By Siying Zheng
The Center for Entrepreneurship recently provided a terrific experiential learning opportunity for female student entrepreneurs to compete and earn $1,000 by giving a one-minute pitch about goal five of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals — to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. The winner of the 2021 contest, Caroline “Caty” Greer ‘23, took the prize for her mentoring app for women called Womentor.
Greer is a junior in the Honors College studying Economics and Data Science. She started her entrepreneurship journey as a freshman when joining the Honors Entrepreneurship Living Learning Community (E-LLC). There, she learned about entrepreneurship theory and practice. Her experience in the E-LLC fostered her passion for creating new and innovative solutions centered around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Her winning idea Womentor is a platform for colleges and universities to connect female students with female alumni in the industry they want to enter. Both mentors and mentees can apply by filling in specific criteria such as mentorship and career goals, time commitment and more. The platform would then use artificial intelligence to create meaningful matches for students and alumni.
Greer shared why she is incredibly passionate about this recent venture:
I read so many statistics that highlighted the lack of female representation in positions of corporate power — only 8.1% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women, and 1.2% are women of color. I not only questioned why these numbers were so low but also how they affected other women who want to be CEOs or executives.
One obstacle to high-level female leadership is the lack of role models in the process. In positions usually filled by men, the road to success is lonely, competitive and challenging. Providing young professionals access to successful women in their industry would create both a micro and macro-level impact. That ultimately inspired my venture.
The E-LLC and Impact X have given Greer the skills to develop an idea, validate a venture and tell compelling stories through pitches.