New Mexico State University Arrowhead Center's fourth annual WE Mean Business Conference is taking place virtually July 17, and promises a jam-packed day of female-business empowerment shaped by inspirational speakers and panels, along with workshops full of practical tips.

"This is a day for women in our area to connect to women throughout the state and the nation who are facing similar challenges with growing their business," said Kristin Morehead, director of the Arrowhead Innovation Network. "This year's theme is, 'Be the link. Connect with others, connect with resources and connect with yourself.' Whether you're just starting your business or have been growing it for decades, this is a place to find like-minded peers who want to hear your story and share theirs."

This year's keynote speaker is Rachel Olney, founder and CEO of Geosite a Silicon Valley tech startup. Olney was recently recognized on Forbes' 30 under 30 tech founders list. Olney, who grew up in Mesilla, New Mexico, will share insights on founding and growing a tech startup.

Panels include:
• Solopreneurship – Social media influencers, graphic designers, photographers, marketers, consultants, coaches, coders, craftswomen and other one-woman shows share what it takes to succeed.

• Finding Your Funding – Which funding model is right for you? Learn about friends and family raising, crowdfunding, small business loans and venture capital and which path works for different types of business models.

Workshops include:
• Business Breakthrough – A key lesson in business ownership is knowing where your business is in its lifecycle, whether it's just starting to turn a great idea into a viable business, maintaining an edge as an established company or taking a mature business to the next level. This workshop will help you identify what steps to take and mistakes to avoid as you launch or grow your venture.

• Make a Splash – How to build a brand, market and create a culture that customers love.

• Land the Deal – Pitch for profit, raise capital and secure deals.

• Bossy Pants – Establishing effective leadership within your team.

FIX, the Foster Innovation Exchange, is the generous sponsor for this year's conference. The virtual event begins livestreaming at 9:30 a.m. July 17 and ends at 2:30 p.m. with additional resources and activities available online throughout the day. Tickets are $15 and are available at https://arrowheadcenter.nmsu.edu/program/we/. Ticket sponsorships are available upon request.

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