Eager to propel their entrepreneurial aspirations to the next level, more than 2,500 women converged on the “Connecting Women to Power Business Conference” at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) on June 16 to learn the latest marketing, tax, leadership and other strategies from top public and private industry professionals.
The conference is hosted by CSUDH alumnus Jerome E. Horton (Class of ’79, B.S., business administration), member and former chairman of the California State Board of Equalization. Now in its seventh year, the event continues to grow in popularity and attract a more diverse group of expert speakers and participants seeking to connect and learn from them.
Throughout the day, attendees made their way to the 22 panel discussions and individual speaker presentations that interested them the most, such as “Planning for Success and Creating a Successful Business,” Women in High Places,” Business Tax Essentials,” and Women Worthy of Wealth.”
To kick off the conference, the opening ceremony included welcome remarks from Horton and his wife Yvonne Horton, city clerk of the City of Inglewood; Diane Harkey, vice chair of the California State Board of Equalization, 4th District; Jeffrey Prang, Los Angele County assessor; and CSUDH President Willie J. Hagan.
“I was struck by a woman who told me she was here for inspiration. I think you’ll find that here,” said Hagan. “One of the things you will want to do today is network with people who are here with you. The workshops are great, but so much of success comes from people like you who you can turn to for advice. So if you don’t have a network yet, start here. If you do have a network, expand it here.”
Conference attendees took to social media to share their experiences. Here are a few comments:
@kyleemakeup: Such a great event. Thank you for hosting
@boat2ocean: This conference is so uplifting! The perfect mid-year reboot
@WorkofK: So many gems, mics, keys & an all were dropped during the #iammybrand workshop that it was insane. What a day!!
@YoDallas: Thank you Jerome & Yvonne Horton on another successful/meaningful #CWP2016 #ConnectingWomentoPower
@FestiveFlair: Feeling inspired & energized at #CWP2016 #ConnectingWomentoPower 3rd time attending & excited about all the familiar faces I see!
Back by popular demand at the conference was the Entrepreneurial Institute @ CSUDH’s (Ei) “Toro Tank,” which is designed much like the popular television show “Shark Tank.” This year’s winner was J&B Popcorn, co-owned by Briana and Juan Young. Juan Young represented the company, a side business for the couple, during the competition and was among the more than 150 entrepreneurs pitching their products or business ideas to a panel of successful business leaders, entrepreneurs, educators and civic leaders with the hopes of creating partnerships, getting advice and/or acquiring funding to grow.
“We are seeing around the world a strong surge in women entrepreneurs entering the marketplace with new companies that have been well thought out, creative, passionate, problem solving, and thoughtfully executed,” said Mike Grimshaw, business management lecturer and founder of the Ei. “This was validated during the conference with 50 women presenting an array of business ideas. It has also been the case in our Ei Incubator [a program designed to promote the growth and success of entrepreneurship at CSUDH], which attracts women who desire to establish themselves as successful entrepreneurs.”