The planning committee of the annual Women’s Entrepreneurial Conference (WEC) Grant Competition has named the top $5,000 grant award in memory of Wendy J. English, former director of the Brigham City Small Business Development Center. 

Wendy English served as a judge of the WEC annual grant competition for the past few years and was known for her passion for supporting small business owners, especially women. Professionally, Wendy consulted and coached people from all levels of organizations to leverage their personal strengths, establish goals, and develop effective mentor networks. She also worked with countless business owners to help them start and grow their companies and achieve entrepreneurial success. Fittingly, the top grant will be named the “Wendy J. English Grant for Growth”.

“Wendy’s unwavering dedication to providing resources to women business owners was inspiring!” said Karin Palle, WEC planning committee member. “We honor her, carrying on her legacy and hope to inspire others to support women business owners throughout the State of Utah.”

“Wendy English genuinely loved serving others in her position as Brigham City SBDC Center Director. Small business owners benefited from her contagious enthusiasm and expertise,” said Mike Finnerty, state director of the Utah SBDC Network. “Naming the WEC Grant after Wendy personifies her genuine desire to help entrepreneurs. I know she would feel honored to have the WEC Grant named in her memory. This is a fitting tribute to her legacy.”

Women are at a disadvantage when accessing capital for their businesses for many reasons and experience barriers to both debt and equity financing. Most women use their personal savings, reinvest business earnings or use lines of credit. The grant competition, funded through the annual Women’s Entrepreneurial Conference, provides an opportunity for Utah women to learn how to pitch their business with a chance to win funding. The competition is co-presented by the Women’s Business Center of Utah and Utah Women’s Networking Group.

Applications for the fourth annual Women’s Entrepreneurial Conference (WEC) Grant Competition are due January 31, 2020. Twenty-four women business owner applicants will be selected to prepare pitches for several panels of judges. At the conclusion of the conference in mid-April, all selected applicants will receive grant funding totaling $23,000.