Girls Who Start returns with renewed vigor

Girls+Who+Start+officers+from+left+to+right%3A+Dawn+Betner%2C+Kejal+Shah%2C+Elyse+Kratchman%2C+Abby+Serata%2C+Carly+Schulman%2C+and+Nadine+Litvak

Supplied by Abby Serata '22

Girls Who Start officers from left to right: Dawn Betner, Kejal Shah, Elyse Kratchman, Abby Serata, Carly Schulman, and Nadine Litvak

  The business world was run by men. In fact, the first female entrepreneur wasn’t introduced until the 1900s. Madame C.J. Walker was the daughter of slaves and built her hair care empire from nothing. She was the frontier for women-owned businesses. Today, more than 11 million firms are run by women, but they only make up about 19% of business owners. This isn’t enough.

   “In our world, we are used to seeing men as entrepreneurs,” said Eastern Girls Who Start Co-President Abigail Serata, “It’s essential for females to know that there are people like them in these positions and hopefully it can inspire them to follow in the same path”

What is an entrepreneur? 

  An entrepreneur is someone who starts and runs their own business. There is no age, gender, race, or education requirement to being an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship teaches work ethic and problem-solving skills, “good work ethic helps solve problems— not just in business, but in life,” said club advisor Alec Sherman. Business skills are crucial to have, no matter what career you pursue.

What is Girls Who Start?

  Girls Who Start was founded in 2016 by Ariel Beck. The organization is geared towards girls that seek a future in business and entrepreneurship. By learning from other women’s experiences, students can receive the tools they need to run a successful business. “Girls Who Start exposes students to business professionals by getting to hear their stories and give advice from their experiences,” said Sherman. From Hint Water to Dormify, the wide variety of guest speakers knows no limit.

  Abby Serata and Eastern graduate Lily Coyne started a chapter of Girls Who Start at Eastern in 2020. “Before it became an official club at Eastern, I participated in large group zooms of Girls Who Start presidents from all different schools in the country,” said Serata. “Besides DECA, which you can only participate in if you are in a business course, there are not many clubs that are like Girls Who Start. I became really interested in what I was learning in workshops and from guest speakers and wanted to share it with my friends, so I reached out to Mr. Sherman and we got the club approved.” 

  Eastern’s chapter of Girls Who Start has already seen a variety of guest speakers.

   “Last year, guest speakers were very difficult because many people were struggling with work due to the pandemic and we had to do our meetings online. “said Serata. Despite the pandemic, the club was able to meet with guest speakers via Zoom.

   “We’ve had many successful women entrepreneurs including an owner of her own dog training business, jewelry business owner, and a midwife with a birth education business.” There are many guest speakers to look forward to including Benita Cooper, an architect from Haddonfield. 

  The main goal for Girls Who Start at Eastern is exposure, which will help make the club stable at Eastern. Abby admitted, “When we started, the club was all virtual and it was very hard to get the word across. This year, my hope is to have frequent meetings, increasing interest, and building up our members so that the club can continue long after I leave.” It is just as crucial to have women’s representation in the workforce as anywhere. Women still make 80% of their male counterparts. It’s time to dissipate the gender gap. It’s time for women to run the business world.

   “If you are a business-minded individual that hopes to start your own business one day, and would like to know the resources available to you, this club is for you,” said Club Advisor Alec Sherman.   

   If you are interested in learning more about Girls Who Start, be sure to contact Abby Serata at [email protected]