Patty L. DeDominic set out to set an example.
She recently became the first individual woman business owner to donate a $1 million challenge grant to a chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners. The money will go to the Los Angeles chapter and its educational non-profit called the Enterprise Institute of NAWBO-LA.
As a successful business owner, DeDominic sees the donation as a way to inspire other donors and women entrepreneurs.
"I expect to see a wonderful ripple effect," she said. "The association is a strong training ground for young women starting out in the business world and a gift like this is actually like investing in them."
DeDominic is the founder and chief executive of PDQ Personnel Services Inc., an employment company started in 1979. Launched with just a few overflow applications from an employment agency, PDQ quickly grew into a major force in the sector.
She has served as the national president for NAWBO, a dues-based national organization representing the interests of all women entrepreneurs across all industries. She has also served as president of the Los Angeles chapter and has led delegations of women business owners to the White House Conference on Small Business and to the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in China.
DeDominic's expects the chapter will match her $1 million in three years, although the chapter has 10 years to match the amount to receive the $1 million. She plans for the money to be used in supporting the next generation of women entrepreneurs by mentoring and supporting them with advice on finance and business.
Author and speaker Chellie Campbell said she owes her professional success to DeDominic, who mentored her several years ago.
"I had just lost my biggest client when I was matched up with Patty in a mentorship program," Campbell said. "She showed me by example how a woman could be powerful and successful in business and go on to help someone else, too."
Campbell said the money donated by DeDominic would be of great assistance to help woman entrepreneurs like her.
Helen Han, executive director of NAWBO-LA said no specific plans had been made for using the money.
"Overall, we are looking at using the money to create resources to enhance and support the future of women in business," Han said.
DeDominic said she would like to see part of the donated money to go into expanding office space for the Los Angeles chapter of the association and providing additional training in business, leadership and ethics.
Other plans: a mentoring program with more emphasis on the advantages of having diverse advisory boards in companies. Women business owners would also get advice on restructuring their finances to generate higher profits.
DeDominic said her company would assist these businesses in any way it could.
She said resilience and strong work ethics are the key in seeing one's business grow from a small to a middle- or large-sized venture. DeDominic also hopes that other companies will start investing more in stronger and more successful women-owned businesses.
"That will create more job opportunities for our daughters and grand daughters, which is what I want to see," she said.
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