm.

“My parents promised all seven of us— my siblings— a high school diploma because to them that was success,” Pugh said. “But a cousin of mine saw the potential in me and told me that what he wanted me to do was [to] control my own destiny, and so I earned my way through college.”

Pugh noted that she worked two full-time jobs— an 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift in a nursing home and an 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. shift as a secretary— before earning an MBA from Morgan State University.

In the mid-1970s, Pugh founded Baltimore’s first African-American business newspaper, The African American News, where she served as managing editor for seven years. Later, she served as the dean and director for Strayer Business College in Baltimore which has since become one of the most respected adult-focused universities in the country.

“The importance of events like this is that you have to take advantage of situations,” Pugh said. “Pass information on and understand what’s available to you.”