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New Center in Fayetteville Teaches Women the Art of Building a Business

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FAYETTEVILLE — Building a business takes know-how, marketing skills, and money. North Carolina's first business center for women promises to provide all those things to would-be entrepreneurs.

The business center is the first of its kind in the state, and one of only 60 nationwide. A $150,000 federal grant is making it all possible.

"The women's center has been wonderful as a chance to market my crafts," says Beverly Babigan.

The entrepreneur does cross-stitch, jars, and magnets, and she's making her creativity pay off. With help from the Women's Business Center, Babigan now runs her own business.

The business center provides women with opportunities, technology, and capital. Aspiring entrepeneurs also learn the skills necessary to survive in the business world.

"It helped me know as a small business, an individual person how to get out and market my stuff to other organizations," says Heather-Marie Merrill.

Merrill says the center helped her place her work, then make the transition from earning a supplemental income to building her own business.

"We think it's a marvelous opportunity for women in this whole region," says Barbara Baker-Davidson, Director of the Women's Business Center.

The number of women-owned businesses has doubled across the country, but receipts make up only 20 percent of national sales.

The women's business center hopes its marketing, public relations and business classes help close the gap.

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John McDonnell, Reporter
Doug Bricker, Photographer
Julie Moos, Web Editor

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