By Matt McKinney
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A summer camp in Virginia is focused on empowering girls with the skills needed to someday start and run their own companies.
Allison Daniels stood before a crowd of aspiring female entrepreneurs Monday morning to give her pitch. She told them about the ideas that race through her mind late at night, the ones that might someday inspire her next business plan.
“I’ll do a bunch of research so I’ll remember in the morning,” she said.
Soap-making. Travel. A drug to cure multiple sclerosis, the autoimmune disease that has besieged millions of people, including her cousin.
Daniels, 14, doesn’t know which idea to pursue yet — but that’s why she’s there, she said.
Twenty soon-to-be freshmen at the Entrepreneurship and Business Academy at Kempsville High School began a four-day camp Monday geared toward empowering girls with skills to someday start and run their own companies.
The workshop is one of the first student activities at the Virginia Beach school division’s eighth academy, set to officially open next month. Later this week, students will make their pitch in front of local entrepreneurs. The winner will receive $500.
“I’m not listening to who has the best plan, I’m listening to who has the most confidence, who has the most conviction and who’s been inspired this week,” said Angela Reddix, a Cox High School graduate and founder of Envision, Lead, Grow, a program designed to train girls to become future business leaders.
Reddix, CEO of Norfolk-based consulting firm ARDX, said she started the workshop after growing frustrated with seeing few women in the executive ranks. Among nearly 22,000 publicly traded companies in 2014, fewer than 5 percent had a female chief executive, according to a February study by the Washington nonprofit Peterson Institute for International Economics.