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What is the Ohio Women’s Coalition?

The Ohio Women’s Coalition is a diverse, non-partisan alliance of women in business, women leaders, women business owners, and men that support the mission across Ohio who are coming together to improve the economic position for all women in our state.  The OWC was created to amplify the voice of women in Ohio and to help draw attention to the unique challenges that women encounter, especially underserved women of color and women who live in underserved areas of the state, to gain access to economic opportunities in order to achieve financial stability and prosperity. 

Why should I join the OWC?

The OWC stands up for women.  As a member of the OWC, you don’t have to go at it alone.  Our collective voice exists to help solve problems and to hold policymakers accountable by acknowledging the impact of gender inequality on the economic performance of women and taking action to help improve it.  

Our goal is to support all women throughout all of Ohio to achieve financial security through entrepreneurship.  Building wealth is integral to women’s economic security, good health, and overall well-being. Wealth enables you to weather unexpected economic hardships and provides you with financial resources that allow you to have proactive control over your life, giving you the chance to pursue educational degrees, business ventures, or other opportunities without accruing significant debt. 

Virtually all of the economic gains experienced by the typical middle-class family since 1970 have been due to increases in women’s earnings. From 1970 to 2013, women’s increased labor force participation and increased earnings grew the U.S. economy by 13.5 percent, which translates into an additional $2 trillion in economic activity. Women, and mothers in particular, make up a significant proportion of the labor force, and their employment and wages are vital to the overall health of the labor market and the U.S. economy. 

Women, especially women of color, continue to face numerous obstacles to wealth accumulation throughout their lifetime and the OWC is here to help eliminate them by supporting entrepreneurship and existing Ohio women owned businesses.


Board of Directors

Jane Cavarozzi

Jane Cavarozzi

OWC Chair

Dirty Girl Coffee Business, Founder

Mary McCarthy, OWC Secretary

Mary McCarthy

OWC Secretary

Co-founder and Executive Director
Women’s Small Business Accelerator
 – YMT Consultants, Inc.

Shaune Skinner

Founder, ASC Group


Lynnise Smith

Executive Director
Women’s Business Enterprise Council
Ohio River Valley

Denise Reading

CEO of LDR Worldwide and CEO of futureplans.com

Linda Thomas

Hocking Hills Inn & Coffee Emporium                 Managing partner, operations manager and Co-Owner 

Jessica Kopelwitz

Business Advisor – OU Small Business Development Center and small business owner


  • Accomplishments 

• Created a statutory definition of “microbusiness” in the Ohio Revised Code (2016)
• Created a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE) program in the State of Ohio (2020)
• Successfully advocated for $10 million in state-backed women-owned business loans at 3% interest rate (2021)
• Successfully advocated for $10 million in state-backed women and minority owned business microloans at 0% interest rate (2021)

-Secured Funding in the pending Ohio Biennial Budget for a statewide Disparity Study. (2023)

-Advocated for an additional $15 million in minority and women-owned business loans pending in the Ohio Biennial Budget bill (2023).

• As of May 2022, $2,297,012 in Women’s Business Enterprise Loans have been approved for 11 companies, and $1,490,511 Ohio Micro-Loans have been approved for 39 companies. Nearly $3 million remains available in both loan programs with an additional $5 million available next fiscal year for each program.
• There are nearly as many WBE’s certified in Ohio as MBE’s, which is a program that was established more than 40 years ago. The OWC is committed to equality and lifting everybody up!
• The State of Ohio is literally making room for Ohio women-owned businesses. Recently, members of the Minority Development Financing Advisory Board voluntarily stepped away in recognition of the lack of women-owned businesses represented. Because of our advocacy, the work of this Board has been mostly focused on women-owned business loans, and they recognized women-owned businesses were not represented equally on the Board.
• For the first time in Ohio history, in 2022, each state agency is being asked to predict how many contracts will be going to women-owned businesses during the next fiscal year.

OWC in the News


“State approves $2.2M in loans for minority-owned businesses” – The Daily Reporter 2/18/2022

“Here’s how Ohio women advocated for business loan fund in the state budget” – Columbus Dispatch 8/13/2021

“Group behind Ohio’s $10 million loan fund for women-owned businesses hopes it will help them thrive” – Ch. 5 Cleveland 9/11/2021

OWC Partner

Event Sponsor

Upcoming Events

Contact Us

Rachel Winder,
OWC Founding Executive Director
[email protected]
614-223-9316 (o), 614-578-9999 (m)
41 S. High Street, Ste. 2600, Columbus, Ohio 43215

Cheryl Burchard,
OWC Founding Associate Director
[email protected]