A website for small businesses ranked Georgia as the No. 1 state in the nation for women entrepreneurs last month, giving hope to Kennesaw State’s EC Angels.
According to the website, Fit Small Business, Georgia has the highest percentage of women-owned firms in the nation, making up 40 percent of the state’s total businesses.
KSU’s EC Angels, a group of women entrepreneurs with a desire to start their own companies and inspire other women with an entrepreneurial spirit, are working to contribute to that percentage. The fellowship currently has 17 women in it, which is believed to be the first women-led entrepreneurs’ fellowship at KSU.
Regan Durkin, assistant director at the Shore Entrepreneurship Center, launched the fellowship when she saw the lack of women showing up at Shore Entrepreneurship events when she first came to KSU.
“Through my entrepreneurial journey in college, I was lost, confused and lonely,” Durkin said. “I knew there had to be women like this at KSU, and I believed it was my calling to find them and bring them together, accelerating their entrepreneurial journeys beyond what they ever imagined possible.”
Durkin also started the fellowship as a way to inspire and show women on campus that their goals are attainable.
“That’s the thing, I never want to make women think it is going to be easy,” Durkin said. “But I want to provide the people and platform to make sure they are confident that their dreams are possible and so worth fighting for.”
Durkin also said that every student involved in the fellowship has the opportunity to have a woman entrepreneur mentor. Atlanta has 17 women entrepreneurs from all over willing to mentor and encourage KSU women in their entrepreneurial goals.
Durkin emphasized that any woman who desires to join the EC Angels must keep in mind the fellowship’s most important requirement: demonstrating an ambitious mindset.
“Creating something from nothing is the hardest job in business, so we want to make sure to keep this fellowship limited to women students who have already proved that they are willing to get outside of their comfort zone to live a life by design instead of default,” Durkin said.
The EC Angels have many projects in the works, including a school-wide event they plan to host in March. With the event, Durkin hopes to “inspire the entire campus to pursue their dreams.”
“As this first cohort of Angels graduate, they will be leading businesses, initiatives and organizations, impacting and changing lives wherever their adventure takes them,” Durkin said. “They will continue to spur women entrepreneurship in Atlanta by mentoring women entrepreneurs at KSU, hosting events, leading retreats and much more.”