This week, women in business gathered at New York University (NYU) for the ITP’s Women Entrepreneurs Festival v.2.
The goal of the annual festival, which took place Jan. 17 and 18, is to sow the seeds for a community of women entrepreneurs in NYC, to expose women who have not yet taken the entrepreneurial leap – the pre-entrepreneurs – to the women who have. The festival was limited to 220 attendees and included Arianna Huffington as the keynote speaker. There were also six different panels, all with the theme of being makers – physical makers, community makers, knowledge makers, change makers, tastemakers, art makers.
“The purpose is to encourage more women to take the leap and jump into the entrepreneurial space. Women are underrepresented in the amount of funding they receive and we want to encourage and support them in their pursuits,” says Midori Yasuda, Admissions, Special Events, Alumni Coordinator, Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.
According to new data projections from The Guardian Life Small Business Research Institute, by 2018 women entrepreneurs will be responsible for creating between 5 million and 5.5 million new jobs nationwide. That’s more than half of the 9.7 million new jobs the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects small businesses to create.
This is the second year for the festival. Last year, it was limited to 15 attendees, and attracted students and non-students alike.
“The festival was started by ITP, which is a technology department,” explains Yasuda. “We found that we have about 50% women which is unusual for a tech department so we really wanted to tap into that demographic to support them even more.”