March 12, 2015
Research shows that women start businesses in greater numbers than men, yet they typically don’t grow their businesses to the same extent as men do over time.
There are many reasons for this, says Dr. Kelley Still, director of the Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship at Drury. But one important factor, according to research, is that the business world remains a primarily male-oriented arena.
While the Ozarks is rich with business networking opportunities, few focus on women. Connecting and empowering female business owners is the sole purpose of the Edward Jones Center’s annual Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium, now in its seventh year. The 2015 event will be held from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 21 at the O’Reilly Family Event Center.
“There are a lot of really great opportunities in town to get technical training about business plans or how to keep your books,” Still says. “We really focus on hearing from other women entrepreneurs who can share how they’ve solved problems and moved their business forward.”
In such an environment, women are more apt to speak up, ask questions, and discuss both good and bad experiences.
“There’s a feeling of camaraderie,” says Claire Faucett, owner of social media marketing company engage5w, and a panelist for this year’s event. “If you’re a woman in business you subconsciously put up a wall at times, and I think you allow yourself sort of take the wall down when you’re around other women.”
The keynote speaker is Catherine Johns, a Chicago radio personality who’s climbed ladder in the broadcasting industry and now speaks to women about reaching for new heights in their careers. Panels will examine topics such as owning a business with your spouse, mixing business and friendship, social media and more. Participants can even schedule one-on-one time with subject matter experts like CPAs and attorneys. And despite the focus, men are welcome, too.
The day caps off with awards honors the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year and Woman-Owned Start-Up of the Year.
Cost is $25 for the general public, which includes breakfast and lunch. Registration remains open until the day of the event. For more information call 873-6357 or visit Drury.edu/ejc/wes.
Story by Mike Brothers, Drury’s director of media relations.