In an effort to increase the success of women entrepreneurs throughout our community, WE LIFT (Women Entrepreneurs: Lead. Innovate. Found. Transform) held an opening social to kickstart the new school year. Students, facility and community members gathered in the Bingham Gallery to hear from Dr. Susan Madsen on the state of women entrepreneurs in Utah.
“I think the event tonight went fantastic and was by far the largest event we have had since our launch,” said Aubrey Mariano, digital marketer for WE LIFT. “My favorite part was hearing from Dr. Madsen and seeing there is a community that is passionate about entrepreneurship, specifically women entrepreneurs.”
WE LIFT is a program within the UVU Entrepreneurship Institute that is helping increase the number and success of women entrepreneurs through a women-in-business ecosystem that becomes a gathering place where women can lift themselves, their families, their businesses, their communities and their society.
“Women are at the center of the American economy, make up half of the US workforce and serve as the primary or sole breadwinner in 40% of households with children,” said Dr. Susan Maden, one of the top global thought leaders on the topic of women and leadership.“In the past, it was assumed that when a woman decided to be an entrepreneur, she would run a ‘lifestyle business’ as a way to augment the family income. That assumption has been challenged.”
According to a 2019 report from American Express, “The Beehive State ranked sixth in the country in economic clout for women-owned businesses, and the number of businesses runs and owned by Utah women has grown, from 77,800 in 2015 to 89,092 in 2019, a brief from the Utah Women and Leadership Project shows.”
The WE LIFT program collaborates with other organizations that support women entrepreneurs, develop funding sources to achieve long-term sustainability, include students in developing and implementing progression, and involve, recognize, and support all women in the Utah entrepreneurship community.
“We want to support all women entrepreneurs and help see them succeed,” said Mariano.“If students or community members want to get involved with our program, I would recommend they go to our social media pages and attend future events.”