More than 1,000 female business owners will converge in Minneapolis in October for the 40th annual National Women's Business Conference of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).

NAWBO's first chapter outside Washington D.C. was formed in the Twin Cities.

And this year's conference, Oct 15-17 at the Hyatt Regency, is the first national NAWBO gathering in Minnesota.

The organization, founded in 1975 by a dozen Washington D.C. businesswomen, today boasts more than 5,000 business-owner members.

NAWBO says it advocates for the interests of the 9.1 million women business owners across the U.S., through strategic business alliances and lobbying. Among the milestones: NAWBO's influence in passing federal legislation that allowed women greater access to credit.

"Before 1988, women in many states needed a male co-signer for some banks' business loans," said Mary Quist-Newins, board president of NAWBO-Minnesota.

"Female entrepreneurs are risk takers, achievers and passionate about helping each other create wealth and a better life,'' continued Quist-Newins. "We have many role models of successful women who have persevered and beaten the odds."

The conference will include: business-building workshops from "savvy solopreneurs," to leadership and small-business growth strategies; as well as an assortment of speakers, networking opportunities with Twin Cities businesses, and a gala awards dinner.

Registration and more information: