Canisius Women’s Business Center expands to Niagara region

Bringing programs of the Women’s Business Center at Canisius College to the Niagara region has been a personal and professional goal for the executive director, Sara Vescio.

Her Niagara ties are strong. Vescio’s parents grew up in Niagara Falls and met at Niagara University. Her grandfather founded Parmed. Sara is also a graduate of NU and worked there for five years before eventually being selected to run the Women’s Business Center at Canisius. But, through the years, she’s heard a lot of comments about what has gone wrong in the Niagara Region.

“I’ve heard people say through the years about Niagara Falls, ‘isn’t it a shame,’ and ‘I remember this’ or ‘I remember that,'” she said. “Once I started here at the Women’s Business Center and found so much support and synergystic relationships with other entities working to develop small businesses in our area— and having great success in doing so — I wanted to help bring those connections and what I’ve been able to do, to Niagara County and help small businesses succeed there as well.”

And after several unsuccessful attempts over the years to bring programs from the center to Niagara County, she believes the timing is right to expand her organization’s programs in the region.

On Wednesday, a series of programs will begin, designed to help women entreprenuers grow their dreams.

The program, called the E-Network Niagara, is specifically for women small business owners and entrepreneurs.

Yahoo has contributed scholarship funds to all participants which will cover 50 percent of each woman’s program fee. In addition, Vescio said that the Great Lockport Development Corp. is fully sponsoring 10 women from the City of Lockport.

The group is targeting a goal of bringing together 10 women entrepreneurs from each of the following locations: Lewiston, Lockport, Niagara Falls and North Tonawanda.

Niagara County resident and entrepreneur, Lisa Churakos will be the E Network Niagara facilitator and group mentor.

The focus of the program is on building members’ businesses by helping them to cultivate relationships with other small businesses and pooling the resources the area has to offer.

Members will set goals, learn and practice the skills of effective networking, discuss issues, refine their branding messages and exchange business leads.

E- Network Niagara will be held in two sessions, from 8 to 9:30 a.m. and from 3:30 to 5 p.m. on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, starting Wednesday and running through July 25.

Interested participants can register via the Women’s Business Center’s website at

By Michele DeLuca: Mar 10, 2018 – Lockport Union-Sun Journal

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