Empowerment begins early. That’s why the Alliance Financial Group is presenting the Girls Going Places® Entrepreneurship Conference again this year to link girls in Southwest Florida middle and high schools with prominent female business owners and professionals.
The final day to register is this Friday, April 20. The conference will be held from 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 9 at the Florida Gulf Coast University Cohen Center.
“This is about teaching young girls how to take control of their financial futures through entrepreneurship,” Girls Going Places® founder Lynne Kimmich says. “Too often, opportunities have been out of reach for women, and they’ve fallen behind. We’re giving these girls the tools they need to get ahead.”
Students who attend the conference will meet with accomplished women who will act as conference mentors for the day. Among this year’s mentors are WINK News anchor Lois Thome, Spada Salon & Day Spa co-owner Judy Williams, and Dr. Mary Kay Peterson, director of Women’s Imaging at Radiology Regional Center.
Mentors will lead the students through a series of interactive activities and discussions centered on starting and running a business. One of those activities, called Product in a Box®, will challenge girls to quickly develop and present a business plan based on a random, simple item assigned to them. Another activity, Budget Savvy®, teaches the importance of balancing earnings with expenditures.
The mentors will also facilitate small group discussions, answer questions and share information about their challenges and successes in running a business or working in the business world.
The conference is open to female students at middle and high schools in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Manatee, Sarasota and Hendry counties. No more than 10 students per school or youth organization may attend, and all of them must be chaperoned.
Spaces are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis, and they’re filling up fast. Bishop Verot High School, Gulf Coast High School, the PACE Center for Girls in Lee and Collier counties, Bonita Springs Charter School, Sanibel School, Varsity Lakes Middle School, Bonita Springs Middle Center for the Arts, Gateway Charter High School and Girl Scouts of Gulfcoast Florida have already reached their 10 allotted spots. School and program administrators as well as parents may register their students at girlsgoingplaces-afg.com.