It’s finally here! The Women’s Initiative speaker series is happening this May 2017 in Reno. Let’s skip the long-winded description. Here’s how it works:
- This May 2017 (May 2nd, 9th, 16th, 24th)…
- You show up to one of the named locations around Reno…
- For free…
- You heard that right. F-R-E-E…
- And indulge in inspiring talks from an all-star lineup of women entrepreneurs.
Kick off on May 2nd starts with Brianna Bullentini, the mastermind behind local cold-pressed juice bar, Rawbry. The next Tuesday, Sandra Rentas will lead the first-ever bilingual event in this series, specifically designed for Latina entrepreneurs. Next up on May 16th is Joey Mares, who will share her experiences from founding Peep No More. Finally, Joelle K. Jay, award-winning author of The Inner Edge: The 10 Practices of Personal Leadership will close the series with appetizers, beverages, and her keynote speech.
Each week brings a new speaker and a new opportunity to get inspired, right here in Reno. The series is hosted by the University of Nevada Reno, College of Business and the Ozmen Center of Entrepreneurship and is open to everyone in the community (yes, men, that means you too). If you need a buddy, I’ll be personally attending each of the events.
The Manager of the Ozmen Center, Liset Puentes, gave me the inside scoop on the Reno entrepreneurship community and the inspiration for the Women’s Initiative speaker series. Take it away, Liset:
Liset Puentes, Manager of the Ozmen Center, on inspiring women to do something extraordinary
“A year ago we noticed that there weren’t any female finalists for the Sontag entrepreneurship competition. There have been female finalists in the past, but not that year. We found that really strange. It didn’t sit right with us. We thought, let’s do something to really celebrate and highlight female entrepreneurs.”
“I don’t know if it’s unique to Reno, but the entrepreneurs here are really humble and want to talk to people. They feel like they’re part of the community. They don’t feel like they’re doing something super extraordinary, even if they are. That’s how they feel too, like ‘I did this, so you can do this.’ When people think of entrepreneurship, it’s a different career path, but it is a career path. You can build something and you can find the resources. And if you have a community that’s behind you, that’s even better.”
“Really what we wanted to do is bring visibility. The theory is that you see someone doing something and you’re like ‘I can do that too’. Someone you can identify with. We’re bringing their stories to the forefront and building more of a dialogue.”
Come to be inspired
“Come to be inspired. We just want to inspire people to look at entrepreneurship as more of a feasible path that they could potentially pursue. Once you know the women, you can get behind their products and get behind their stories. You never know, you could be starting your own business soon too. The more we do this, the more we’re generating these ideas and these communities. For students too, you might want to work for this company eventually and be a part of this.”
“I think men could also be inspired by the stories. You know, the steps towards building a business or building a product- it’s all the same. We welcome guys! It’s not like it’s all female. Guys can also attend and feel like ‘Oh, I learned something’. Really, it’s all about inclusivity too.”
And if you can’t come to any of the series events…
“I would just tell them to check out the Ozmen center or any of these spaces. Reno Little Theater, any of the spaces. Find out what’s going on in the community. Find ways to get involved. For us, it’s an evolving initiative. We’re doing our best to get women, students, community members connected, inspire more communities. There’s always more we can do. I’m always open to feedback of any events that people want to see. We’re really open to that- to suggestions. I feel like my role, a lot of it is just listening, both on the student side and the community members side.”
“The Ozmen Center itself is really more of a unifier of all the resources that are available. It’s an introductory to entrepreneurship. If you’re interested in entrepreneurship, the Ozmen Center is the way to get you connected to both things on campus and in the community. So I really tell people, you know, this space is open.”
“I’m learning it doesn’t really matter if your business is successful or not. It’s about having the entrepreneurial mindset: I have an idea, I know how to build it, market it, launch a product. It’s a lifelong thing. Your first venture won’t always be the thing that makes you a success. My job is bringing the reality of entrepreneurship but also how it can be so rewarding, inspiring, and change the community by doing something.”
A huge thank you to Liset, the Ozmen Center, and the University of Nevada College of Business for promoting this event series to inspire women entrepreneurs in Reno.
The Ozmen Center for Entrepreneurship is open to the community, located on the University of Nevada, Reno, campus in Ansari Business 402. Find out more on the Ozmen Center on their Website, Twitter, Facebook, or contact them directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Find out more on Liset Puentes, Manager of the Ozmen Center on her LinkedIn.
Will I see you at any of the Women Initiative speaker events? Let me know by leaving a reply below.
Until next time- Saludos!