How cities are leading hubs for women entrepreneurs (and why Buffalo is no exception)

According to Forbes and the annual Dell Women Entrepreneur Cities Index (WE Cities), statistics show that cities are on the leading edge of closing the gender gap. And Buffalo is no exception to that trend.


Look no further than Buffalo attorney Rachel Jackson’s Rachel’s Remedies for an example. Jackson. While dealing with inflammation from breastfeeding while running her own law firm, Jackson invented a soothing product which has won her pitch competition prizes and a distribution partnership with Dr. Brown’s.


Or watch Niagara Falls native Ann Hogan, whose Fry Baby Donuts have brought a vegan style sweet treat to Elmwood. Hogan told UpstartNY that part of what drives her is an “obligation to combat this notion of female inadequacy that exists in workplaces, especially in a food service setting.”


“Our staff is mostly women and I'd be lying if I said it doesn't feel good to look around and see that we were able to build a work environment where as women, we are aware of how microaggressions and workplace biases can take a toll and make a job suck,” she says. “It feels good not really worrying about whether or not your coworkers respect your opinions or actually take you seriously.”


Then there are Emily Stewart and Allison Ewing, founders of the cooperative BreadHive. Stewart says the organization's commitment to diversity starts with “ who you're hiring."


"We look at our space as an opportunity for us to share what we are doing," she says.


Don’t forget Ulla Bak, co-founder of Bak USA, which is bringing manufacturing jobs back to Buffalo. Bak tablets are high-tech products built in the U.S.A., by a workforce composed of immigrants and refugees who speak more than 22 languages.The emphasis is on cultivating a healthy workforce,


"We would rather have a good work climate than optimal production," Bak says.


Many more Buffalo examples of women entrepreneurs abound.


Lighthouse Financial Asset Management, LLC is a Buffalo company owned by Kelly O’Neill. She provides consulting services and customized and simplified financial strategies.


Iraqi refugee Nadeen Yousef opened Macrame by Nadeen in the West Side Bazaar on Grant Street. Launching her business with only a single item she has since developed her inventory greatly.


Paula D’Amico is a woman of many talents but most noticeably she is the owner/creator of Blessings by Nature® and the current president of the Holistic Chamber of Commerce-Downtown Buffalo.


Sue and Ciara Morreale are a mother/daughter duo who established Her Story, a boutique shop located on Elmwood Avenue. The shop sells items that encourage inner strength and female empowerment.

The city of Buffalo is home to many women both up-and-coming and well-established in the entrepreneurial world, and we at UpstartNY look forward to telling all of their stories.

Read more articles by Alicia Greco.

Alicia Greco is passionate about writing, music, and her community. She is the founder/editor of internationally recognized music website Sequencer, and has been published locally through buffaBLOG, The Public, The Buffalo News, and more.
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