In addition to growing economic success, women-owned businesses contribute greatly to the community: more than 60 percent of women businesses owners identified in the Main Street survey were actively involved in the community, whether serving on a committee, as an elected official, or in a dedicated volunteer capacity. Given this community involvement, it makes sense that women-owned businesses tend to be successful at crowdfunding efforts: 70 percent of Kickstarter projects launched by women were funded, compared to 61 percent of male projects. The Kiva Zip program, new to Wisconsin in 2016, matches entrepreneurs with community funders to provide zero-percent loans of up to $5,000 for growing businesses. Businesses using this program have benefitted not only from an additional source of capital, but also from the outpouring of goodwill and support from individual lenders that come forward to support their concept. Learn more at:

Today’s featured downtown business-woman Nancy Boebel, who operates not one but two downtown businesses in Lake Mills. Together with her daughter Erin, she offers full service marketing, graphic design and printing services through her Cream City Marketing shop, and also operates the Wallflower Market retail boutique, which caters to the DIY and arts and crafts movements with unique and handmade gift items.Nancy Boebel

How long has your business been open? I started Cream City Marketing (CCM) 17 years ago. The first four years it was home-based, until we opened opening downtown nine years ago. Last year I opened the Wallflower Market retail shop with my daughter Erin in a downtown storefront.

With regard to your business, what are you most proud of? It’s truly a team effort to succeed in business – over the years we’ve had great employees with skills to offer who work together to succeed. I love that we have an opportunity to be so involved with the community through our business.

What positive qualities do you think women in particular bring to business ownership? Women are good at bringing their personal touch into business, and their nurturing nature helps businesses to grow. Women have a ‘can do’ attitude, and are willing to put in the extra work it takes for a small business to succeed.

How does being an entrepreneur affect your personal life and outlook? Because of all the time and energy that go into operating a business, the business becomes a core component of who you are. For me, the fact that CCM is in its 17th year has brought me confidence in my abilities, proven that hard work has rewards, and enabled me to develop strong personal and professional relationships with employees and clients.