May 18, 2023

S4.Ep.5 Growth, Innovation and the Economic Futures of CT & NY

How are New York and Connecticut embracing growth, innovation, and collaboration? Join Fran Pastore as she engages in a dynamic dialogue with Alexandra Daum, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), and...

Episode page
April 20, 2023

S4/Ep.4 Grit & Grace: The Fight for the American Dream with Dr. Oscar…

Join Fran Pastore in this episode of Courageous Conversations as she speaks with Dr. Oscar Guerra, an Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker and UConn professor. Dr. Guerra shares his experience directing "Grit & Grace: The Fight for the...

Episode page
March 24, 2023

S4/Ep3 Revolutionizing Retirement with CT State Comptroller Sean Scan…

Connecticut State Comptroller Sean Scanlon is on a mission to make financial literacy and saving for retirement more accessible for the state’s small businesses and their employees. He sits down with Fran in today’s episode of Courageous...

Episode page
Feb. 16, 2023

S4/Ep.2 It Starts With A Business Plan

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” – Ben Franklin Mr. Franklin certainly knew what he was talking about – especially for small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs! That’s why Fran is joined by WBDC Business...

Episode page
Jan. 19, 2023

S4/Ep1. Unlocking Connecticut

Unlocking Connecticut is a blog, Instagram account and website created by Lora Karam and Bev Canepari, which explores the places and faces of Connecticut. Fran recently had the pleasure of meeting Lora and Bev and invited them...

Episode page
Nov. 17, 2022

S3/Ep.3 The Impact of Elections on Women Entrepreneurs

The 2022 mid-term elections took place just over a week ago. While we don’t fully know all of the results or what they will mean for the balance of power in our country, it is clear that female voters came …

Episode page
Oct. 20, 2022

S3/Ep.2 Accelerating The Growth of Women's Entrepreneurship in CT

25 years ago, Fran Pastore & Dorothy Bratchell embarked on a mission to create a resource for women entrepreneurs in Connecticut. They were at the forefront of forging a path to accelerate the growth of women’s entrepreneurship and...

Episode page
Sept. 22, 2022

S3/Ep.1 Women in Banking: Meet Four Connecticut CEOs

What does it take to reach the pinnacle of success in a male dominated arena? Of the more than two dozen banks that are licensed or headquartered in CT, six are led by women in the CEO position. Four of …

Episode page
Aug. 10, 2022

S2/Ep.7 Introducing The Mom Shuffle Podcast: When Women Thrive, Commu…

Twenty-five years ago, Fran Pastore turned a transition in her career into an opportunity for thousands of other women, their communities, and the State of Connecticut. A recent guest of the Mom Shuffle Podcast, a show which features interviews with...

Episode page
June 23, 2022

S2/Ep.6 Investing In the Future Of Women

WBDC CEO Fran Pastore was recently appointed Board Chairperson for the Connecticut Paid Leave Authority. In this episode of Courageous Conversations Fran sits down with Nancy Barrow, host of . Of course, they discuss WBDC's work and why...

Episode page
May 26, 2022

S2/Ep.5 Supporting the Community While Boosting the Bottom Line

Can supporting your local Community affect your bottom line? Amy Kenkel and Laurie Surprenant say it can! Amy and Laurie are the owners of Leaps and Bones, a pet supply store and pet bakery with locations in South Windsor, Southington …

Episode page
April 21, 2022

S2/Ep.4 The First, The Few, The Only with Deepa Purushothaman

In her inspiring and eye-opening book, The First, The Few, The Only, Deepa Purushothaman examines the challenges faced by women of color in the workplace. In this episode, Fran had the opportunity to discuss Deepa’s work at an event held …

Episode page
March 24, 2022

S2/Ep.3 Supporting Child Care – An Industry in Crisis Pt.2

We continue our conversation about child care – an industry in crisis – with Beth Bye, Commissioner of the CT Office of Early Childhood. Child care providers are struggling as they strive to recover from the pandemic. While much has …

Episode page
Feb. 24, 2022

S2/Ep. 2: Supporting Child Care, an Industry in Crisis

The child care industry is in crisis – in Connecticut and across the country. Recognizing that access to quality child care is essential for our economic recovery, Connecticut’s leadership took action to stabilize the industry and drive growth for...

Episode page
Jan. 27, 2022

S2/Ep.1 Funding Growth for Connecticut’s Women-Owned Businesses

We’re kicking off the season with two recent WBDC Equity Match Grant recipients, Kevnesha Boyd, owner of Quality Counseling in Hamden, and Jona Jeffcoat, owner of Infinity Music Therapy Services in Southington. Listen to hear how these inspiring entrepreneurs plan …

Episode page
Nov. 18, 2021

20.Shopping Local on Small Business Saturday . . . And Everyday

Small Business Saturday, November 27, is right around the corner. Started to encourage people to bring more holiday shopping to small businesses, Small Business Saturday has become a critical component to the holiday shopping season for many of our...

Episode page
Oct. 14, 2021

19. Shifting Norms with Jennifer Palmer, CEO of Gerber Finance

Until 1988 a woman could not access capital in her own name for commercial purposes. That year, legislation was enacted that finally allowed a woman to apply for a business loan without a male co-signor. A lot has changed in …

Episode page
Sept. 30, 2021

18. Talking (and Walking) to End Alzheimer’s

18. Talking (and Walking) to End Alzheimer’s

Episode page
Sept. 16, 2021

17. Celebrating Small Business Week With Three of CT's Best

17. Celebrating Small Business Week With Three of CT's Best

Episode page
Aug. 19, 2021

16. Talking Food with Stephanie Webster of CT Bites

The pandemic hasn’t been easy on any of us, but you could argue that it’s been tougher on restaurants than almost any other industry. In this episode of Courageous Conversations, Fran sits down with Stephanie Webster, Editor-in-Chief and Founder...

Episode page
July 22, 2021

15. Getting the 411 on 211CT

Mental Illness, homelessness, food insecurity, domestic abuse, lack of childcare . . . . These are just some of the issues for which Connecticut residents can turn to 211CT for help. Offered by the State of Connecticut through the United …

Episode page
July 1, 2021

14. Racism and Your Small Business (Part 2)

In this episode of Courageous Conversations we continue the conversation about racism and your small business that began with our previous episode. Originally part of a WBDC Roundtable discussion recorded in June...

Episode page
June 17, 2021

13. Racism and Your Small Business

With Juneteenth just days away, and as we look back at the year since George Floyd’s murder, in this episode of Courageous Conversations and the one that will be launched on July 1, we are revisiting a conversation between Fran …

Episode page
June 3, 2021

12. Recalling Lessons Learned with Kitt Shapiro

Authenticity, empathy, strength, vulnerability . . . . These are just some of the virtues Kitt Shapiro gained as she soaked in the lessons handed down by her mother, legendary performer Eartha Kitt. In this episode...

Episode page