Happy New Year

Happy New Year

Thank you for supporting women business enterprises. We look forward to partnering with you in 2012 to promote your company, build relationships and do more business.   To kick off the new year treat yourself, or a WBE you know, to a week to work on business. Plan to participate in our Trade Mission with Canada, February 29th – March 1st, in San Jose – matchmaking, sponsorships & EXPO opportunities are available.


2011 Astra Done Deal Award Winners

The Astra Done Deals™ program strives to highlight the companies who have supplier diversity initiatives to redirect a portion of their corporate spend each year to qualified women and minority companies. The firms who receive the Done Deals™ award have provided at least 3 contracts during a year to Astra women business owners. In 2011, Astra recognizes, Microsoft, AT&T, Amgen, Brocade, and Robert Half International their Done Deals™

“Women-owned businesses serve as one of the major engines of our country for economic growth and job creation. In the Astra region alone, women contribute over $5 Billion dollars to our economy and employ more than 19,000 employees who then support their local communities with their employee spend for consumer goods and services” says Astra co-founder and President/CEO, Diane McClelland.

Additionally, Astra women business owners were recognized for their efforts to outsource to other women business owners and build strategic alliances among other women for capacity-building.  In 2011, Suchi Gupta, Pure Design Solutions received the Astra WBE Done Deals™ Award and Karen Hebert Gordon, The Oya Group and Laura Bergerson, The Bergerson Group received the inaugural Astra Strategic Alliance award.

Have you completed a Done Deal? Report it today!

Astra’s WBENC Star for 2012 is Hannah Kain CEO Alom Technologies

Hannah Kain, CEO Alom TechnologiesEvery year WBENC honors its shining stars from each of its 14 regional partner organizations. This year Hannah Kain, CEO of Alom Technologies will be representing Astra. Visit WBENC’s Summit & Salute Microsite to learn more about the event honoring these outstanding women. Registration is open. See you in Baltimore March 21-22, 2012. (Check out Hannah’s Success Story.)

Trade Mission with Canada

Astra Women’s Business Alliance (WBENC Regional Partner Organization) and WEConnect Canada are joining efforts to hold a Trade Mission in San Jose, CA, February 29- March 1,2012. The purpose of the Trade Mission is foster relationships across borders and promote women owned businesses to each other and to major corporations. Working together to foster relationships across borders is one of Astra Women’s Business Alliance’s key objectives. This premier event lays the foundation for creating mutually beneficial relationships in 2012 and beyond. Women business owners seeking new business opportunities should plan to attend. The Trade Mission kicks off with a reception on February 29th and continues the next day with workshops, luncheon & an EXPO of women owned businesses. Also on Mar 1st qualified women owned businesses will have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with corporate contacts who can advocate for their products & services within their organizations. Applications to participate in the Matchmaker event are due by February 15th. Early bird discounts are available for tickets purchased before February 1st. Register now.

Astra Opens Northern California Office

Astra Women’s Business Alliance (Astra) Opens Northern California Office

Astra opens its satellite office in Northern California this month. Kicking off on December 13th in Pleasant Hill, Astra Co-Founders, Diane McClelland and Suzanne Lackman will be hosting open houses in Sacramento, San Franciso and San Jose throughout the week. These open houses will lay the foundation for a year of opportunities for scheduling meetings in-person for WBEs, Corporate & Agency Members and partner organizations. The new flexible office in Northern California will help Astra support the growing delegation of women business owners in the region. The Astra team will be open for business each month on a rotating basis using the space for networking, education, & certification meetings.

“Face-to-face meetings are key in building relationships that lead to business growth,” says Diane McClelland, President of Astra, “Astra is a catalyst that consistently provides opportunities that open doors. Our Northern California office is essential to fostering a networking platform designed to help build connections for our women business owners.”

Astra is an Affiliate of the Kauffman Foundation’s FastTrac Programs

Your business has reached a critical juncture in its life. You had the idea. You successfully launched. You’ve looked at where you are & now it’s time for growth. But how?

Astra Women’s Business Alliance (Astra) is an affiliate of the Kauffman Foundation FastTrac Programs. Since 2009, Astra has been providing its entrepreneurs with continuing education developed by the Kauffman Foundation.  Astra is pleased to regularly provide entrepreneurs in its region:

  • Listening to your Business – 4- hour workshop with exercises that help you identify where your business is in its life cycle; where you want it to be; and  what you need to do to get there.  + 3 step action plan to achieve this.
  • GrowthVenture– 5-day comprehensive program complete with coaches and subject matter experts geared to help you implement your new tools once you leave the classroom. Set up as a “Bootcamp” this is a great opportunity to further your business network & partnerships by working with other business owners in a non-threatening environment.