Universities across the country and all over the world this week are celebrating the fourth annual Women’s Entrepreneurship Week (WEW).
The initiative was first launched at Montclair State University in New Jersey in 2014 with just four New Jersey universities. Four years later, it has steadily caught on with nonprofits and academic institutions, with 74 organizations in 15 countries and 22 states all holding events to celebrate the work of female entrepreneurs. This is among a climate that sees men outnumber women as business owners two to one and only 17 percent of venture backed founders are women.
Sharon Waters, the manager of WEW and program manager at Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship at Montclair State, says that the initiative’s aim is visibility and inspiration.
“Universities want their young women who are students to be able to see the positive role models up on stage that are telling their entrepreneurial journey and how they got to where they are,” Waters says. “As long as women are underrepresented as entrepreneurs, I think the need for this type of celebration remains.”
In honor of WEW, read on for 15 quotes about leadership from female founders and executives at the top of their game.