Supporting Women Entrepreneurs | State Farm

Working nights in an emergency room as a clinical lab scientist in downtown Detroit often meant seeing people during the worst time of their lives.

“For 10 years, I watched bad things happen to good people. I saw things I never want to see again, but it toughened me,” said Kandiss Ecton. “I’m the type of person who strives to be proactive so helping people after something happened to them was difficult.”

These days, Kandiss is a State Farm agent in Ferndale, Michigan. She helps people prepare for the unexpected.

“As an agent, I can’t foresee what will happen to someone, but I help make sure they are covered in the event something does.”

October is National Women’s Small Business Month. Women-owned firms account for 39 percent of all privately held firms and contribute eight percent of employment and 4.2 percent of revenues. One in five firms with a revenue of $1 million or more is woman-owned, according to Businesswomen.org.

“As entrepreneurs, we can create our own paths,” she said. “Women represent a huge economic power and offer important consumer insights. Female buying power is immense.”

Kandiss is involved in several networking groups for women business owners and serves as a committee member of the Women of Color Entrepreneur Circle. She shares her story of becoming a business owner and mentors women who want to do the same or have recently opened a business.

She says some of the challenges small business owners face include hiring, keeping up with the financial responsibilities of the business and providing a safe and welcoming environment for customers and employees.

“As a member of the local chamber of commerce, I stop by new businesses to give them a community welcome packet and introduce myself,” Kandiss said. “I talk with them about the area and offer to connect them with someone who can help answer questions they may have about being a business owner.”

When business owners ask her about their insurance and financial services needs, she explains the impact a loss could have on their business. She also helps them understand that, as the business grows, so do their exposures.

“When talking with business owners about their needs, I say planning ahead is like putting a child in a car seat,” Kandiss said. “It’s a proactive step to help protect their business against the consequences of what could happen.

 “As a State Farm agent, I’m in a position to educate and help people understand what they have at risk. And, if there’s a loss, I can help them rebuild and deliver on the promise.”


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