Jernigan to lead Women’s Business initiative

Published 4:40 pm Tuesday, July 8, 2014

A Brewton resident has been tapped to lead the Women’s Business Center Rural Business Initiative (WBCRBI).
Emmie Jernigan, former owner of Thou Art, has been named the new project director for the program that provides networking opportunities, training and counseling for entrepreneurs seeking to start and grow their small businesses.
The program serves a five county area in south central Alabama – Monroe, Clarke, Washington, Conecuh and Escambia. The Women’s Business Center is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration.
Jernigan holds a bachelor of arts and masters of arts degrees from Auburn University. Marketing, sales, managing and business counseling are just a few areas in which she is skilled as she founded and ran her own successful business in Brewton.
“This is a program designed to give women the guidance and support needed to create a successful business,” Jernigan said. “Truly, it’s designed to promote business here. This is not a new program, but it’s new to Brewton.
“I’d love to use Brewton as a model to other counties and show what we can accomplish,” she said.
Jernigan said the program works by mentoring and training.
“We can offer resources to any woman business owner,” she said. “They don’t have to have a brick and mortar storefront, either. It’s open to female at-home business owners and those who have online businesses.
“We’re here to answer questions, give support and do what we can to help them create a successful business.
“Our plan is to offer training classes for established businesses, as well,” she said. “One idea is to mentor youth by hosting a money support class, mock interviews and showing them how to dress for success.”
Jernigan said the Rural Business Initiative offers her the opportunity to utilize her resourceful background and share her experiences with others. In addition to her business ventures, Jernigan also is active on the Escambia County Mental Health Board as the President and is the founder and President of the Yancey Jernigan Foundation. The foundation is a non-profit dedicated to helping cancer patients with medical and pharmaceutical expenses.
The Rural Business Initiative office is located at 616 Douglas Avenue in Brewton, in the English Realty Office. A grand opening celebration is in the works.
To learn more about Women’s Business Center and Women’s Business Initiative online at or by calling 251.660.2725.

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