We at YESS! are excited to announce the creation of the Women’s Entrepreneurial Experience (WEE). This is a mentoring program for young women that Sue Hawkes and Ali Stieglbauer (a mother-daughter team) started in partnership with the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO). The program hopes to help young women ages 18-30 learn more about the world of entrepreneurialism and small business.
WEE sprung out of Ali’s personal experience working for Sue; until Sue came into her life five years ago, Ali had never met a women who worked (let alone owned a company!) and had no desire to work in business. Ali did not get exposure in college either due to her English major, but she found that even her friends who studied business learned more about big corporations and not much about small business. The more women that Sue and Ali spoke to, the more they realized how common this lack of exposure was.
Through meeting the women in WPO Minnesota and especially attending the WPO Annual Conference (an international gathering of around 800 female business owners) with Sue, Ali has been opened up to all the opportunities small business/ entrepreneurship can provide and hopes to someday own her own company. This is completely different than what she thought her life would look like just one year ago! We in the Women’s Entrepreneurial Experience want to give other young women the opportunity to have their eyes opened as well and learn that a job in “business” doesn’t have to only mean a corporate track at a big corporation. We also hope that the organic connections made during our events will lead to mentors, internships or jobs for the young women.
WEE will be hosting three events this year:
1. Kick-off event 1/27, 5:30-7:30pm at Lurie LLP (free): there will be a panel of the WPO women business owners followed by a “speed dating” portion that will allow the young women to meet with business owners one-on-one. This allows them to meet multiple women and hear from different industries/perspectives, networking will conclude the evening.
2. Event 3/8, 5:30-7:30pm at Clockwork (free): Details coming soon
3. Attend the WPO Annual Conference, April 7-9 in Baltimore, MD: WEE will be providing scholarships for young women to attend- there are currently 4 available.
These events are possible thanks to our sponsors, Maslon, Lurie LLP and Clockwork.