Being a teenager and a CEO may be an unlikely combination, but it is not impossible. If you have any doubts, take a look at what’s happening at Connecticut-based Girls With Impact. And if you’re a teenage girl, you can do more than look. You have an opportunity to receive one of 100 scholarships available for this fall, and could be on your way to running your own company.
Emily Brydges, 15, of Suffield High School, reflects what’s possible. She is the CEO of No Loose Ends, a venture she created during Girls With Impact’s Entrepreneurship Academy. The live, online 10-week after-school program – delivered to the comfort of home – equips girls to build a business or nonprofit, boost their confidence, and create a unique differentiator that sets them apart in the college admissions process.
Each week, girls connect to a live class for 50 minutes, where they join their coach and peers. There’s homework involved, too, and at the conclusion of the program they come together in person for their graduation, where they pitch their ventures before family and earn a certificate. Students complete the program with a business plan, a prototype, and the experience of delivering a venture pitch.
Emily says that her “experience with Girls With Impact has given me confidence in and out of the classroom, and provided me with the skills I need to run a successful small business.” She has a strong interest in running, and education.
Her business offers a collection of colored shoe-laces, “There aren’t many outlets for runners to make a difference in the world, so I was able to combine the two,” Emily explains. “It’s had a huge impact on me.” The funds she raises are donated to the Campaign for Female Education.
Since the program’s launch just two years ago, more than 250 girls from 13 states have participated. And Girls With Impact is looking for more. Up to 100 scholarships are available for the program – provided with the support of Eversource Energy and Santander -- for those of low and moderate income. Standard tuition is $495 for all materials.
Even participants in the program who choose not to launch their companies even before they reach high school are benefitting. The experience and business foundation provide know-how that has been shown to be helpful in the college admission process, and beyond.
Girls With Impact, based in Greenwich, focuses on preparing girls for future success in higher education and beyond with a number of program initiatives. They highlight an enviable track-record:
91% are more confident taking initiative vs 44% pre-program
80% are more likely to major in business or entrepreneurship
100% feel more college ready
Officials indicate that girls now in college also report receiving scholarships averaging $110,000, which they say is directly attributable to their Girls With Impact experience. This year, Girls With Impact expects to train 1,000 girls, although “there are no limits to the number we can train,” says CEO Jennifer Openshaw. “It’s all part of Girls With Impact’s effort to equip 10,000 girls with the skills and confidence to become the leaders of tomorrow.”
To learn more and to apply for scholarships available thru September 30, visit www.girlswithimpact.