Photo courtesy of NABWO
Melissa Fraser of Strothman & Company Photo courtesy of NABWO

Imagine a glitzy fashion show featuring the world’s classiest designers and the season’s newest looks. Now replace the designer clothes and super models with Kentuckiana’s up-and-coming small businesses and the women who run them, and you get NAWBO’s Parade of Businesses. 

The Parade of Businesses is the National Association of Women Business Owners‘ solution to expensive advertising for new businesses, and it’s a simple way for these new businesses – along with some old ones – to begin networking. Sponsored by Greater Louisville Inc., PNC Bank, Bachman Auto Group, WAVE 3, Harding Shymanski & Company, and the Yum! Brands Foundation, the 4th annual event is open to all business leaders in the region and will take place on October 8 at Kye’s in Southern Indiana.

“The parade is something we started back in 2010 as a fun way to advertise businesses,”  says Ellen Reitmeyer, executive director of the NAWBO Louisville chapter. Right before the parade begins, an expo will be held for participants to distribute information about what their business has to offer.

“This year we have added the business expo to give added exposure for businesses,” said Reitmeyer.

After the business expo, those who are willing to get a little more creative with getting their business out there, will “strut their business” down a runway while dressed in memorable attire to visually represent just what their business has to offer, as an emcee reads a short description of their business to the audience.

“A memorable one from last year is Dana Walker Butz of Walker Flag who dressed up as the Statue of Liberty while the emcee read about the flags that she offers through her company,” recalls Reitmeyer.

Using creative props to represent businesses is also encouraged by Reitmeyer. “Melissa Fraser of Strothman & Company held an adding machine with rolls of tape one year demonstrating what she does as a CPA.”

photo 2Among these new business owners will be a handful of middle and high schoolers from the NAWBO Louisville Foundation’s Young Entrepreneurs Academy, who will be showing off their own skills as business owners, having started their own businesses before graduating high school.

NAWBO’s Parade of Businesses will take place on October 8 beginning at 11 a.m. and ending at 1 p.m.  The event will be held at Kye’s, 500 Missouri Avenue, Jeffersonville, In. Lunch is $25 members/$35 non-members and walk-ins; an Expo booth is $25 members/$35 non-members.

For more information about how you can attend or participate, please visit www.nawbolouisville.org or contact [email protected] And if you’re curious about how you, or your young entrepreneur can get involved in YEA, please visit their website.

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Carly Garcia has been a proud resident of Louisville since moving to the city from Radcliff, Kentucky in 2011 to attend the University of Louisville. She graduated with a Bachelor's degree in English in December of 2013. Formerly Insider Louisville's inaugural intern, Carly now freelances.

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