As a part of the Horizons program at MHS, every senior must complete a project specific to their Horizons site. My senior project was to host Miss Hall’s first ever conference centered around women in entrepreneurship. I invited six women to campus to act as panelists and to share with students their personal experiences both in entrepreneurship and in their own career paths. Panelists included Catherine Clifford, a journalist at Entrepreneur.com, MHS alum Jess Lamb,owner of Dottie’s Cafe, Jasmine Stine, a startup advisor, Jenn Leggett, owner of Earthy Crunchy Mama, Anthonia Akitunde, founder and editor-in-chief of mater mea, an online magazine, and finally keynote, Amber Chand. Amber is the founder The Women’s Peach Collection and co-founder of Prosperity Candle, both of which center around the core values of philanthropy and entrepreneurship.
The event took a lot of planning that began in October and stretched its way up until the day before the conference. With the help from all the members of MAPS, our faculty advisor Ms. Rubin, and Ms. Basdekis, we were able to secure panelists, space, food, time, and excitement for the conference which we decided to call Start Up While Starting Out; Women and Girls Talk Business. The biggest hurtle we were faced with was how to get girls to wake up early on a Saturday morning for a non-required event, thus came the idea of social media. Considering there is a song on the top 100s titled #Selfie we figured that we could use Instagram to our advantage, and @StartUpWhileStartingOut was born. We created an account for students and faculty alike to document their answer to the question, “If money were no object, what would your dream job be?” The results were amazing. By the time the conference kicked off on Saturday, April 19th, there were 55 pictures of girls and faculty celebrating the idea of being brave enough to voice their dream, which is an idea at the heart of entrepreneurship. The conference exceeded my expectations in every way imaginable. The panel discussions flowed effortlessly, Ms. Chand’s keynote address was inspiring and remarkable, and students left without a single regret and great excitement for the opportunity. I can only hope this conference can continue to evolve and bring girls of every age the understanding of what entrepreneurship really is.