AKAs host entrepreneurship seminar for young women

The Beta Alpha Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. hosted an event aimed to educate young women on entrepreneurship on Wednesday.

More than 50 women attended “Sitting Pretty Wealthy: Minority Women & Business Ownership,” such as Keonna Welch.

The junior business administration and public relations student from St. Petersburg organized the seminar.

“Our organization has several initiatives that we try to base all of our programs off of throughout the year in order to educate the public, our community and especially young women,” Welch said. “One of our organization’s initiatives is economic security.”

The interactive seminar featured a panel discussion with Kristie Kennedy, a women’s empowerment speaker; Margo Thomas, president of Marlynn Consulting; and Shanea Wilks, director of Leon County’s Minority, Women & Small Business Enterprise Division.

Kennedy discussed the importance of preparation and having a positive mindset before starting a business.

“If you want to be an entrepreneur, the first thing you have to do is change your way of thinking,” Kennedy said.

Thomas explained why it is important to develop a plan before starting a business.

“A lot of entrepreneurs think: ‘I’m ready. I’m going to fire, and then I’ll aim,’ ” Thomas said.

However, she insisted that it is better to be ready, aim then fire when starting a business.

Wilks, who organized the panelists, challenged the crowd to not fear risk and sacrifice.

“Don’t be afraid to fail, and don’t be afraid to succeed because the potential lies within all of you,” Wilks said.

The seminar also included free giveaways and a marketing pitch competition.

Precious Johnson, a junior political science student from Palm Beach, Fla., won the marketing competition. She said seminars such as this one empower African-American women to be successful.

“Being an African-American is one minority, and being a woman is another minority, so you have two things working against you,” said Johnson, who added that seeing successful African-American women encourages young African-American women to strive for success.

Johnson is not the only person who felt the seminar was beneficial. Kadeja Henry, a senior criminal justice student from Miami who is an AKA member, said she would love to see more seminars such as this one on campus.

“Tonight, we saw a lot of unity amongst our African-American women,” Henry said. “We saw women asking intelligent questions that will help them propel themselves. I would love to see more of this because it definitely showed empowerment.”