OSWEGO, NY – The winner of the Women in Business Champion Award is well-known in Oswego County.
Not only did Mary Vanouse, director of Oswego’s Community Development Office, top all nominees in the 34-county Syracuse District, she was also the winner at the Region II level, which included competing against finalists from all of New York State, New Jersey and Puerto Rico, according to Cathy Pokines, director of marketing and communications for the Small Business Administration office in Syracuse.
Vanouse has long been an advocate for women in business, helping to establish the long-standing Womenâ€™s Network for Entrepreneurial Training in Oswego County.
In 1995, while assistant director of community development for the city of Oswego, Vanouse established a micro-enterprise program that has helped many women fulfill their dreams and start a small business.
She continues to provide counseling, support, and technical assistance for micro-enterprise graduates and existing businesses.
In order to qualify for this award, the individual must have a commitment to support the advancement of womenâ€™s business ownership.
Vanouse was judged on her actions to help small business, efforts to increase business and financial opportunities for women, financial and managerial assistance provided to enhance womenâ€™s business ownership, voluntary efforts to strengthen the role of women business owners within the community as a whole, and other accomplishments demonstrating effectiveness in improving the environment for the creation and expansion of businesses owned and operated by women.