Organization Empowers Women in Business

Amy Varland , Senior Editor

The South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity is an organization designed to help start, strengthen, and expand woman owned and operated businesses across the state.

The SD CEO held its annual “Women in Leadership” series. Participants took part in a four month long session and learned about topics like team building, emotional intelligence, and communicating. The sessions were held at the University Center in Rapid City.

SD CEO Director Helen Merriman said as a part of the Leadership Series’ programming, participants also learned how to embrace modern technology and use social media as a tool to reach desired audiences and potential customers.

To accomplish this, participants wrote sixty-second scripts, had them edited by professionals, and developed those scripts into YouTube videos of themselves promoting their business endeavors or causes they are passionate about.

Although some of the women were apprehensive about getting in front of the camera, filming the YouTube videos helped them develop both their leadership and their communication skills, said Merriman.

The individual videos were compiled into one and were shown at the SD CEO’s annual business conference in Deadwood in late October.

The SD CEO office is located on the Black Hills State University campus but assists women across South Dakota.

Merriman said the Spearfish office is the only one of its kind in the state and one of only 110 nationwide.