Entrepreneurship students find inspiration at CEI Women’s Summit
Equality for women in the workplace has been in the spotlight recently–notably at the Oscars, the United Nations summit, and in presidential speeches.
Promoting women’s equality in the business world has been a priority in the Warrington College of Business Administration for years. The College’s commitment continued Friday with the Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation’s sixth annual Women in Entrepreneurship Summit at Hough Hall.
The Women’s Summit is a half-day program dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship to female students, and furthering their development as students, leaders and entrepreneurs. The event welcomed all women in the Hough Graduate School of Business’s Master of Science in Entrepreneurship Program (The Thomas S. Johnson Program) as well as UF students interested in entrepreneurship.
The keynote speaker was Kristen Hadeed, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Student Maid, Inc. The panel featured three women entrepreneurs from the Gainesville area: Anna Prizzia, Kristi Taylor, and Meg The Losen. Prizzia is a Co-Founder of Forage, a local sustainable food movement farm in Gainesville. Taylor is the Founder and CEO of MonkeyWish.com, a universal gift registry. The Losen is President and Co-Owner of First Magnitude Brewing Company.
Terri Thomas (MSE’15) said the most impactful lessons she learned from the speakers was to always persevere, and surround yourself with people that help you succeed.
“It was very positive and empowering,” she said. “We learned we can break these barriers down.”
Opeola Bukola, a UF graduate in telecommunications and employee at Starter Space—a Gainesville incubation/work space firm—said she recently launched a new business and attended the event to get advice on the process. She said the best piece of advice she received from the event was from Prizzia.
“She told us to not try to act as a man, but to be accepted and valued as a woman,” Bukola said. “It was really helpful to get to speak with these women.”
CEI Director of Finance and Operations Katharine Burks, who organizes the event, said she received positive feedback from the students.
“It’s an incredibly important conversation,” she said. “It’s made a real different for our participants.
Said Ksenia Nikolicheva (MIB’15): “It’s really inspiring. I was kind of scared to think about building my own enterprise. But now I’m looking forward to it.”