SBA Names Minnesota Women in Business Champion

Release Date: 
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Release Number: 
Advisory Number: 
Sherree Stratton (612) 370-2325

MINNEAPOLIS – Heather Manley, President of On-Demand Services Group, Inc., based in Minneapolis, has been named the Women in Business Champion of the Year for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Minnesota District Office. 

The Women in Business Champion is selected annually to honor individuals who have fulfilled a commitment to the advancement of women’s business ownership.  Jill Johnson, President-emeritus of NAWBO and Johnson Consulting Services, nominated Heather for this award. 

Heather has been a strong and vocal supporter of women business owners in Minnesota. As the current President of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO-MN), Heather Manley has stepped into the pivotal leadership role in this highly regarded local business organization. She has spent countless hours working to re-establish processes for the organization and to recruit new leaders to come forward to serve on the board from the local women business owner community. She has rebuilt the organization and provided it with a stable platform to continue to provide a networking and support venue for Minnesota’s women business owners.

Heather volunteers her time and energies to advance the economic development interests and opportunities for women business owners in our state, not only through her leadership in NAWBO-MN, but also through her involvement with the Women’s Small Business Development Center. Heather has worked closely for many years with the Women’s Business Development Center to support their initiatives. Heather has provided advice on programming ideas and has personally conducted numerous speeches to educate newly certified women business owners on how to effectively approach corporate America and government to obtain their business and generate revenue.

Whether it is in NAWBO-MN or with the Women’s Business Development Center, Heather willingly shares her insight into growing a multi-million dollar enterprise, as well as her expertise in making big corporate sales. She is making a real difference in helping women business owners climb to the next level of success.

In November 2011, Heather was one of 19 graduates of the inaugural class of entrepreneurs chosen by the U.S. Small Business Administration to participate in its Minneapolis Emerging 200 Initiative (e200). Selection for this MBA-style program aimed at identifying inner-city businesses nationwide that show high potential for growth is considered to be extremely prestigious and was highly competitive.

Heather was also selected to participate in the Economic Gardening Pilot that was launched in the Twin Cities in 2013 with support from the Edward Lowe Foundation and Hennepin and Carver Counties. This program is designed to help grow second-stage companies.

Through her active and enthusiastic involvement in each of these economic gardening efforts, Heather has helped to successfully implement the important legislative initiatives that established these programs. As she has participated in these programs, such as the SBA’s own E200 program, Heather has readily provided her insights and ideas to other urban small business owners to support them in their success. She actively shared her experiences in growing a business and participated in many round table meetings to brainstorm and discuss issues affecting the survival and growth of her urban entrepreneurial peers.

Heather is the Founder at Women Executives in Minnesota (WEM) a group for women executives who desire to participate in an organization that is all about the "pay it forward" process of exchanging knowledge, experience and expertise with each other. WEM is for women who have reached Director, Partner, VP, C-Level positions, or similar levels within Public, Private, Government, or Not-for-profit institutions. There are now 220 members of WEM. As the women in WEM continue to enhance their savvy and connections, this in turn increases the value of their service to the organizations they work in.

Heather will be honored at the Minnesota Small Business Week Awards program on May 6, 2014, at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest.

For more information:

Heather Manley
On-Demand Services Group, Inc.
2604 Lyndale Avenue S., Suite 200
Minneapolis, MN 55405