OSU's women entrepreneurs conference to feature Vera Bradley co-founder

The third annual WE Inspire conference is set for April 4 at the Cox Convention Center. The Riata Center for Entrepreneurship from Oklahoma State University's Spears School of Business hosts the yearly event.
FROM STAFF REPORTS Published: March 20, 2012

Patricia Miller, co-founder of Vera Bradley design company; Julie Aigner-Clark, who founded The Baby Einstein Co. that offers developmental books and DVDs for babies and toddlers; and some 20 other local and national women entrepreneurs from diverse industries will share the lessons they learned on their respective roads to success at the third annual Women Entrepreneurs Inspire (“WE Inspire”) Conference 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., April 4 at Cox Convention Center.

“Women are the fastest growing segment of small business startups in the nation and make an enormous contribution to our economy in terms of job creation, spending power and other areas,” said Nola Miyasaki, executive director of the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship from Oklahoma State University's Spears School of Business that hosts the event.

“Still there is high potential for growth among women-owned businesses and a great opportunity for them to be more and more successful,” Miyasaki said. Women-owned businesses, she said, continue to lag behind male-owned businesses in numbers, revenue and access to capital.

Combining keynote sessions with hands-on breakout sessions, the conference is particularly geared toward women who have just started a business, those who have only ideas for new enterprises and women who are looking to grow their existing businesses, Miyasaki said.

A startup track will focus on creating ventures, while a growth track will emphasize ways to grow a venture.

Sample topics include finance and online marketing.

“Our past conferences inspired hundreds of women to pursue their passions, think big and turn their dreams into reality,” Miyasaki said. “We plan to continue this tradition.”



If you go

Cost of the conference is $60; $75 after March 30 or for walk-ins. To register or for more information, go to weinspire.net. Companies interested in sponsorships or exhibit tables for the conference should call Brooke Stuart at 744-7871 or email brooke.stuart@okstate.edu.

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