Women entrepreneurship events look to inspire

Women entrepreneurship events look to inspire

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - According to the National Women's Business Council, female entrepreneurs start companies with 50 percent less capital than males. Two women entrepreneurship events coming to downtown Charleston are encouraging and celebrating women business owners. The College of Charleston and a local company is hosting the events.

One entrepreneur's drive, Cara Florence, has led her to inspire others.

"I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur when I had my first lemonade stand," Florence said.

She's the co-founder and managing partner of a Mt. Pleasant based company, Think Ideally.

That want turned into a reality. Now the company offers entrepreneurial support services for businesses of all sizes. She says she knows the barriers, firsthand, that women business owners face.

"Rather than contributing to that story, we wanted to be part of the solution," Florence said.

Think Ideally is co-hosting a Celebration of Women Entrepreneurs Summit on Friday with CofC.  Nationally recognized women and local business owners will speak about how they secured funding, found mentors and cultivated other elements needed to launch and grow their businesses. The event will take place in the Sottile Theater from 7:30 a.m. to noon on Friday, March 18.

"You've got to think about the next generation and learning some of those hard lessons," she said. "If I can teach them something you know it's all about sparking the interest."

On Thursday March 17 the company will conduct Female Innovator Game competitions where women will lead the co-ed teams of entrepreneurs. College students can be a part of the teams too. Games are completed online and pitches will take place at CofC on Friday.

"The purpose was really to inspire more women to just get in the pipeline and actually bring their ideas to the table," Florence said.

The business pitch competitions are educational. Winning teams can receive funding and support services for starting a business.

Registration for the Summit ends Thursday. It's free for CofC students and is $25 for the public. If you'd like to be a part of the innovator games you have until Wednesday to register.

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