By: Lexie Newhouse
October 15th marked the Fall 2019 installment of “Women in Entrepreneurship,” a collaboration between the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute (ENI), WomenLead, and the Honors College at Georgia State University.
The program welcomed Dr. Sarah Ballantyne of The Paleo Mom, Jasmine Crowe of Goodr, Tonya Hicks of Power Solutions, Inc. and Rachel McCrickard of Motivo for a panel discussion moderated by ENI faculty member Dr. Isabelle Monlouis.
Encouraging the audience to find their own power and voice, Ballantyne reminded students to “demand what you’re worth.” She shared about her own encounters having to demand for fair compensation as a woman in the workforce, where women continue to be paid 77 cents to the dollar of their male counterparts.
“While you’re on the clock, I own the clock,” said Hicks. She shared about the delicate balance between being a successful business woman and mother, reiterating to students that, “You can’t be everything to everyone every day.”
For students pursuing entrepreneurial endeavors of their own, Crowe reiterated that, “There’s a lot of people with great ideas but few with great execution.” In order to bring action to those ideas, Crowe encouraged students to plug into the local ecosystem, connect with key community members and utilize those available resources.
“I’m a missionary, not a mercenary,” explained McCrickard. As a licensed marriage and family therapist, she shared about the difficulty in funding her solution to connecting mental health therapists to clinical supervisors through Motivo. “Only 2 percent of all venture capital goes to women,” said McCrickard as she announced her successes while raising funding.
To continue this open dialogue, panelists and students divided into the following breakout sessions:
Motherhood, Media and the Million-Dollar Solopreneur | Dr. Sarah Ballantyne
In response to building her digital community around The Paleo Mom, Ballantyne shared that, “Like anything worthwhile, it takes time.” She encouraged students to continue adapting their approach to digital marketing by learning new technology skills and strengthening their communication skills.
Social Entrepreneurship: Values-Based Leadership for Triple-Win Impact | Jasmine Crowe
“When I started Goodr, I started with nothing,” said Crowe, explaining how the mission proves to be the driving force in executing a business idea. She encouraged students to ask themselves, “Are we actually solving a problem?” to ensure her leadership and direction matched the mission of Goodr.
Women Do Everything: Blazing a Trail in Male-Dominated Industries | Tonya Hicks
“We still fight in construction to be respected. You reach out a hand, and they don’t reach back,” said Hicks. She shared how she oftentimes is considered the loudest at the table, even in an industry dominated by white males. “I say this in the humblest way,” continued Hicks, “But you work for me,” in response to those that question her abilities as a black female leader.
Pizza, Yoga and Therapy: Holistic Success Strategies | Rachel McCrickard
“Determining when you need a break is so important,” explained McCrickard. She encouraged students to find balance in their daily activities by taking mental breaks as needed. “If we burn out, that’s everything,” noting how critical selfcare is for long-term efficiency and stamina.
“You took a stand. You took a stand for yourself and for the future,” said Monlouis in response to this powerful panel of women entrepreneurs. In closing, she left students with, “As emerging leaders, we hope you emerge as the most authentic version of yourself.”
A special thank-you to our panelists and partners for their commitment to supporting the next generation of emerging leaders.
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