Changing the Entrepreneurship Landscape

Behind every woman is a group of strong women.

Behind every woman is a group of strong women.

Behind every woman is a group of strong women, especially in entrepreneurship.

A group of women entrepreneurs recently talked with Carolina students about the importance of mentors and a strong peer group at “Designing for Change: Women in Entrepreneurship,” sponsored by theEntrepreneurship CenterOpens in new windowandInnovate CarolinaOpens in new window.

“There are ups and downs in entrepreneurship, just like riding a roller coaster — sometimes it’s exhilarating and other times it’s scary,” said Vickie Gibbs ’98 (M.B.A.), executive director of UNC Kenan-Flagler’s Entrepreneurship Center. “But having a community around you as you ride those waves is critical so your peers and mentors can help lift you up and determine what you learn from each experience.”

While women in entrepreneurship are still in the minority, their numbers and successes are growing, said Judith Cone, vice chancellor for innovation, entrepreneurship, and economic development at Carolina. “We have a goal to move a greater number of valuable ideas in the world faster and make the greatest human and economic impact possible.”

Gibbs encouraged women to align their passions with their purpose. “Know your strengths and live into them,” she said. “We as women discount ourselves too often. Encourage each other, encourage yourself. Whatever you set your mind to, find the resources and you can do it.”

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