The Ozmen Center for Entrepreneurship in the College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno has attracted some of the brightest female business minds for its next International Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium: Innovation in a Changing World. The completely virtual event is set for International Women’s Day, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday, March 8. It will include speakers from seven U.S. cities, eight countries and four continents.
“Early data is emerging that women entrepreneurs have been hit disproportionately hard by the COVID-19 pandemic,” Jeannie Reeth, event organizer, said. “Our mission is to build a global community to support the creation and growth of women-founded companies across all geographies and industries. This conference is designed to do just that by offering attendees an affordable way to gain applicable advice, inspiration and practical solutions they can apply to their businesses right away. Additionally, we offer virtual interactive networking opportunities where attendees can meet and seek advice from fellow entrepreneurs and investors.”
According to PitchBook, female-founded companies garnered only 2.7% of venture capital dollars in the past year. In the third quarter of 2020, venture funding for female founders hit its lowest quarterly total in three years, while overall venture capitalist investments remained on pace with prior years.
“While recent years have seen the creation of several women-led funds, incubators for female founders and more female-led new companies, there is still a great deal of inequity in this space, and the impact of the pandemic has been brutal,” Reeth said.
At the International Women’s Entrepreneurship Symposium, attendees will have the opportunity to actively discuss gender equality, build relationships that allow them to strengthen their networks, receive education and identify support resources that can help them grow their businesses.
New York Times best-selling author, Charlene Li, will offer the event’s opening keynote titled, “The Disruption Mindset: How to be a strong leader in a fast-changing world.” Li is the founder of Altimeter Group, an analyst firm acquired in 2015 by Prophet, and has been named one of the most creative people in business by Fast Company. An additional keynote will be given by Nancy Duarte, principal at Duarte, Inc., and known as “The Storyteller of the Valley.” Duarte is author of best-selling and award-winning communication books and leads the largest communications firm in Silicon Valley, where she works with 25 of the top 50 brands in the world.
The Symposium hosts more than 30 speakers and panelists. A complete list of speakers is available on the event’s website.
Eight different industry breakouts will offer attendees a smaller forum to hear from speakers in the start-up fields that interest them most. Breakout industries include entertainment; fashion and beauty; FinTech; food and beverage; healthcare; social entrepreneurship; travel and tourism; and women in tech.
“Many of our presenters founded their own companies and know how challenging it is to be a female entrepreneur,” Reeth said. “Their participation in this event is one way they are paying it forward to ensure other women have the opportunity to move the needle in the entrepreneurship space.”
Registration for the event is open and spots are limited. Cost is just $49 for a classic ticket and $69 for a deluxe ticket, which covers the cost for two student attendees. Early Bird registration takes place through January 31st and reduces the cost to $29 for a classic ticket and $49 for a deluxe ticket. With only 1,000 registration spots available globally, organizers believe this conference will sell out quickly and they encourage those interested to reserve spots by registering online.
“While this event’s specific focus is on female entrepreneurship, it’s designed to be inclusive for anyone who would like to attend,” Reeth said. “I think a number of people will find value in this event including startup founders and business owners of all genders, as well as those interested in supporting founders through investment, support or research.”