Social Entrepreneurship Focus of New Series for Women

More than two dozen people gathered at the Anderson Student Center’s create [space] (formerly the Makerspace) earlier this week to learn about embracing their passions and using them to change the world for good through business.

“I hope you start thinking about how you view good living, how you view good business,” said social entrepreneur Kristi Hemmer, founder and CEO of the Academy for Women’s Empowerment, at the first of a four-part, semester-long series “Helping Women Become Entrepreneurs for Good” on Monday.

She continued: “You can have one business that does good and you can have enough money so you don’t have to go to three jobs just to pay your bills.”

During the first installment – “Doing Good is Good for Business” – of the series, Hemmer emphasized finding a passion, which, she explained, plays a big role when creating a successful business.

“If you don’t know what the end plan is – that’s OK,” Hemmer said. “Think about what your passion is and what your next step is.”

She asked participants to embrace their “little girl passions” by identifying what they loved to do when they were children and to envision what that might look like as a business today.

“We tend to squish the little girl passions,” said Hemmer in an interview prior to the event. “I want them to reclaim their little girl passions and think: How can I make that into a career, how can I make that into my life? Instead of squishing it, how can I integrate it and actually see where my skill sets cross? Because usually where passion is, that’s where your skill set is.”

Throughout the hour-long session, Hemmer talked about being a social entrepreneur and pointed out examples of young women who had social questions and created businesses to solve them. One of the women she highlighted was St. Thomas grad Solome Tibebu ’12, who won the 2011 Fowler Business Concept Challenge, created an online community for teens with mental health…

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