C-Suite Ana Parra, Program Director, CommunityWorks Women’s Business Center | GSA Business

C-Suite Ana Parra, Program Director, CommunityWorks Women’s Business Center | GSA Business

September 21st – October 4th | GSA Business Report

The best advice I’ve ever received?

From a college advisor to a Latino student group I belonged to at the University of South Carolina. She was encouraging me to take a leadership position within the group and told me that each person lives up to the potential you set for them. She was telling me to never shortchange myself and my talents, and to lead by encouraging others to reach their full potential as well.

What’s the best advice you could give?

What I tell my 5-year-old every day: Be kind but also be brave because kindness sometimes requires being the lone voice speaking up for others or having an unpopular opinion. Being kind is not always an easy choice, but it is the only choice.

 What was your first job?

A high reporter for the Greenville News where I wrote about the latest at Travelers Rest High School. It must have been a great job because I went on to study journalism.

What does your organization do?

The CommunityWorks Women’s Business Center is a part of a national network designed to help women start and grow small businesses. The center is part of the CommunityWorks family, and empowers women entrepreneurs, through advocacy, outreach, networking, coaching and education.

What is your role?

I manage the Women’s Business Center, a Small Business Administration funded program, and make sure we are providing services and resources to women in 15 Upstate counties that create confidence and expand their capacity as business owners. With the number of women-owned businesses continuing to grow nationwide, and in our state, it is important that we provide the support not often provided to women, especially women of color.

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