Grants from the PNC Foundation and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation help the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University launch MyBusiness Startup and MyConsulting Corner programs
September 13, 2013
Programs aim to increase revenue and job creation in women-owned businesses
PITTSBURGH—Women-owned businesses are growing at one and a half times the national average, yet lack in revenue and job growth. The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship (CWE) at Chatham University, with grant support from the PNC Foundation and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, is launching new programming designed to address that deficiency.
Women entrepreneurs face many challenges. Only 1.8 percent of women-owned businesses hit the $1 million mark, compared to the national average of 5.3 percent, according to the 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report. In addition, the average women-owned business starts with only 64 percent of the capital of its male counterpart. This and the reluctance to tap outside financing throughout their lifetimes helps to explain why average women-owned businesses have 25 percent lower revenues than the typical firms owned by men in the same industries, according to a the 2010 report on women-owned businesses from the U.S. Department of Commerce Economics and Statistics Administration.
With these realities in mind, the funding provided by PNC and the Benedum Foundation are enabling CWE to launch two new programs, MyBusiness Startup and MyConsulting Corner, which provide affordable, women-centric training for women entrepreneurs in all stages of their business development.
“Chatham University’s program aligns with PNC’s efforts to strengthen women’s business development,” said Eva Blum, director of Community Affairs for PNC Bank and chair and president of The PNC Foundation. “By ensuring women-owned businesses gain awareness of available financial resources and expand their networks, we are supporting the fastest-growing segment of the economy.”
MyBusiness Startup is a 12-week entrepreneurial training program created and designed by the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship exclusively for women entrepreneurs in the early stages of starting their own businesses. This program includes interactive hands-on business planning class sessions, one-on-one consulting, and a one-year membership to The Center.
MyConsulting Corner provides women business owners with student teams to assist owners by completing research-based projects for their businesses. This program allows students to gain valuable insight into the world of small, women-owned businesses while providing women business owners with high-quality information on growing their businesses. This program includes consultation with The Center’s Executive-in-Residence and a one-year membership to The Center.
Rebecca U. Harris, director of CWE, explains the importance of the women-centric design of the programs: “In keeping with Chatham University’s tradition of educating strong women, CWE has found that providing women entrepreneurs with peer groups, education, and mentoring in a women-friendly environment helps women business owners feel secure in taking the step to start and grow their businesses. In addition, many women business owners have unique opportunities and challenges that they will face and providing them with tailored education can help them meet challenges more effectively.”
In addition to funding from PNC and the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, CWE also receives financial support from the Alcoa Foundation, as well as from many community business sponsors all of which are listed at www.chatham.edu/cwe.
About the Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship
The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University creates economic opportunities for women through entrepreneurial education and training, mentoring, and networking.
Building on Chatham University’s tradition of educating world-ready women for over 120 years, The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University has provided quality education and training for women entrepreneurs since 2005.
Current funding for The Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Chatham University has been provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, the PNC Foundation, and the Alcoa Foundation. Initial funding was provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation and the Lois Tack Thompson Fund of the Pittsburgh Foundation.
About the PNC Foundation
The PNC Foundation, which receives its principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group (NYSE: PNC), actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Learn more at www.pncsites.com/pncfoundation.
About the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation
The Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation has served West Virginia and Southwestern Pennsylvania since it was established in 1944 by Michael and Sarah Benedum. Grants are made to support specific initiatives in the areas of Education, Economic Development, Health and Human Services, and Community Development. Learn more at www.benedum.org.
About Chatham University
Chatham University prepares students from around the world to help develop solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges. Consistently ranked among the top master’s level institutions in the Northeast by U.S. News & World Report and The Princeton Review, Chatham University is also ranked in the top five percent of graduate-intensive institutions nationally and experienced the fastest-growing enrollment in the Pittsburgh region throughout the past decade. Founded in 1869, Chatham University includes the Shadyside Campus, with the historic 39-acre Woodland Road arboretum and Chatham Eastside facility, and the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus north of Pittsburgh. For more information, call 800-837-1290 or visit www.chatham.edu.