Tonya McNeal-Weary is a renowned entrepreneur and advocate for women’s economic empowerment. With a multi-award-winning career, she has established herself as a global leader and mentor to women entrepreneurs. Tonya’s passion and commitment to supporting women’s growth and advancement in business are demonstrated through her work as the Founder and Executive Director of Michigan Association for Female Entrepreneurs (MAFE).
Tonya’s mission is to create a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem in Michigan that provides women with equal access to markets, financial inclusion, and economic opportunities, free from any barriers. This goal is not only noble, but also necessary given the gender disparities that persist in the entrepreneurial space. According to the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), women-owned businesses in the U.S. are still significantly underrepresented in terms of revenue and employment. Despite being the fastest-growing segment of the small business community, women-owned businesses generate only 4.2% of overall business revenues and employ only 8% of the workforce.
As a minority female business owner, Tonya understands firsthand the challenges that women face in starting and growing a business. In response, she founded IBS Global Consulting, Inc., a global management consulting firm that helps small and medium-sized companies expand internationally. Through IBS Global Consulting, Tonya has advised and supported businesses in over 30 countries across various industries, including automotive, healthcare, and information technology. Her work has led to increased exports and job creation for these companies, contributing to local and national economic growth.
Tonya’s passion for entrepreneurship and international trade is also reflected in her work as the Managing Director of the Global Trade Accelerator Program, an initiative aimed at helping Michigan companies expand their international business. In addition, she serves on the advisory board of several organizations, including the U.S. Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency. Her expertise in international business has also been recognized by the World Trade Center of Michigan, which awarded her the International Businesswoman of the Year in 2013.
Despite her successful career, Tonya remains committed to empowering women and bridging the gender gap in entrepreneurship. Her vision for Michigan Association for Female Entrepreneurs is to create a supportive community that helps women entrepreneurs overcome the unique challenges they face. MAFE offers a variety of resources and services to its members, including mentorship programs, networking events, educational workshops, and access to funding opportunities. Through MAFE, Tonya hopes to inspire and support women entrepreneurs in Michigan, enabling them to grow their businesses and contribute to the state’s economic development.
In conclusion, Tonya McNeal-Weary is a true champion for women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship. Her work as the founder of MAFE, the Managing Director of IBS Global Consulting, and her involvement in various organizations demonstrate her dedication to promoting gender equality in the entrepreneurial space. Tonya’s passion and expertise have helped countless women entrepreneurs succeed in business, both locally and internationally. Through her vision and leadership, she is paving the way for a more equitable and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem in Michigan and beyond.
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