Greetings WBENC network,
I am writing to you from Durham, North Carolina, where we are getting ready to kickoff National Student Future Ready Day, an event designed to educate and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders.
In partnership with Planet Mogul and with the generous support from several Corporate Members including title sponsors GM and Bristol-Myers Squibb, we are immersing more than 150 fourth- and fifth-grade students at Club Boulevard Magnet Elementary School in a day-long interactive entrepreneurship development program, with a special focus on team building and collaboration.
It is sure to be an inspiring and exciting day! Follow along (and share!) on social media using the hashtag #StudentFutureReadyDay.
For WBENC, National Student Future Ready Day is yet another way we are investing in the next generation of entrepreneurs. Through our NextGen program and the Student Entrepreneur Program and Pitch Competition, we have been focusing on the growth and success of young women business owners for several years. This investment is particularly important to sustain the growth of women-owned businesses and their contributions to our overall economy, particularly in STEAM fields.
If you are interested in learning more about the importance of investing in the next generation of business leaders, I highly recommend a report released by the NWBC called, ‘Profile of Millennial Women: The Future of Entrepreneurship in America’ which outlines some of the unique challenges and opportunities facing younger entrepreneurs.
Of course, our emphasis on education is not limited to one generation. WBEs of all stages look for our support to develop and grow their business, whether that means finding new markets, improving leadership skills, scaling to meet growing demand, or building their brand.
This fall, we have several inspiring cohorts of WBEs gathering for professional and business development education, through the Robert Half Accelerated Leadership Development Program, the Women in Technology Program presented by Dell, the Tuck-WBENC Strategic Growth program presented by IBM, and the WBENC Energy Executive Program, sponsored by BP America, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and Shell Oil Company.
We are also full steam ahead in planning for 2020 programs and initiatives dedicated to education and development, including new circuits in the WBENC Business Lab and more targeted programming to help WBEs and Corporate Members alike connect, grow and thrive within the WBENC network and economy at large.
I can’t wait to share some of the exciting things we have planned. Stay tuned!
WBENC President & CEO