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Congressman Paulsen to highlight women-owned businesses

U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen will visit five women-owned businesses in his 3rd District Wednesday, and hopes to encourage more women to become entrepreneurs.

In announcing the tour, Paulsen noted that a recent study showed Minnesota has about 138,000 women-owned businesses, with $19.6 billion in annual sales, but that the state ranks 44th out of the 50 states in growth of those businesses.

“Minnesota is a great state teeming with endless possibilities, however we need to be doing more to encourage women to take the leap into entrepreneurship,” Paulsen said in a statement. “My hope is that this week’s tour will help inspire women to realize their dream of running their own businesses. After all, small businesses are going to be the growth engine that drives the economic recovery.”

His Wednesday schedule:

  • 9:15 a.m. — Lily Pad Daycare, 7009 Everet Lane N., Maple Grove. Lily Pad Daycare is owned and operated by Stephanie Olesky and her daughter Kaliegh Boe.
  • 10:15 a.m. — ATEK Medical, 12925 16th Ave. N., Plymouth. ATEK Medical is co-owned by CEO Christy Bieber Orris, the third generation of Biebers to work at this family company, and Kay Phillips, who joined the company as president in 2002.
  • 11:15 a.m. — C.E.L. Public Relations, 15600 36th Ave. N., Suite 120, Plymouth. Cindy Leines started C.E.L. Public Relations in her basement in 1988 after noticing how nonprofits and service professionals sometimes struggle to market their services.
  • 12:30 p.m. — Peg’s Countryside Café, 842 Hwy. 55, Hamel. Peggy Rasmussen started Peg’s Countryside Café in 1975 after purchasing the former Frenchie’s Diner.
  • 1:30 p.m. — Smarty Pants Kids, 966 Prairie Center Drive, Eden Prairie. Smarty Pants Kids has a retail store in Eden Prairie and also offers online. It was founded by Makya Vandiver-Hawkins, certified early childhood educator.

Comments (1)

  1. Submitted by James Hamilton on 10/18/2011 - 05:46 pm.

    Good to see Rep. Paulsen supporting growth in traditional women’s business fields such as daycare, cafes and children’s clothing. No offense intended to the owners of these businesses, but I’m sure he could have found thousands of non-traditional women-owned businesses to visit.

    He might also have focused on Minnesota businesses. ATEK Medical is a Michigan-based company according to its website,

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