EWDD General Manager Jan Perry, left, poses with handbag designer Lavena and one of her products, a red leather handbag. The South LA BSC gave her a grant to buy a sewing machine for her business.
EWDD General Manager Jan Perry delivered the keynote address Wednesday May 1, 2018 at “Build Your Business,” a one-day event held by the Foundation of the Women Presidents’ Organization (FWPO) for women entrepreneurs to teach them how to scale up their businesses to generate $1 million in revenue.

Approximately 80 women registered for the event, including CEOs and company presidents representing many industry segments. Jan gave a speech highlighting EWDD’s BusinessSource, WorkSource and YouthSource Centers and how the department’s services are dedicated to helping all entrepreneurs launch, grow and maintain their businesses.

“In life you must follow your passion,” Jan said. “Don’t be deterred from your life goals. When you succeed, it won’t feel like work. It will feel like a natural extension of who you are.”

In the audience was handbag designer Lavena, who has taken business classes and received assistance at both the South Los Angeles and Hollywood BusinessSource Centers. In fact, the South LA BusinessSource, run by EWDD partner Vermont Slauson Economic Development Corporation (VSEDC), helped Lavena obtain a grant to purchase a pricey sewing machine, critical for a business that specializes in leather goods.

EWDD’s BusinessSource Centers have been a huge help to her small business. “It’s really been instrumental helping with my business because it’s hard when you’re a unit of one,” she said.

This story is part of the EWDD UPDATES from the week of 4/30/2018. Read this issue and more.