I am thrilled that the Center for Technology & Business is being featured in the first edition of the Be Magazine for Women. By name alone, most people don't know that we operate North Dakota's Women's Business Center. Those who are not familiar with us assume we fix computers or something like that. Instead, our mission is "Building North Dakota's economic future through leadership, technology and women's business development."

So what does that mean, and how can we help you? The Center for Technology & Business is a statewide, non-profit organization partnering with many different agencies to provide the best guidance and service to help you succeed. Whether you are working for someone else, aspiring to start a business or a current business owner, we have many programs available to you for personal and professional growth.

Over the past couple of decades, there has been a huge shift with many more women entering the workforce, leading organizations or starting their own businesses. Nationally, the statistics show that for every five new businesses started, three of them are women-owned. With access to the Internet, it is much easier to enroll in online classes or find alternative ways to learn and start a business.

Through our programs, we focus on growing the individual personally and professionally. Based on a demand we saw for improving one's leadership skills, we developed the Bismarck-Mandan Women's Leadership Program. We have discovered that women learn and interact with each other differently, so this course is specifically tailored to them. This year, we are happy to announce its expansion to new communities in North Dakota.

The Women's Leadership Program is a six month course in which 20 selected applicants meet one time per month. Our goal is to help the women improve upon their skill sets in the areas of personal, professional, community and healthy leadership. It is our goal to help woman find the balance they so desire. We want women to continue to be part of the workforce, to maintain balance at home and to maintain balance within. To learn more about how to involved in the January 2012 class, visit http://trainingnd.com/technology-training/womens-leadership-program.

As the saying goes, if you're not getting better, you are getting worse or staying the same.

Deb Eslinger was born and raised in Bismarck and currently resides here with her awesome husband and two beautiful girls. As a past business owner, she holds the position of executive director of the Center for Technology & Business. She is an entrepreneur at heart and a visionary leader with a passion for helping women.