Exec elected board chair of national women’s nonprofit


Bonnie Nawara. Courtesy GROW

A local executive has been elected the board chair of a national women’s nonprofit.

Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women, or GROW, said yesterday that CEO Bonnie Nawara has been tapped to lead the board of directors of the Association of Women’s Business Centers, or AWBC.

Nawara will ensure AWBC continues to grow and strengthen as an organization, so all women business centers have the resources and guidance to assist female entrepreneurs in starting, financing and sustaining small businesses.

“I was an in-the-trenches business owner,” Nawara said. “I was always thinking on my feet and learning as I grew and at times, making critical decisions based on very few facts. I learned a lot from my experience and understand how crucial it is for business owners to understand that they are not alone in making tough decisions.

“I brought this experience to GROW as its CEO for the past seven years and am happy to be able to share it at a national level now with AWBC.”

Since AWBC was founded in 1998, more than 108 women’s business centers have been established.

The centers provide resources to more than 140,000 women entrepreneurs across the nation each year.

“By addressing the needs of female entrepreneurs at a national level, we can create best practices, tools and resources to be shared throughout our network of member centers,” Nawara said.

GROW is one of the three women’s business centers in Michigan.

The nonprofit serves West Michigan by offering professional advice and comprehensive services that support business assessment, planning, training and education. It also facilitates small business lending and micro-loans to women-owned startups throughout West Michigan.

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