Sadie Swier is the director of the SD CEO East Women's Business Center, which means she spends her days working directly with women who want to start businesses. Sioux Falls Simplified caught up with Swier to chat about empowering women and the importance of Women's History Month.

How did you "Get Smart" about women's history month and specifically about women-owned businesses? (i.e. what in your background prepared you for the role you have today)

My background of growing up in South Dakota and working with over 300 business members in Downtown Sioux Falls for four years helped prepare me. I love that you can walk the streets of downtown and most of the stores are either owned or managed by a woman!

We're all about simplicity here. Can you explain what SD CEO East does in 10 words or less?

Empowering women in South Dakota through free business advising and programming.

What’s something people most often misunderstand about the unique challenges of starting a business as a woman? (And, if you could politely correct them, what would you say?)

According to the SBA (Small Business Administration), there’s over 90,000 small businesses in South Dakota, and over 43% are owned by women.

  • How amazing is it that almost half of the small businesses in South Dakota are owned by women?

There’s trends I’m seeing that business knowledge, family responsibilities and overall confidence challenge some women that want to open their own businesses. SD CEO East is here to address those specific needs.

If you could snap your fingers and a new resource for women would appear in Sioux Falls, what would you like it to be?

In a perfect world, I’d like to see more financial support for women opening their own businesses. In the world right now, I’d love to see more support in childcare.

What's your advice for any women out there who might have a business they want to start or an idea they're exploring?

Your business dream is always worth a conversation, and there’s so many great resources to start. I recommend SD CEO East, Small Business Development Center, and Startup Sioux Falls. Two things I look for in a new business: Tell me how you’re going to make money and do you have grit.

Anything else you want the people of Sioux Falls to know about SD CEO East or the significance of Women's History Month?

We celebrate women every month but you can join us for the Second Annual EmpowHERment Panel Luncheon on March 15, 2023 at The Meadow Barn from 11:30am-1:30pm for lunch and an amazing panel of women business leaders from across the east side of South Dakota. Details here.