Frederick, MD: Santhanalakshmi Shanmugam appreciates the unique challenges women face when entering the workforce, especially in the demanding fields of science and technology. She founded Minnodi, LLC, a Maryland-based Women Owned Business focusing on IT/Pharma consulting and staffing agency headquartered at the Frederick Innovative Technology Center, Inc. (FITCI), to help business leaders and potential employees connect. Now, she’s going a step further. The company recently achieved certification as a Women Owned Small Business (WOSB) and Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE), in tandem with offering free IT and HR management courses through Aavanee, a Frederick-based non-profit organization. The group focuses on affecting change through the education of women as a means to financial stability.
Santhanalakshmi says their mission resonated with her own experience. “I was able to go to college and pursue a degree, but it was still hard. I have had to put goals on hold to take care of others who rely upon me, so I understand. Women, particularly those who are the head of a household, often have to choose between the immediate demands family and making a living. It keeps them under-employed. And it’s a far-reaching challenge because it affects the individuals, their families and the employers who struggle to find qualified workers. I think 2020 really turned a spotlight on this issue and how much it affects our greater economy.”
Minnodi LLC and Aavanee’s first collaboration, an 8-week course on Basic IT Admin training, graduated 5 trainees. A second session on Human Resource Management finished with 11 trainees, including 6 women. Sometimes, the coursework needs to start with the most basic information. “If they have never touched a computer,” says Santhana, “that’s where we start.” A second session of Basic IT Admin Training is now under way.
Friend and mentor, Kathie Callahan Brady is CEO of FITCI. She says Minnodi’s ability to connect with students is mirrored in its own focus on knowledge and improvement. “Seeing this business evolve in the short time they’ve been at FITCI is testament to their passion. We do a lot of training for members here and it’s not always glamorous, but it is the foundation of success. Minnodi magnifies that by helping others get ahead. Now, being certified as a Women Owned Small Business will extend that benefit even further.”
Santhanalakshmi is encouraged. “As a business founder, being certified is in important milestone because it recognizes how far we have come, while encouraging the whole team to push even further. That includes supporting other women and organizations like Aavanee. There is a great satisfaction in making a difference”
Minnodi also offers training that ranges across Cyber security, Web & Graphics Design, IT Programming, Project Management and more, in addition to helping client companies boost their internal resources. The company’s Learn Connects platform bridges the gap between students and instructors.
Minnodi LLC, is a Maryland-based certified Woman Owned Small Business with 15+ years of experience in Science/Pharma, Information Technology consulting, staffing solutions and regulatory advisory services. Minnodi helps a range of businesses augment internal resources by delivering optimized solutions on time and within budget, whether acquiring new talent or elevating the skills of current staff to support growth.
Advised, Guided & Governed by CEOs. We, the CEOs of FITCI will meet you where you are in your business! Our promise is to provide our fellow CEOs with our most supportive, yet critical advice and connections; the kind we want for our own businesses. The Advisory Board is comprised of the best, brightest, and most proven CEOs who are actively engaged in supporting the local entrepreneurial community, ensuring businesses flourish in Frederick. FITCI specializes in the strategic business support of local entrepreneurs in the early stages of mostly science and technology-based businesses.
Aavanee is a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization located in Frederick, Maryland. It is focused on helping women and families, to make the world a better and happier place.