Women Entrepreneurship Week Inspires Women in Business

By Briana Vannozzi

“We’re mothers, we’re spouses, we’re doing so many things and juggling so many things in our lives that sometimes we forget about really what it is to get ideas from other women that are just like you,” said Jocelyn Casey.

They’re here to get tips for their Plainfield-based event planning business. This is the second annual Women Entrepreneurship Week in New Jersey, held by Montclair State University’s Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship.

“I think women feed off each other’s energy and knowledge, and I think that inspires others as well to either get the courage to continue to move forward, or to overcome some fears,” said Belinda Moore.

“The Feliciano Center has a special mission to nurture and encourage women entrepreneurs, whether that’s our students who dream of being an entrepreneur someday, or someone in the community that is already an entrepreneur and needs some tips. So it’s just important for them to have inspiration, like they’ll get today, as well as practical tips,” said Feliciano Program Manager Sharon Waters.

It’s a series of workshops and networking. True to form, Lt. Governor Kim Guagdagno energized the audience of 300 and promised to help cut red tape after offering her own personal anecdote.

“A sheriff can wear these if she wants to,” Guadagno said while holding up her heels.

“Generally women are underrepresented in this whole entrepreneur community. When you look at the evolving economy, entrepreneurship, it’s more and more important and women need to be present in this area,” said Feliciano Director, Dennis Bone.

Topics like power, leveraging your community and one of the most popular…

“Marketing on a shoe string budget,” said Patricia Price. “I drastically need to know how to launch my business.”

Funds are tight for Price’s Newark-based consulting business. She’s has to worry about paying for her daughter’s tuition and the bills.

“Equally important is the continuing confidence that I can do this, because you have those second thoughts in your head when you come up against challenges because besides just running my business, you also have a life, a personal life,” Price said.

This program has taken hold since it began last year with events happening all across the state. At Montclair, females represent 60 percent of the student population and it’s become an incubator for entrepreneurs.

“They need support. They need resources. They need to network with each other. They need to know they’re not alone. There’s support out there. There’s financial support. There’s programs, and things that can be done to help them succeed,” said Feliciano Co-founder, Mimi Feliciano.

That way, they’ll truly run the world.