UpNext

Who’s Got Next?

By Rachel Sukhdeo 
Last updated on December 12th, 2019 11:12 am

Advocacy organizations preparing millennial women for entrepreneurial success.

Women are shattering glass ceilings and shaking up the business world. The number of women-owned businesses has increased by 114 percent in the past 20 years. In a recent study, current women business owners rated their well-being as being nearly three times higher than women who aren’t entrepreneurs. Seventy-eight percent of these women feel they have attained a work-life balance.

The future, and the present, is female. Optimism in the continued success of women entrepreneurship won’t be slowing down anytime soon. In an effort to ensure the continuance of female victory and to inspire women business development, three competitive programs are striving to identify and empower promising young female entrepreneurs. 

Emerging Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) program

About the program: 

The National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC) is investing in the next generation of minority business entrepreneurs through the Emerging Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) program, designed to provide blueprints to millennial entrepreneurs. The program outlines realistic next steps to develop a sustainable business and maximize business growth opportunities. Participating entrepreneurs learn through blended workshops, hands-on training, and practical application to develop the skills, tools, and strategies to start and grow innovative businesses. Skills are tested through competitions like the intensive Business Pitch Competition where participants have opportunities to connect to power players and become team-oriented.

What the participants have to say:

Anna Bermudez holding phone
Ana Bermudez

“Amazing! I received more than I could have imagined. In working with my fellow EYE entrepreneurs, I learned that my experiences as a woman of color in tech entrepreneurship are valid,” raved Eye program participant Ana Bermudez, founder & CEO of TAGit, a mobile app TV watchers use to buy items from their favorite TV shows.

Phoebe Lee said since participating in the EYE program, her company “developed into exactly what I asked my mentors to help me accomplish. That year set the tone for my company. Within two years, I merged with Affinity Apparel, a national, full-service uniform provider [where] I am the chief executive officer and majority shareholder.”  

Monica King, founder & CEO of InnovatorsBox, gained community through her participation in the EYE program, “I was new to the business world and did not have enough people I could look up to or relate to. Being with a cohort of other young business owners looking to grow and figure out as they build their companies was critical.”

NextGen

About the program:

The Women Business Enterprise National Council’s NextGen is creating a body of young women entrepreneurs and professionals through targeted programming, peer grouping, and collaborative learning. The program offers its participants the opportunity to increase skill sets, access resources, and interact in an optimal learning environment where they are inspired and provoked by experienced business owners and executives.

What the participants have to say:

Mona Amin, co-founder & director of Business Development at Freshspire Inc., described the NextGen program as being “a great way to network and meet a lot of amazing women entrepreneurs,” while fellow participant and young professional Carrisa Anderson said, “The bond that you build with the young women right away is just great. I encourage young women to just go for it.”

What’s your Pitch?

About the program:

The U.S. Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation (USPAACC-EF) is a non-profit organization created to give Asian American and minority entrepreneurs opportunities to attend business conferences, network and make key connections with potential investors, clients, and mentors. The USPAACC-EF displays this best through their What’s Your Pitch competition. Young trailblazers from across the nation have the opportunity to take the stage to pitch their startups before an audience and panel of investors and executive judges. Participants compete for the game-changing chance to win cash prizes and brand exposure as well as opportunities to strategize with potential investors, gain business guidance from expert mentors, and receive direct consultation and support from judges and USPAACC professionals.

What the participants have to say:

Karen Taylor, co-Founder and CEO of Onederful Dental, an application programming interface (API) for dental insurance which enables real-time, standardized verifications across 240+ dental insurance carriers said of her experience, “Preparing for the pitch competition helped me hone in on relaying our value proposition effectively to an audience. After the competition, the advisory meetings pushed me to focus on one vertical for our technology and we ultimately land on what has become Onederful.”

Programs like the NMSDC Emerging Young Entrepreneurs (EYE) program, WBENC NextGen, and USPAACC What’s your Pitch? are creating through their participants a new generation of intelligent, motivated and passionate female powerhouses able and willing to take women entrepreneurship to new heights. As a women-owned small business, we at MBE magazine believe that empowered women empower women. We strive to connect, strengthen and provide a platform for women in all types of businesses. Subscribe, follow our social media pages and keep up with us. Together we can ensure that the future of entrepreneurship and supplier diversity remains female.