New center targets business-minded women
The Women’s College at the University of Denver has launched a new center that directly serves the school’s mission to “educate women to boldly lead in the communities where they live, work and engage.”
The Center for the Advancement of Business Leadership and Entrepreneurship for Women, or ABLE, offers a certificate program for registered students or individual courses for interested community members.
“The Denver metro area is one of the leaders in start-ups for women-owned businesses,” said Dean Lynn Gangone. “We’re second in the country. But only 2.7 percent of women-owned businesses nationally exceed the million-dollar annual revenue mark.”
Gangone considers an entrepreneurship program targeting women necessary because, while there are obvious commonalities with male-owned businesses, there also are unique ways that women tackle challenges and achieve success.
“We need to recruit women into entrepreneurship differently,” she explained. “Men see themselves as bold leaders, while women need to be encouraged. Also, mentoring is really important for women and getting financial support for business growth is still more challenging for women.”
Through this new center, the Women’s College will host an electronic summit between Canada and the United States in October 2011.
Two additional centers, still in the planning phase, will focus on public policy and philanthropy.
“As a community-focused college,” Gangone said, “we think that support for women’s entrepreneurship means better lives for our students, better lives for their families and a better return on investment for the state of Colorado.”