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Marshall University hosted its 2020 Women Entrepreneurship Week celebration from Monday, November 9 - Friday, November 13.


Women Entrepreneurship Week started seven years ago at Montclair State University in Montclair, New Jersey and is now a global movement. In 2019, 242 universities in 32 countries joined in the celebration.


The Lewis College of Business first brought Women Entrepreneurship Week to Marshall University in 2017, with a panel discussion featuring women entrepreneurs hosted on both the Huntington campus and South Charleston campus.


In 2019, the Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation (iCenter), which is housed within the Lewis College of Business and was founded in 2018, hosted the week. The week started with a women's entrepreneurship mini-conference featuring panels on small business innovation and corporate innovation and culminated in a Women's Entrepreneurship Luncheon co-hosted with the Women's Business Enterprise Council Ohio River Valley featuring Brad D. Smith, Executive Chairman of Intuit, as a keynote speaker.


For Women Entrepreneurship Week 2020, the Lewis College of Business iCenter teamed with their partners in the Marshall University Entrepreneurship Ecosystem, the Brad D. Smith Business Incubator and the Robert C. Byrd Institute for Advanced Manufacturing (RCBI), to curate a full week of programming celebrating, educating, and promoting women entrepreneurship.



The week featured 11 women entrepreneurs who shared their experiences, expertise, and advice on two panel discussions and three workshops. Due to Covid-19 concerns, all events were hosted virtually via Zoom.

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Three W.I.S.E. Women Panel Discussion:

Women in STEM Entrepreneurship

Monday, November 9 at 10 am

Andrea Bourdelais, CEO of Level 1 Fasteners, Phoebe Patton Randolph, Partner and Principal Architect at Edward Tucker Architects, and Laura Riegel, owner of Blue Ink Technology and RDI, served as panelists, with Tricia Ball, Associate Director of the iCenter and Brad D. Smith Business Incubator, moderating. The panelists discussed their journeys to entrepreneurship from careers 

 in STEM fields, what motivates them, and how they ensure their businesses are continuously innovating. They also offered advice on how to start a business, manage work/life balance, and remain confident as a woman in a STEM field.

Entrepreneurship in the Time of Covid-19 Panel Discussion

Tuesday, November 10 at 2 pm

This panel discussion was the first track of the WV Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Virtual Symposium, made possible by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, Encova Foundation of West Virginia, and Appalachian Regional Commission.


The panel featured Kim Donahue, Charleston Branch Manager of the West Virginia District Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Debra Martin, State Director of the West Virginia Small Business Development Center, Ursulette Huntley, Executive Director of Unlimited Future Inc., and Sarah Biller, Director of Vantage Ventures at West Virginia University. The panel was moderated by Tina Metzer, Executive Director of the New Biz Launchpad at Eastern West Virginia Community & Technical College.




The panelists discussed trends in entrepreneurship during the pandemic, unique challenges entrepreneurs are facing, what front line services are available, and projects that can be funded through the CARES Act.

Virtual Entrepreneurship Workshop

Wednesday, November 11 at 10 am

Lorre Wilson, the EXP Real Estate Broker for the state of West Virginia, discussed her experience opening a cloud-based brokerage in 2018. During her workshop, Lorre explained how entrepreneurs can leverage cloud-based software to start and grow their businesses. Lorre also illustrated how entrepreneurs can build and maintain client relations virtually.

Goal Setting Workshop

Thursday, November 12 at 2 pm

Julie Hewett, Certified MAPS Business Coach, provided a workshop on goal setting. Julie's workshop focused on how to set a goal and ways to have a relationship with the goal to ensure success. She walked through various goal setting tools that assist with managing and executing both personal and business goals.

Branding 101 Workshop

Friday, November 13 at 9 am


Cynthia Krantz, Mezzo Creative Founder and President, offered a workshop titled, "Branding 101: Branding Basics for Entrepreneurs." Her workshop provided the insight and knowledge Cynthia has gained through her experience in the marketing industry. She offered best practices regarding brand guides, optimizing social media marketing, and blogging.

We would like to offer a special Thank You to our

Women Entrepreneurship Week 2020 speakers, panelists, and partners.