Cultural Series Provides Community For Female Entrepreneurs

By Roger Van Scyoc
Centre Daily Times (State College, Pa.)

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Women owned companies made up more than 9.9 million businesses in 2012, constituting about 36 percent of the nation’s privately owned firms. This article highlights one woman’s entrepreneurial journey from former academic adviser at Penn State to founder of her own educational consulting service.

Centre Daily Times (State College, Pa.)

With her career behind her, Vanessa Wade rediscovered her calling more than 5,400 miles from home. Even in a foreign country, she slipped into a familiar role.

“It reminded me of my assets,” she said. “Before, I just looked at it as part of who I am.”

Wade, a former academic adviser at Penn State, met with high school and college students while in Lagos, Nigeria, giving a series of presentations on finding one’s way during a mercurial time in life. When she returned to the United States, the presentations turned into everyday chats with strangers she met anywhere.

It was as if she had never retired.

“I found myself talking to other people, just servers at restaurants, anybody,” she said, “and I realized, I’m still advising.”

A year later, Wade put her passion into action, founding her own educational consulting service. While the route may differ, more women like her are turning toward entrepreneurship. According to the Census Bureau, women owned more than 9.9 million businesses in 2012, constituting about 36 percent of the nation’s privately owned firms. The number represented a 30 percent increase from 2007.

On Thursday, Wade and about 20 others networked at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center, discussing how to start a business as part of the Cultural Empowerment for Women Series, which is a partnership between the American Association of University Women and the Community Diversity Group. The luncheon covered topics such as drawing up a plan, mapping out legal and tax requirements and pinpointing one’s motivation in starting a business.

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