The Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship has launched the Women in Entrepreneurship (WEI) initiative at Florida State University (FSU), led by Britain Riley and Shelly Griffin. The initiative is intended to help maintain a current trend – women are one of the fastest growing groups in entrepreneurship.
The program is not unlike successful women’s initiatives elsewhere, such as the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative at St. Mary’s College, which aims to provide financial literacy, business development, and management assistance to women entrepreneurs.
Initiatives like FSU’s have proven to truly aid women in business and entrepreneurship in the past, which is no doubt a good sign for FSU’s WEI.
As of 2021, 40% of U.S. businesses are women owned with 12.3 million female-owned businesses which generate $1.8 trillion per year. In 2020, 30% of the 4.4 million start-up businesses were female-owned. Overall, there are 114% more women entrepreneurs today than there were 20 years ago. Yet, women receive just 7% of venture funds for their start-ups and ask for $35,000 less in business financing than men. Additionally, according to Harvard Business Review, women receive an average loan size of $38,942 while men receive around $44,000.
Therefore, the initiative is intended to encourage and inspire women entrepreneurs both on campus and in the world. The program promotes awareness of the role that women play in the entrepreneurial environment of 2021 through events such as hosting guest speakers both in the classroom and outside of it.
It will be focused on highlighting community members, staff, students and alumnae who are female entrepreneurs. It could potentially highlight mentors, members of the alumni board, student board and more.
“We really want to give them both the tools and the resources to be successful but also the confidence to be successful and we feel we’ll be able to do that both through networking events and also mentorships and opportunities,” Riley told WTXL Tallahassee.
She added that since the launch of the initiative, hundreds of women have signed up.
The initiative will be “dedicated to influencing, empowering and connecting students, faculty, staff, alumnae and professionals through collaborative programming, mentorships, a monthly speaker series, networking opportunities and more,” according to a press release, and provide resources and local events as well as networking opportunities.
“We are proud to offer a focus on women entrepreneurs for the FSU community and beyond,” Susan Fiorito, dean of the Jim Moran College of Entrepreneurship, said in a press release. “This initiative will help establish entrepreneurial role models for women while we acknowledge their accomplishments and work to continually innovate.”
The end goal is to inspire women entrepreneurs at FSU.
On Oct. 20, 2021, at 1 p.m. a major networking event will be held at the JMB building in Tallahassee.
FSU has several other programs intended to inspire and ignite women leaders, such as the Women’s Leadership Institute, hosted by The Women for FSU and the Center for Leadership & Social Change, which took place from Oct. 8-10. The event aimed to enhance confidence and leadership capabilities through experience, education, and reflection. FSU students were able to learn from and with female faculty members and alumni.
A survey for those interested in becoming involved with FSU WIE can be found on their website. The qualtrics survey will capture your contact information and interest areas.
For more information about FSU’s entrepreneurship program, visit jimmorancollege.fsu.edu.