Pompea College of Business Continues to Uplift Female Entrepreneurs with EntreprenHER 3.0
The University recently hosted EntreprenHER, an "empowHERing" women’s business pitch competition that brought entrepreneurs across Connecticut to the University to showcase their businesses, as well as their creativity and entrepreneurial spirit.
April 27, 2023
By Anchal Bhatia ’24 MBA
“Every woman’s success should be an inspiration to another. We’re strongest when we cheer on each other.” – Serena Williams.
The event followed the idea of honoring women and their entrepreneurship, simultaneously building and enhancing the community for women entrepreneurs. With more than 25 female vendors displaying their products at the EntreprenHER event and throughout the Orange Campus, it was a full house with exciting products varying from creative household décor to skin care. The vendors showcased their utmost entrepreneurial skills and built new clientele at the event. It was a great success for the Women in Business Club this year as the audience witnessed four powerful business pitches, which a panel of judges assessed.
Dr. Candice Deal, interim associate dean of the PCoB and Women in Business Club adviser, said, “The enormous appreciation we hold for women entrepreneurs is the reason behind organizing this event for yet another year. EntreprenHER is determined to uplift female entrepreneurs and encourage their business skills. More than this, we aim to bring forth the powerful business ideas women entrepreneurs behold and honor their efforts in upskilling their businesses greatly.”
The four pitches
Dr. Deal stated that out of 12 participants, four were chosen as finalists and thus had the opportunity to pitch in front of a panel of executives, including Amy Keach ’19 EMBA, Senior Project Manager, Yale University; Christina Ackas, VP, Inclusion Equity and Belonging, Draft Kings; Kristina Palazzo, Tax Partner at PwC; Dolores Ennico ’82, ’17 Hon., Principal, Canterbury Consulting; and Chandra Roxanne, Managing Director, Astia Edge.
The first pitch was presented by Muna Abuzagheleh ’24 MBA, owner of Muna’s Cinnamon Rolls in her native country of Jordan. Her business goal is to expand her handmade cinnamon rolls in Connecticut and, later, throughout the United States. Through EntreprenHER, Abuzagheleh acquired a platform to speak about her cinnamon rolls and display her determination toward her business.
The next pitch was delivered by Rosetta Washington ’12, owner of Wholesome Approach, a small wholesale business buying skin care products from different brands. Washington presented her goals and ideas for building a more profitable business and bringing her brand to the limelight.
Breezy Greiner, president and co-founder of SouthCoast AI, took up the next pitch and spoke about her journey as a boat captain, coast guard vet, volunteer firefighter, and ocean explorer and her motivation behind starting SouthCoast AI.
Alicia Sleight, co-founder of Particle-N, a nano-particle technology that reduces the production of metal requirements such as catalyst converters, delivered the final pitch. She explained her ambition behind building herself as a renowned female entrepreneur in a technologically driven industry that is historically led and handled primarily by men.
'To keep honoring women’s successes'
After careful consideration of all four pitches, the results were announced based on the crowd’s votes and the panel’s decision. Indeed, the pitches were diverse and comprised various industries, allowing the audience to process a fair judgment. Particle-N was recognized as the winner of the pitching event, receiving $3,000 in funding for the start-up. SouthCoast AI was second place, receiving an award of $1,500. Wholesome Approach was titled the crowd’s favorite, receiving an award of $500.
All four pitches were highly appreciated by the audience and greatly impacted their respective industries. EntreprenHER also provided these businesses a fair opportunity to present themselves in front of an audience, which was a bonus for the brands.
EntreprenHER was successfully conducted and organized by the core members of the Women in Business Club and actively stood out as a women-led event. Dr. Brian Kench, dean of the Pompea College of Business, also attended, and he appreciated the women entrepreneurs and encouraged the annual hosting of the event in coming years. The Women in Business Club thanked the people behind the event’s success and appreciated the remarkable sponsorship of the Women’s Leadership Council for EntreprenHER 3.0.
The club is set to keep honoring women’s successes throughout the upcoming year with special and distinctive events!
Anchal Bhatia ’24 MBA is a candidate in the University’s MBA program.