Solving problems through entrepreneurship
An app that improves communication about homework and school schedules. Cost-effective, hydro-powered air conditioning units for rural school districts. A protective case that also charges a laptop computer. These are just a few of the products invented by young women at the Ivy College of Business Young Women in Business Conference, held April 15 at Iowa State University.
The newly redesigned conference provides a creative, hands-on experience for young women in grades 8-10 who are interested in exploring majors and careers in business. Twenty-six students from central Iowa schools participated in this year’s event.
Judi Eyles, director of the Pappajohn Center for Entrepreneurship at Iowa State University, led the students in an exercise to identify a problem in their school that could be improved through innovation and entrepreneurship. Participants then worked in teams to create and pitch a product or service that provides a solution to one of those challenges. Each team collaborated with a mentor from the student organization Collegiate Women in Business. Ivy College of Business faculty served as business consultants, providing advice about management, marketing, finance, and supply chain concerns.
Iowa State alumna Mikayla Sullivan (’17), demonstrated how to deliver a business pitch and then served as a judge for the teams’ presentations. Sullivan is co-founder of KinoSol, an Iowa-based startup which produces solar-powered food dehydrators designed to reduce food waste and improve food security around the world.
The goal of the Young Women in Business Conference is to inspire young women to identify their passion and learn more about the impact of a business education on the world through career exploration. 2019 marks the 10th year of Young Women in Business programming supported by the Ivy College of Business.