Denise Williams is Minnesota’s 2017 Veteran’s Small Business Champion

Dr. Denise E. Williams, College of Management, Build Your Dream Initiative
Dr. Denise E. Williams, College of Management, Build Your Dream Initiative

Dr. Denise E. Williams has been chosen as Minnesota’s 2017 Veteran’s Small Business Champion by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Dr. Williams is assistant professor and researcher at Metropolitan State University in Entrepreneurship and Organizational Behavior and CEO of the DEW Consulting Group LLC, an educational and human potential development consulting service. She was nominated by the Minnesota Procurement Technical Assistance Center in Minneapolis.

Williams was chosen for her advocacy for veteran’s entrepreneurship, curriculum development and training efforts in Minnesota. She has been instrumental in helping veterans and other underserved communities become successful entrepreneurs through her work with SBA’s Boots to Business Reboot classes, her research partnership with Women Venture and much more.

“Veterans in our state and across the nation are fortunate to have the dedication and expertise of Dr. Williams in their business corner,” explains Nancy Libersky, Minnesota’s SBA district director. “Her commitment to their success is matched only by her expertise in how they can make it happen.”

Additionally, Williams is particularly proud of the “Build Your Dream” conference she created at Metropolitan State in partnership with SCORE Minnesota, which focuses on women veteran entrepreneurship training. Williams organized and facilitated this premiere event targeted to women and service members. It included a panel of five successful women veteran business owners and involvement of at least 10 community partners. Several other trainings have stemmed from this effort including the Build Your Dream veteran training with SCORE.

“It is my privilege and honor to help veterans identify a career path that utilizes their existing talents and creates an opportunity to contribute to their families and the community.”

Williams adds, “This award belongs also to the team of organizations who supported this vision, particularly Metropolitan State University’s college of management and veteran affairs office; SCORE Minnesota, Minnesota PTAC, WomenVenture, Women Business Development Center, NAWBO and many others.”

With extensive corporate experience, Williams delivers engaging and culturally sensitive curriculum to diverse participants and has a special commitment to the underserved. Shared through conferences and publications, her research examines factors influencing the success of entrepreneurship, as well as the relationship between the entrepreneurial mindset and well-being.

Her research focus is on diverse entrepreneurs. To further help people understand and develop the skills needed to succeed in business, Williams has researched the various entrepreneurial mindset models and has become a national certified facilitator of a research tool developed by Eckerd College. The Entrepreneurial Mindset research tool measures fourteen main competencies of the entrepreneurial mindset and had been used in several pilot entrepreneurship training programs.

Williams earned her Doctorate and Masters in Business from Indiana University, Kelley School of Business; a MBA from the Wharton School of Business; and BA in economics from Spelman College; and Ordination from One Spirit Learning Alliance. She serves as a National Association of Women Business Owners Minnesota Board of Directors; Women Business Development Center Regional Advisory Committee; MEDA’s African American Women CEO Brain Trust; and has served as a business competition judge for both University of St. Thomas and Jr. Achievement.

The SBA, along with the SCORE Association and the Small Business Development Center, will honor Williams at the Minnesota Small Business Week Awards Luncheon on May 4, 2017, at the Marriott Minneapolis Northwest in Brooklyn Park, Minn.