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November 28, 2012

Special Panel Discussion - Nov 30 at 6:30 pm Entrepreneurship for Empowerment: How Women Are Using Business To Lift Up Themselves & Their Communities




A panel discussion exploring the role of entrepreneurship and economic opportunity as a tool for female empowerment, at home and in the developing world. The panel will be preceded by a screening of the “Economic Empowerment” chapter of Half The Sky, featuring the story of the Umoja Women’s Village in Kenya, at 5:45pm. Beverages and light snacks will be provided by Equal Exchange.


Brenda Avery, Public Relations Director, Mercado Global. Brenda is Public Relations Director of Mercado Global, a fair trade organization that empowers female artisans in Latin America by connecting them to mainstream sales opportunities in the U.S. Mercado Global’s sales and business support for women’s artisan cooperatives lift families in rural indigenous communities out of poverty and invest in local women’s leadership. Brenda brings over ten years of branding and communications experience working in the public, private, and non-profit sectors, having most recently worked for TOD’S, Dolce & Gabbana and Cartier. Prior to her work in luxury goods, Brenda served on several bi-partisan political campaigns as well as in the executive office of California Governor Gray Davis. Brenda is completing an M.S. in Strategic Communications from Columbia University and holds a B.A. in International Relations and Political Science from the University of California, San Diego. She also holds a Certificate in Fashion Studies from Parsons the New School for Design.

Cheryl Campbell, Managing Director, EILEEN FISHER Community Foundation. Cheryl Campbell is the Managing Director of the Eileen Fisher Community Foundation and a connecting partner of the Eileen Fisher Social Consciousness team. In the fall of 2009 she launched GREEN EILEEN, a recycled clothing initiative, which has raised over $1.35 million dollars and sold more than 40,000 garments. Proceeds support non-profit programs for women and girls. Cheryl facilitates the annual Eileen Fisher Business Grant program for Women Entrepreneurs. The annual grants awards $12,500 to five 100% women owned businesses that excel in the areas of innovation and sustainability.

Erica Dorn, Community Development and Loan Operations Manager, Accion USA. As a leader in U.S. microfinance, Accion empowers low-to-moderate income business owners through access to capital and financial education. With economic opportunity, these entrepreneurs—often minorities and women—can build assets, better provide for their families, create employment and strengthen their communities.

Isela Hernandez, President and Founder, HERNÁN. Originally from the U.S.-Mexico border, Isela was raised in the best of both worlds allowing her to explore the opportunities of the U.S. while remaining closely connected to Mexico’s rich culture. After 8 years as a merchant in the fashion industry in New York and Los Angeles, Isela became active in community development and worked at the Synergos Institute – an international NGO with a mission to eradicate poverty and inequity in the developing world and along the U.S.-Mexico border. Inspired by this experience, Isela was determined to use her experience as a merchant to start a business that would promote Mexican culture. HERNÁN is a brand of Mexican premium gourmet products which includes a line of Mexican kitchenware and Mexican hot chocolate. All HERNÁN products are designed and made in Mexico by local artisans and producers, many of whom are expanding beyond their local origins for the first time. Isela is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations.

Terri McCullough, Executive Director, Tory Burch Foundation. Terri is the Executive Director of the Tory Burch Foundation and guides its strategy. Terri was previously Chief of Staff and advisor to Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives. She served in a variety of roles for more than 15 years in Rep. Pelosi’s Capitol Hill and San Francisco offices, with a focus on issues affecting women and families. Her experience also includes positions at NARAL Pro-Choice America, PENCIL (Public Education Needs Civic Involvement in Learning) and actress/playwright Anna Deavere Smith’s Institute on the Arts and Civic Dialogue at New York University. Terri serves on the Board of the Girls Leadership Institute. She is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Lyn Pentecost, Executive Director, The Lower Eastside Girls Club. Lyn Pentecost, PhD, is an anthropologist and Executive Director of The Lower Eastside Girls Club of New York, a place where girls and young women 8-23 can grow, learn, have fun, and develop confidence in themselves and their ability to make a difference in the world. All Girls Club programs develop environmental, entrepreneurial and ethical leadership in the girls they serve. The Girls Club owns and operates four successful social ventures: a Farmers Market, a Fair Trade Gift Shop, a Community Café and The Sweet Things Bake Shop – which makes the best cupcakes in NYC!

Moderated by: 

Kari Litzmann, Founder of ShopRubina.com and President of New York Women Social Entrepreneurs. Kari has spent eight years working as a designer and branding consultant in New York with the purpose of strengthening the voice of women around the world. Her clients have included microfinance organizations like Women’s World Banking and women’s academic institutions like Barnard College. She received her Masters from the Pratt Design Management program in 2005, during which she conducted thesis research on how Design Management is relevant in economically-impoverished communities, and where she discovered the power of design to make positive change in the world. She currently serves as the Chapter Leader of New York Women Social Entrepreneurs, a network of more than 1800 women involved in the social enterprise and CSR space in New York. She worked with Kala Raksha, a groundbreaking NGO that empowers artisans through design in Kutch India, and returned to India at the beginning of 2012 to spend five months building partnerships with design companies and women artisans for the launch of ShopRubina.com.



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Turnkey University Program

Now a days men and women both are have same level of opportunity. but now you can see how women are using business to lift up themselves & their organization. Education are more helpful for them and universities are play a major role in that. Their they capitalized their opportunities. Exploring the role of entrepreneurship and economic opportunity as a tool for female empowerment, at home and in the developing world.

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