The latest addition to the Wyoming Women’s Business Center team, Christine Langley, is no stranger to Laramie’s entrepreneurial scene.
After working as the University of Wyoming Wyoming Technology Business Center CEO for nine years, Langley said she needed a change of pace.
“I left the (Wyoming Technology Business Center) because some of my own investments needed more attention,” Langley said. “My husband and I have one investment here in Laramie, but we have multiple investments in several states, and those commitments started getting bigger.”
But as a part-time business consultant for the Wyoming Women’s Business Center, she said she could work remotely from wherever her investments took her as well as focus on both helping clients and developing her own businesses.
The Wyoming Women’s Business Center is a nonprofit organization that specializes in helping low-income women build, maintain and expand small businesses in Wyoming. Langley said the organization works toward this goal with three programs: Works of Wyoming, which helps artists become self-sufficient; start-up counseling, which helps new entrepreneurs get their business ideas off the ground; and micro loans, which help fund entrepreneurs who have been rejected by the traditional channels. While the organization focuses on helping women with low incomes, she said they do not turn away potential clients based on gender.
“My job as business councilor is to help (clients) implement their business plans,” Langley said. “Most of my interactions are with post-loan clients.”
After a client receives a micro loan, which can range from $500-$50,000, Langley said she counsels the client on how to maximize the return on their investment.
Breaking the company’s business model into four quadrants — sales and marketing, finance, human resources and strategic planning — helps the client determine what areas need the most work, she said.
“I usually draw that out and say, ‘OK, which quadrant is on fire,’” Langley said. “Inevitably with most startup companies, they need help in sales and marketing.”
With about 40 clients spread throughout Wyoming, Langley said she works with a diverse group of entrepreneurs.
“I have everything from a home-based photographer to an architectural firm on my client list,” she said. “Whether you’re trying to take over the world or just make a living, the same basic rules of business apply. I don’t find my business counseling is radically different than what I offered (at the Wyoming Technology Business Center).”
Information provided by the Wyoming Women’s Business center states Langley is a sales and marketing expert with more than 15 years of achieving and demonstrating success driving sales growth in highly competitive markets.
Raised in Los Angeles, Langley said she started her first business in Denver when she was 24 and has built three more from the ground up since then.
She moved to Laramie in 2007 when her husband, Fred, was offered a coaching job at UW with the men’s basketball coach.
While Langley didn’t work directly with the Wyoming Women’s Business Center during her previous job, she said the entrepreneurial market is small enough in Laramie that she was well aware of the work they did. When the opportunity arose to work for the organization, she said she was happy to join the team.
“It was an exciting transition,” Langley said. “I feel like I have a mind for business, but a heart for service.”