Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Felicia Shanken, founder of Philadelphia Women's Network Connection, LLC., located in Philadelphia, PA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

The Philadelphia Women's Network Connection, LLC. (PWNC) is a premier women's network group. We help professional businesswomen, and solo women entrepreneurs who lack exposure in the marketplace learn how to find untapped resources to grow their businesses while finding connections with professionals to take their businesses to the next level.

PWNC's customers are typically those who need help in their business. However, we mainly target women, small business owners, and entrepreneurs. The resources and tools we have are used to assist our clients. Since PWNC is a woman-owned business, we continue to foster collaborations and partnerships within the small business community to ensure that we all grow together. We have learned that having a support network is what helps business owners rise and thrive, especially in today's economy.

Tell us about yourself

I had a vision of creating a women's network organization in Center City, Philadelphia while having lunch in a local Panera Bread in 2018. I wanted to create a network for women that was fun and engaging while offering them content that they could immediately start applying in their business. I wanted a safe haven that created a sisterhood atmosphere. I honestly believe that today we have achieved that with our network, which consists of nearly 2,500 small business owners.

I previously worked in the medical field for 25 years. I worked for the Department of Veterans' Affairs every weekend for 9 1/2 years before I "fired them" as my employer almost five years ago. I knew working at a job was something I no longer wanted to do. I always had a sense of business and had a few side businesses over the years. However, I wanted to be a full-time entrepreneur, and one day I stepped out on faith to make that happen and never looked back.

Making the transition to entrepreneurship was easy. What motivates me each day is the satisfaction of knowing that I have helped change people's lives or touched them in a way where they will never give up on themselves or their dreams. I always get emotional when I receive testimony from one of my ladies, letting me know how much they appreciate what I do and how I have helped them on their journey. That is the best feeling in the world!

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I am going to be humble and honest in my answer. There are quite a few, huge accomplishments along my journey after starting PWNC. However, what I have achieved is growing this organization the way I have in less than three years makes me so proud. I get asked all the time how I did it and receive all the accolades along the way. My answer never changes -- by faith and hard work. Most importantly, never ever quitting on myself!

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The most difficult thing of being a business owner is believing in others more than they believe in themselves and always giving 100% while setting those boundaries. Also, being my own cheerleader, and sometimes feeling unappreciated and undervalued. Having to wear the many "hats" as a business owner, especially when you are starting out, was also tough, in addition to having people understand and see my vision.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Stay positive and motivated. There will be hard days ahead, but stay focused.
  2. Be consistent in your business with everything that you do. That's how you build momentum.
  3. Surround yourself with like-minded people who are going in the same direction as you.
  4. Never, ever quit!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

PWNC is very excited to share that the 1st quarter of 2022 has been very good to us. We have been listed in USA Today's Black History Month Special Edition, and we just learned that Alignable has named PWNC and myself, "Local Business Person of the Year for Lower North Philadelphia 2022." It's always great to be recognized in the community for what you do.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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