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New J-term course offers entrepreneurship opportunities for students

The Farmer School of Business (FSB) has a new class for women at Miami University that aims to inspire students to become entrepreneurs.

Advancing Women in Entrepreneurship: Designing Your Life will begin during Winter Term 2019. The course will be offered as a study-away program in San Francisco and will also be offered in the spring on Oxford's campus.

"Students will have the opportunity to talk to female entrepreneurs, to listen to their authentic stories of being an entrepreneur," said Beth Troy, instructor of entrepreneurship and first-year integrated core.

This experience is meant to give women hope to become successful entrepreneurs.

The class is open to Miami students who will meet in San Francisco to talk with 20 female founders across a range of industries to hear their personal stories and how they continue to run their businesses, Troy said.

According to the Huffington Post, it is estimated only 36 percent of all businesses are owned by women in the United States.

It is important for women to be entrepreneurs in this day and age because it gives women independence, Troy said. Women have more struggles than men do in the workplace. Entrepreneurship is all about risk, and women are often more risk averse.

Advancing Women in Entrepreneurship (AWE) is an organization on campus that empowers women to pursue their passion and foster leadership for the next generation of female founders, sophomore marketing and entrepreneurship double major and AWE president, Lily Thaler said.

"We want to give women the resources, guidance and support they need to be innovative thinkers," said Thaler.

Thaler and Troy worked together to create the class, Designing Your Life, to encourage female students to pursue their dreams, even if failure comes first.

"This class will not have a lecture, but instead students will immerse themselves in the class by leading a Q and A when talking to the founders and will advocate for themselves," said Troy.

This way of learning is meant to encourage network-building skills by having students interact with the founders of these companies.

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Nineteen students have signed up to attend the trip in San Francisco, so far, Thaler said. She and Troy hope to offer it again next year.