Encouragement From An App!

desk with laptop and lighted sign that says "You Got This"

Sonja Sulcer is a ’96 Cornell University graduate who is an entrepreneur who owns a coworking space in the US Virgin Islands.

She recently developed a free app called “Encourage Her” which showcases quotes authored by Women Entrepreneurs of Color. It is optimized for an iPhone, but it can also be accessed on an iPad.

To read more about the app, check out this blog post.

Podcast Featuring Melanie Hart

“If your life is your currency, decide how you want to invest and spend it.”

Melanie Hart
W.O.C at Work podcast logo

In the W.O.C @ Work podcast, Rai King and Dr. Blanca Ruiz explore what it means to be a woman of color in the workplace by elevating the voices of female-identifying leaders of color in order to shed light on their common experiences as they push for transformational change in organizations across the country.

In this episode, Rai and Blanca talk with Melanie Hart ( Chief Diversity Officer and Sr. VP for Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice at The New School in New York City) about traversing white-dominant education spaces as a confident woman of color. Melanie also reveals what it looks like to take off that cape and rest to help heal from a traumatic event. This podcast is a must listen for all women.

Link to Webinar – Black Entrepreneurship: Overcoming Adversity and Staying Focused

Screenshot from Black Entrepreneurship panel on Zoom.

Click this link to access “Black Entrepreneurship: Overcoming Adversity and Staying Focused”. In this webinar, a panel of Black entrepreneurs in various stages of their startup journeys will share their experiences, the adversities they’ve overcome, and the resources and organizations that have provided them the support, connections, and opportunities they needed.

The panel was moderated by Marquita M. Qualls, Ph.D., Executive Director of Entrepreneurship Programs, The National GEM Consortium and the panelists included Shila Nieves Burney (Founder and Managing Partner, Zane Venture Fund), Hakim Weatherspoon (Associate Professor, Cornell University; and Co-founder and CEO, Exotanium) and Titus Calloway (Founder and CEO, BlackLaunch LLC and ReLo)

This webinar was coordinated by Black Entrepreneurs in Training (BET). BET is a Cornell program dedicated to inspiring, informing, and initiating the next wave of black student entrepreneurs and is supported by the Center for Regional Economic Advancement at Cornell University (CREA).

Black Female Entrepreneurs Are Thriving In Detroit

headshot of Cornell professor Courtney McCluney

Courtney McCluney, an assistant professor at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations was recently interviewed on NPR’s Marketplace about her research on the status of entrepreneurship in Detroit. McCluney states that over the past several years, Black women have comprised the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs in the U.S. despite having disproportionate access to resources like capital. She recently looked specifically at the city of Detroit which despite less resources and higher than average poverty is creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

This piece in the MIT Sloan Management Review entitled “The Detroit Hustle” outlines some of McCluney’s research project. The piece speaks to the growth in women-owned businesses in Detroit and discusses the concept of the “Detroit hustle” – a “long-held mantra unique to the city that defines people’s entrepreneurial energy and approach to work.” The Data collection for this research project is ongoing. It will be fascinating to find out what Professor McCluney continues to learn and share.

Amplify Speaker Series

"Amplify" speaker series logo

“Amplify” is a free speaker series designed to support and empower underrepresented communities in entrepreneurship and venture capital. In 2018, only 1% of venture capital funding went to Black startup founders. Black female entrepreneurs were only allocated 0.02% of VC funding. 

Entrepreneurship organizations at Yale, Harvard, Fordham, Cornell, Brown, Columbia, UC Berkeley, Stanford, UPenn, and Vanderbilt have come together to schedule weekly speakers. Amplify’s mission is to educate, inspire, and pave new paths forward for underrepresented voices in the world of startups.

The Cornell Entrepreneurship Club and the Sullivan Foundation at Rust College present AMPLIFY Week 4 – on Tuesday, August 4th at 5pm ET – which will feature a conversation with Jean-Pierre Adéchi, the CEO/Co-Founder of Wheeli. He will share thoughts on raising capital as a black founder and include specific lessons for women, minority, and other outside-the-box founders. To sign up for this event, click here.

To add your name to the Amplify mailing list to be alerted to future speakers, click here.

Interview with Jessica O. Matthews

logo for Uncharted Power

Jessica O. Matthews is the CEO and founder of Uncharted Power, a full-scale renewable energy company. The initial goal of the company was to create a smarter energy grid for sub-Saharan Africa (Matthews is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Nigeria) but the impact of natural disasters such as flooding and wildfires on the US energy grid encouraged Matthews to broaden her focus and create a more global solution. Read more about this incredible entrepreneur in a July 14, 2020 interview in Politico.

Can Government Programs Counter the COVID-19 Impact on Women Entrepreneurs?

Big red button with word "help" in white letters

In this July 15, 2020 piece in Forbes, author Geri Stengel explores the explosion of women-owned businesses from 2008 to present as well as inequities that still exist (and were made more apparent with the impact of COVID-19) for women and more specifically, women of color. She also discusses how federal, state, and local governments can do more to support women entrepreneurs.

Indra Nooyi States Unconscious Bias Can Only Be Called Out If We Create A Sisterhood

headshot of Indra Nooyi
Picture from Wikipedia

Indra Nooyi is an Indian American business executive and served as CEO of PepsiCo for 12 years. In this interview conducted by Nina Easton at Fortune‘s MPW International Summit on September 16, 2019 , Nooyi discusses how she plans to “pay it forward” to the next generation of women and how the current support systems (of lack of them) seem to only reinforce unconscious biases that exist for women.