The foodservice industry experts

This year makes five years that we’ve been a part of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council. Every year, we’re proud to receive our certificate from WBENC, for two reasons.

WBENC Is the Gold Standard

WBENC turns twenty-five years old this year, and has set itself apart as the premier certifying body for women-owned businesses in the United States. Membership means that when we claim to be woman-owned — and Elohi is actually a second-generation woman-owned business! — there’s a disinterested third-party whose requirements we’ve met and who certifies us. Not only have we provided documentation, we’ve also had an on-site visit from a WBENC representative.

Like all WBENC member businesses, Elohi is:

  • more than 51% woman-owned,
  • one or more women must have unrestricted control of the business,
  • she or they must demonstrate management of day-to-day operations,
  • and she or they must show a proportionate investment of capital or expertise.

Membership means that we continue to hold ourselves to a standard of diversity. As Dimitra recently pointed out, three-fifths of our c-suite is female! We are proud to be who we are.

WBENC Advocates for Women Business-Owners and for Women’s Businesses

Founder Stephanie Lind and CEO Dimitra Rizzi at 2022 National Restaurant Association Convention.

Certification just begins what WBENC does. Throughout the year, it also offers programs and events for members, providing education, resources and networking opportunities. In particular, WBENC advocates for women-owned businesses in corporate and government supply chains, and helps connect businesses with procurement professionals in both government and private arenas.

WBENC also provides educational opportunities in executive education, financial resources and education, networking and engagement, scholarships and grants, and even training on developing and delivering effective pitches. There are directed courses for industries as diverse as chemistry, energy, technology and retail. There’s a two-part program offered by Tuck Executive Education at Dartmouth, and a leadership program designed to lead entrepreneurs through the full growth cycle.

And finally, WBENC offers women business owners opportunities to meet and support one another. With advisory councils, ambassador programs, and opportunities for recognition and awards, WBENC gives us a place where women can reach out for help with issues that just aren’t faced by male entrepreneurs. We can find mentors when we need them, and serve as mentors ourselves.

It’s the closest thing we’ve got to an organized good ol’ girls network, and Elohi is proud to be a part.

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