Women In Entrepreneurship Symposium Will Inform, Honor Businesswomen

Drury University’s Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship will hold its sixth annual Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium (WES) on Sat., Feb. 8. WES provides women entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn about the various aspects of owning a business, network with other entrepreneurs and visit with a wide range of exhibitors. The theme of this year’s symposium is “reinvention.”

The event is $25, which includes breakfast and lunch. Registration remains open until the day of the event. Register online at www.drury.edu/ejc/wes.

The symposium moves to a new location this year – the O’Reilly Family Event Center. Also new this year is an exhibit area showcasing local women-owned businesses. For the second year, WES will award honors to some of the area’s top female entrepreneurs in the following categories:

  • Woman Entrepreneur of the Year
  • Woman-Owned Start-Up of the Year

The award winners remain a secret until the symposium luncheon at noon. The media are invited to attend the ceremony. To qualify for an award, a woman must own at least 50 percent of a business and operate within 30 miles of Springfield. The Woman Entrepreneur of the Year nominees must have been in business for at least five years, and the Woman-Owned Start-Up of the Year nominees should have been in business for less than two years.

Keynote speakers this year are Emily Church, founder and owner of Everything Kitchens; and Sandy Edwards, Deputy Director of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark. Church started her business at age 19 and a dozen years later it has grown to 24 employees and $15 million in revenue in 2013. Edwards helped develop the world’s premier museum focusing on American art. She spent part of her career in Springfield in the 1970s when she helped promote concerts and events at the newly opened Hammons Student Center.

Additional speakers and panelists include Loa Freeman, owner of Success Naturally Yoga & Image Center; Sally Hargis, Vice-President of Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr. Pepper Bottling Co.; Christine Daues, owner of Granolove; and Meghan Chambers, founder and owner of STAXX.

For more information about the event, contact Dr. Kelley Still, Executive Director of the Edward Jones Center for Entrepreneurship, (417) 873-7458.