WomenVenture Announces 2022 Women Mean Business Award Winners

Awards will be presented on Saturday, October 15th, 2022.

ST. PAUL, MN – Since 1978, WomenVenture has provided women of all ages, cultures, races, and income levels with the tools and resources to achieve economic success through small business ownership. For the last 27 years, WomenVenture has hosted Women Mean Business, an event to highlight and celebrate the success of our clients, volunteers, and supporters.

Women Mean Business will be held on October 15, 2022, at The InterContinental St. Paul Riverfront and will feature a Marketplace with more than 30 female entrepreneurs selling gifts, clothing, jewelry, and more. This Marketplace is open to the public 3:00 – 6:00 pm. The award ceremony, fundraising bash, and dinner will follow.

Keynote speaker Dara Beevas, Co-founder and CEO of Wise Ink Creative Publishing will share her story of working with WomenVenture and her journey to successful entrepreneurship. Miss Shannan Paul will serve as the night's emcee, sharing stories of support for our guests and leading the evening’s fundraising efforts including a silent auction and the debut of WomenVenture’s Build-A-Scholarship initiative.

This year's award winners celebrate the achievement of two women entrepreneurs in the Twin Cities, recognizing their commitment to community, family, and fellow entrepreneurs:

Social Entrepreneur: Rachel Handren, owner, and director of 360 Dance Center began performing and choreographing dance routines while still in high school, spurring her love of instructing and supporting students. Rachel opened 360 Dance Center in 2020 after witnessing the struggles her young students had trying to find their place in the world. 360 Dance Center is a safe space for dancers of all ages to come together and learn, share, and celebrate each other. Rachel provides nutritional counseling, physical fitness training, and emotional support for all her students, making 360 much more than a dance center.

Expanding Business: Esther Obaigwa, CEO of Kare Healthcare Staffing emigrated to the US from Kenya in 2009 and struggled to find her professional calling. After several years of working as a nursing assistant, the single parent of three saw the need for flexible schedules while providing quality care to her patients. Esther opened Kare Healthcare and currently provides staff to hospitals and clinics across Minnesota using this worker-centered model. In 2022, Esther grew to employ 25 healthcare professionals and will be expanding her business across the US, and beyond.

“The strength and perseverance of our award winners navigating turbulent economic times is incredible,” says LeeAnn Rasachak, WomenVenture CEO. “Thanks to the generous supporters and sponsors of Women Mean Business, WomenVenture is able to provide our clients with training, technical assistance, and capital access to bolster their success as business owners.”

Join us to celebrate these women and support future entrepreneurs.

Media contact: Jess Jellings, Communications Manager | Jjellings@womenventure.org | 612-224-9553