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Milena S.E.

Business Development/Partnerships Management/Program Management


Program, Outreach and Partnership Manager with significant experience in Small Business, Higher Education and Non-profit, leading successful mission-driven programs, building strong diverse partner networks, designing and delivering impactful educational content. Skilled at developing and managing programs, training and mentoring, making connections, building win-win partnerships.

Key Skills & Competencies

Relationship building, Communication and outreach
Women’s business empowerment
Program management
Strategic Business Development / Consultative Sales / Sales Management
Entrepreneurship support and coaching
Training program design and delivery
Grant Writing and Reporting
Data-driven solutions
Multilingual (Spanish, Russian, French, Bulgarian)
Diversity and global awareness

Professional Experience

University of Hartford, West Hartford, CT 11 years
Program Manager, Women’s Business Center (WBC) - 8 years
• Created and executed strategy, plan, vision, goals and budget.
• Grew and strengthened strategic partner network (government, nonprofit and private).
• Raised WBC visibility with a strong targeted marketing and outreach strategy.
• Managed all aspects of grants (from concept to writing and reporting) and funder relationships.
• Expanded programs to 150/year, reaching an audience of over 1200.
• Revamped the program's training offerings, adding new relevant and innovative topics, formats and target audience.
• Led internal and external diversity efforts, launched Women of Color in Business series.
• Oversaw large events, including WBC 20th Anniversary and CT Business Matchmaker, an event that connects small businesses with companies that subcontract services and supplies.
• Led engagement in University-wide, community and national initiatives.
connect small businesses with companies and agencies that subcontract services and supplies.

Adjunct Faculty, Barney School of Business and UConn 7 years, concurrent
• Taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Entrepreneurship, Strategic Management, International Business and Marketing.
• Provided effective instruction in various settings (in-person, online, hybrid).
• Led annual University-wide student business plan and pitch competitions.

Business Advisor and Instructor 3 years
• Provided advice and support to CT entrepreneurs in areas of business planning, strategy, marketing, financing, contracting and international trade.
• Connected clients to broad network of government, private and community small business resources.
• Developed and led entrepreneurial training programs.

CT Small Business Development Center (SBDC), CCSU, New Britain, C 3 years
• Advised CT entrepreneurs on developing business and marketing plans and implementing successful growth strategies, including internationally.
• Developed a comprehensive new-to-export training program. Created and presented Spanish-language entrepreneurial workshops.
• Collaborated with federal agencies, lending institutions, local and state development officials to improve access to small business resources, increase new business starts, capital infusion and export sales.

International Sales Management / Business Development Roles 11 years
Led new global market development for various entities in US and abroad (Bulgaria and South Africa). Managed a global network of distributors and agents for manufacturing sector including tool manufacturers, medical consumables and specialty chemicals. Headed companies’ global expansion, including growing export sales by 15% to over $4 million. Managed export marketing, trade show participation, logistics and operations

Community Experience

US Professional Fellow, US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Exchange (2014) Women’s Empowerment project – Costa Rica
Founding member, CEENET – CT Central and Eastern European Network
Member, CGBP Exam Review Council
Member, South Windsor High School Industry Advisory Board
Member, MCC Entrepreneurship Center Advisory Board
Member, Women Who Build Conference Planning Committee
Mentor, ReSET
Judge - Entrepreneur Innovation Awards (CT Next), UConn CIBER Global Case Competition, CT Invention Convention, and others


Master of Business Administration, University of Oklahoma, Beta Gamma Sigma
Bachelor in International Business, Higher Institute of Economics, Sofia, Bulgaria
Certified Global Business Professional (CGBP), NASBITE
New Strategies Non-Profit Management Program, Georgetown University
FASTRAC Certified Coach and facilitator, Kaufman Foundation

Other Experience/Awards/Publications

Polaris Connections Award (team), Leadership Great Hartford (2021)
Influential Women Award, CT Rivers Council, Boy Scouts of America (2020)
Laura Johnson Leader, Women’s Advancement Initiative, 2020-2022 cohort
Community Builder, CT Entrepreneur Awards (2016)

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