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WISE Symposium gathers big crowd in Syracuse

Eighth annual WISE women entrepreneur conference sponsored by SU's Whitman School was held at the OnCenter.

The WISE Symposium is much like a classic woman. It is attractive, dedicated, sensual, smart and nurturing. Women taking center stage for a full day of thinking about business is not exactly a norm; that's why this conference is so successful. It's a day to put work and family aside and focus on your thinking, while celebrating women's success stories.

WISE stands for Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship, and that they did on April 8 during the annual symposium at the OnCenter in downtown Syracuse.

Perhaps one of the most constant themes of the day was that there are always going to be difficult times for a woman in business. Days when you think you can't take any more or do anymore. The message was "These days will pass."

All the presenters agreed that it doesn't really get any easier as new challenges will always be presented.

After reporting a number of positive statistics on women owned businesses, Syracuse University Chancellor Nancy Cantor told the audience in her welcoming remarks, "So at that moment in the middle of the night when you wonder remember the statistics."

Passionate work pays off

Another message from the WISE conference is that it is okay to turn your passion into business. It is okay to use your woman's intuition in that business. As since 1992 the numbers are demonstrating that women owned businesses are growing at twice the rate of their male counterparts.

Cantor also spoke about Central New York women and their history of leadership in the world. Starting with the women of the Onondaga Tribe, then the women in Seneca Falls envisioning a Women's Bill of Rights. She recounted that when the women's rights bill came before congress there was one swing vote left. It was a congressman from Tennessee, whose mother called him and said, "Do the right thing."

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