By Kerrie Head
Photos by Amy Morris
A four-way collaboration with the J. Mack Robinson College of Business’ WomenLead program, the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute, the Honors College, and the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies provided students with the signature experience, Women in Entrepreneurship, featuring a panel of prominent women in various fields of business. The panel was comprised of Amy Baxter, MD CEO and Founder of MMJ Labs; Charlie Whitfield, Founder and CEO of Whitty IT Solutions; Elizabeth Hague, Co-founder of Wildcat Echo; and Lisa Wise, founder of Re:loom. Each woman shared her challenges and triumphs, career journey, and entrepreneurial advice.
The panel discussion opened with each woman giving her account of what led her to becoming an entrepreneur and the unique circumstances that pushed them into their field of work. Amy Baxter began, sharing that her journey as a physician led her to wanting to combat opioid use, a passion that sparked the idea of her products VibraCool and Buzzy.
Next was Charlie Whitfield who told that her success spurred from being fired from a company for which she had worked for 18 years. Being fired inspired her to create her own business which now boosts $2.8 million in revenue.
Lisa Wise followed, telling of her passion of working with homeless women and children and transitioning them back into society so that they may enter the workforce and forge a life of their own. After her nonprofit received a donation of a loom from Agnes Scott, Lisa sparked the idea of using the loom to create a workforce training opportunity for these women.
Lastly, Elizabeth Hague spoke of graduating college during the recession with a degree with little utility. Her circumstances pushed her toward entrepreneurship so she could, as she puts it, “make [her] own world every day.” Entrepreneurship provided Elizabeth with not only the opportunity to make a living for herself, but also be financially capable to give back to her hometown.
Though the stories of each woman were different, the conclusion was the same. That conclusion was that they found a place for their talents and passion in entrepreneurship.
Despite their differing backgrounds, each woman had important pieces of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs and for women hustling to persevere in the world of business. The night was filled with insights and empowering words of advice, encouraging the passions of the ambitious and highlighting the importance of being an entrepreneur.
Having a passion that you can do every day is priceless.”
– Amy Baxter
We are the masters of our own domain. We are our own women. We are building something under our own power.”
– Elizabeth Hague
Our journey as entrepreneurs is really about being brave and finding our core capabilities.”
– Lisa Wise
I have a vision, and I have a mission and what I like about it, it’s up to me to make it happen.”
After a brief Q&A session, the audience attended breakout sessions with the panelists for more in-depth discussions. Once the breakout sessions wrapped up, the audience and panelists reconvened to review what each breakout session had discussed. A student from each breakout session was invited on stage to go over what they had learned, offering an engaging and interactive discourse between attendees and panelists.
The night ended with refreshments and a networking reception, allowing attendees to meet other like-minded women in their fields. Women in Entrepreneurship is just one of many events that offers a chance to connect with women rich in business experience. For more events like this, check out our events calendar!