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Female entrepreneurs celebrated at BNP Paribas event

Undergraduate | Nov 21, 2014 |
Fordham junior Emily Raleigh listens to a speaker at an event celebrating Women's Entrepreneurship Day.

Fordham junior Emily Raleigh listens to a speaker at an event celebrating Women’s Entrepreneurship Day.

For Fordham University junior Emily Raleigh, the fear creeps in when she needs to clear a daunting to-do list in a limited time.

Such is the life of a busy female entrepreneur, especially one who’s still in college.

Raleigh was one of four female entrepreneurs on a panel this week celebrating the launch of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day hosted by BNP Paribas. Each of them was asked by Claudia Hagg, BNP Paribas’ vice president of ethics and compliance, about fear. Not one said she was afraid of failure.

Failure, explained serial entrepreneur Nathalie Molina Niño, is not the end.

“I cannot imagine anything more valuable as an entrepreneur than failing,” Niño said during the event.

Women’s Entrepreneurship Day was founded by Wendy Diamond, a New York resident who has been involved in multiple businesses. The celebration at BNP Paribas was attended by a group of Fordham University women, all involved with creating their own businesses.

To view photos of the event, click here.

Raleigh, founder and CEO of Smart Girls Group, was joined by Lavera Wright, a Fordham alum with her own accounting business, on the panel. Corinne Logan, Grace Lilly, Sara Kyle and Andra Tomsa – all Fordham students and alumnae – were in the audience.

Logan’s business is designed around producing a pair of shorts that will hold insulin pumps for diabetic athletes. Lilly and Kyle run a digital marketing consultancy and Tomsa has created Spare, an app that allows New Yorkers to round up their bills and send their spare change to support local hunger relief efforts.

BNP Paribas has just renewed its partnership with the Fordham Foundry, a business incubator and is “looking forward a closer cooperation, involving business plan reviews and mutual events,” said Managing Director for Corporate Social Responsibility Hervé Duteil.

During her talk, Niño said that businesses needed to reach out to women who had left the corporate world, often to work on their own startups, and bring them back into the fold.

Women entrepreneurs should be sought after, she said, because of the lessons they learn through their experiences and failures. They make outstanding mentors, Niño said.

“They reinvent themselves and they dust themselves off and they start another company or they restructure their own company, she said, and that flexing of that entrepreneurial muscle is incredibly valuable.”

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