Since mid-March, I’ve presented and facilitated our StartUP program for women. The University of Scranton Women’s Entrepreneurship Center (WEC), a partnership of the Kania School of Management and Small Business Development Center (SBDC), offered this 6-week certification program, which was attended by 14 aspiring women entrepreneurs. The women had diverse backgrounds and a wide variety of expertise and business ideas, but they all had one thing in common – the desire to start a business. Pennstar Bank was our generous sponsor, offering participants the chance to attend the $165 per person series for free.
The six weeks flew by as we addressed topics such as what it takes to be an entrepreneur, small business finance, goal setting, and marketing. The series ended with a panel of local women business owners sharing their experiences.
As the last session ended, the group was exchanging e-mails, forming working group meetings and sharing information with each other. I realized that our six weeks of training had stirred something in them that will not be stopped. This is why I do what I do.
Researcher Ruthellen Josselson, Ph.D., co-author of Best Friends: The Pleasures and Perils of Girls’ and Women’s Friendships (Three Rivers Press, 1998) says, “Every time we get overly busy with work and family, the first thing we do is let go of friendships with other women. We push them right to the back burner. That’s really a mistake because women are such a source of strength to each other. We nurture one another. And we need to have unpressured space in which we can do the special kind of talk that women do when they’re with other women. It’s a very healing experience.”
Whether we’re healing, sharing or just hanging out, women together can make things happen.
Here’s wishing our StartUP class great new friendships and much success in their entrepreneurial endeavors.
Donna J. Simpson
The University of Scranton
Small Business Development Center