Economics Major Tackles Gender Inequality With Mentoring App

Caroline "Caty" Greer, College of Charleston School of Business

Caroline "Caty" Greer, College of Charleston School of Business

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.

Read more about Caty’s accomplishment on The College Today.

Impact X Program Highlighted by AACSB International

Dean Alan Shao and guest speaker unveiling new Impact X window decal at the College of Charleston School of Business

Dean Alan Shao and guest speaker unveiling new Impact X window decal at the College of Charleston School of Business

A flagship program in the School of Business was recently recognized by the premier accrediting body of business schools around the world for itcommitment to innovation. 

AACSB International (AACSB), the world’s largest business education network, featured the College of Charleston School of Business among 24 business schools as highlights of its 2021 Innovations That Inspire member recognition initiative. This annual program recognizes institutions from around the world that serve as champions of change in the business education landscape and showcases business schools that create a positive societal impact. 

The School of Business was recognized for its Impact X programImpact X is an entrepreneurship course that uses the framework of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for sustainable and profitable businesses. At the end of the course, teams compete in a pitch competition for the chance to win seed money to scale their businesses. The program is housed within the school’s Center for Entrepreneurship, which is led by David Wyman, associate professor of entrepreneurship. 

Since 2015, Impact X has formed more than 6student startup teams that have created cutting-edge, for-profit solutions timprove people’s lives and the planet.  

“Our School of Business prides itself on recognizing the importance of being a socially responsible partner with the community in which we live,” said Alan T. Shao, dean of the business school. “Impact X is a transformational program that puts the curriculum spotlight on making a difference while making a profit. Through this shift in mindset, I am confident that many of our graduates will be at the forefront of positive social changes in the communities in which they live. 

Shao also thanked Stuart Williams, the school’s social and entrepreneur-in-residence, for his dedication to the program. 

“Business schools everywhere are defining impact objectives and strategies that align with the communities they serve, and the examples featured through AACSB’s Innovations That Inspire initiative perfectly demonstrate business education as a force for good,” said Caryn L. Beck-Dudley, AACSB president and CEO. “We are excited to honor the College of Charleston School of Business for its innovative approach to society’s challenges.” 

Now in its sixth year, the Innovations That Inspire initiative has highlighted more than 160 business school efforts that exemplify forward-looking approaches to education, research, community engagement, entrepreneurship and leadership. To date, members of AACSB’s Business Education Alliance have shared more than 1,000 innovations to inform and inspire fellow members and the industry. 

To learn more about the College’s social entrepreneurship incubator, visit the Impact X Innovations that Inspire page.