For Immediate Release: Heather Aal Selected as Program Manager for New Women's Business Center
Fargo — Center for Technology & Business (CTB), based in Bismarck, N.D., recently opened a second Women’s Business Center (WBC) location in Fargo, N.D., and announced Heather Aal as the Center’s new program manager.
Aal, a Fargo native and proud North Dakota State University alum, is a seasoned communications professional with a passion for non-profits and the communities they serve. Through outreach, fundraising, and marketing for organizations such as CHARISM, ShareHouse, Boys & Girls Club of the Red River Valley and Better Business Bureau, she has dedicated her career to pulling mission, message and stakeholders together for a better community. Aal enjoys volunteering with organizations such as Great Plains Food Bank and Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce. She is also currently pursuing a Master's Degree in Nonprofit Leadership and Management.
Deidre Hillman, North Dakota WBC director, welcomed Aal and said confidently, “We are thrilled to have Heather on board to represent the WBC in eastern North Dakota. Her passion for her local community along with her experience working with business owners from many sectors makes her an excellent fit for this position. I have no doubt she will exceed expectations when developing and delivering our programs to the women who seek our services.”
During the 2017 fiscal year, the Women’s Business Center program counseled and trained nearly 150,000 entrepreneurs nationwide. According to the SBA’s Office of Advocacy, there are 9.9 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. They employ more than eight million workers, provide more than $264 billion in wages and salaries to employees, and contribute $1.4 trillion in sales to a national economy.
North Dakota continues to be a leader in this movement by cultivating a positive, growth environment for women entrepreneurs and business owners. In fact, the ND WBC’s impact was recognized nationally by the SBA when the center received the 2016 Women’s Business Center of Excellence Award in the category of SBA Resource Partners. More recently, North Dakota ranked first in economic vitality for women-owned businesses in the 2017 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, commissioned by American Express.
Each year, the ND WBC trains approximately 2700 individuals and counsels an average of 80 entrepreneurs in business development and growth strategies. “With Heather at our second location, those numbers are expected to grow exponentially,” Hillman said.
Center for Technology & Business operates the North Dakota Women’s Business Center, which is part of a national network of more than 100 centers that offer one-on-one business counseling, training, networking, workshops, technical assistance and mentoring to women entrepreneurs on many business development topics, including business startup, financial management, marketing and procurement. Specific ND WBC programming opportunities include, the Women’s Leadership Program, the Women’s Business Summit and the North Dakota Leading Ladies Luncheons.