Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED), a global movement that celebrates, empowers and supports women in business to alleviate poverty, is coming to Cleveland for the first time from 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. at the Linsalata Alumni Center of Case Western Reserve University, located at 11310 Juniper Road, on November 12.
Social entrepreneur and Cleveland-native Wendy Diamond launched the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Organization in 2014. Recognizing that women in business are a force for good— financially elevating their families, neighborhoods, communities and countries—Diamond sought to bring more support and awareness to the global impact of women in business.
“Empowering women worldwide and investing in their futures helps to drive and promote economic vitality and security locally and globally,” said Diamond. “Twenty-first century leadership skills, such as cooperation, communication and sharing are more commonly associated with women. We want to celebrate the unwavering positives that women entrepreneurs bring to the global economy as well as inspire and support future generations of women entrepreneurs.”
More than 145 countries around the world acknowledge and celebrate Women’s Entrepreneurship Day annually on Nov. 19 making it the world’s largest grassroots movement dedicated to empowering women worldwide. The WED flagship event is held each year at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City and live-streamed to an international audience, reaching an estimated 1.4 million people.
In 2017, Lorraine Schuchart, founder and CEO of Prosper for Purpose, was invited to attend the flagship event. Lorraine felt that WED aligned with Prosper’s values of promoting people, prosperity, planet and purpose. She, along with co-chair Lisa Sands, the Prosper for Purpose team, and an advisory board of dedicated supporters of women across a variety of sectors, have committed to launch the inaugural Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Cleveland.
According to Schuchart, the objective for the first WED Cleveland is to rally the local community together to empower women and girls to become active participants in the economy by igniting a network of female leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs and to strategically scale and deepen their impact.
“While most female entrepreneur events engage ‘experts’ to tell women what they need to do to make their businesses thrive, our event is based on the belief that the women in the room have the answers, and that through directed discussion and collaboration, they will identify and implement the strategies for success,” explained Schuchart.
WED Cleveland will kick-off the day-long event with a session on how business can contribute to neighborhood revitalization. Panelists include Christie Murdoch, owner of Banyan Tree, a lifestyle and clothing boutique with stores in Tremont, Legacy Village and Crocker Park, and Melissa Khoury, co-owner of Saucisson, an artisanal butcher shop in Slavic Village.
Attendees will engage with each other in a World Cafe format, participating in directed dialogue and networking, rotating tables, ideating strategies and forming alliances.
A lunchtime presentation will feature Sean Peppard, partner at Benesch Law, who will discuss how women entrepreneurs can employ emerging technologies like blockchain and artificial intelligence to manage, scale and grow their businesses. Forbes has called blockchain “the future of social impact.”
WED Cleveland will recognize women who have generously led the regional female entrepreneur movement and those who have gone above and beyond to help other women succeed. Three WED Cleveland Pioneer Awards will be presented on Nov. 12.
Women’s Entrepreneurship Day is not just an event — it is a movement that brings awareness to women in business year-round. WED Cleveland will bring established and aspiring entrepreneurs together with other leaders to share ideas, spark action and create opportunities for businesses to grow while also impacting the greater good.
“The overarching goal of WED Cleveland will be to help women entrepreneurs build successful businesses that also positively impact their communities, distinguishing WED from other entrepreneurial and leadership seminars,” said Schuchart.
More information and tickets to the event are available on the WED Cleveland website. Follow WED Cleveland on Facebook and Instagram.
About Women’s Entrepreneurship Day
Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED) will be celebrated globally on Nov. 19, 2018, and is the world’s largest grassroots movement and mission dedicated to celebrating, supporting and empowering women across the globe. WED encourages four billion women worldwide to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams, with the goal of inspiring hope and alleviating poverty.
Facts about Ohio Women in Business:
According to the World Population Review:
Women-owned firms make up 33.9% of all firms in Ohio
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer:
Ohio women experience a 23% pay gap as compared to men
According to Smart Business Akron/Canton:
Women entrepreneurs are leading the way in job growth as the quantity of female-owned startups outpaces those launched by men
Facts about Women in Business beyond Ohio:
According to Forbes:
Successful women are more likely than successful men to own a business to pursue a personal passion and to make a positive global impact (according to 2013 U.S. Trust Insights on Wealth and Worth)
Women are 1.17 times more likely than men to create social ventures rather than only economic ventures, and 1.23 times more likely to pursue environmental ventures than economic-focused ventures (according to Global Women’s Entrepreneurship Research)