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New Event Spotlight: Junior Achievement of Central Iowa hosts first girls entrepreneurship workshop

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The first Junior Achievement EntrepreneuHER Workshop was held on July 11. Photo courtesy of Junior Achievement of Central Iowa

The “New Event Spotlight” is a feature the Business Record will use to share about new events and initiatives that aim to address issues affecting the business community.

What happened? On July 11, Junior Achievement of Central Iowa hosted the first Junior Achievement EntrepreneuHER Workshop, a one-day event where 25 high school girls engaged with women entrepreneurs and leaders to gain exposure to entrepreneurship and other career pathways.

Why hold the event? “We launched this event in an effort to encourage an entrepreneurial mindset in high school girls,” Shannon Gerard, Junior Achievement’s director of education, told the Business Record in an email. “We hope the event empowers these girls to create a bright future, no matter what industry they decide to pursue. A big goal of ours was to highlight all the strong women leaders we have in our community.”

How does it affect the business community? “The JA EntrepreneuHER Workshop addresses the misconception that college is the only option after high school,” Gerard said. “We wanted the girls to know that there are so many opportunities out there to be successful, whether that is a four-year degree, certifications or starting your own business. JA as a whole also helps build the talent pipeline by providing students and schools curriculum centered around financial literacy, workforce readiness and an entrepreneurial mindset.”

Who attended? The women entrepreneurs and leaders who attended and spoke at the event included Melissa Ness, Diana Wright, Chelsa Smith, Clair Williams, Sydney Reickhoff, Nancy Mwirotsi and Laura Palmer.

What’s next? Gerard said Junior Achievement plans to scale the event next year to involve more participants and local women leaders.


Sarah Diehn

Sarah Bogaards is a staff writer at Business Record. She covers innovation & technology, HR & education.

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