It is no surprise that Minneapolis has been named one of the best cities for women entrepreneurs, according to a study conducted by NerdWallet, a financial literacy website. Here’s just a small sample of women entrepreneurs who’ve come out of the Opus College of Business and launched successful businesses.
House of Talents
Many Full-time UST MBA students list owning their own business as a goal when they begin the program. Many more take entrepreneurship classes; after all, they are valuable whether you go to work for a start up, or a Fortune 500 corporation. Of those students, most plan to work a few years before taking the plunge into new venture ownership. Class of 2009 alumna Kate Herzog is one of the very few who opened a business right after earning her degree.
Her company is House of Talents, whose mission is to “alleviate poverty by connecting artisans from developing countries with consumer markets worldwide.” Kate and her House of Talents have just taken a giant step forward
Most start-up companies face challenges as they develop their business, which is one reason, perhaps, why 60 to 70 percent of new ventures fail in the first 10 years of operation. But few have encountered quite as many as did Kate Herzog, founder and president of House of Talents, during a recent buying trip to Ghana,West Africa.
In the middle of a 13-hour journey from Accra to the Northern Region of Ghana, a tire on the dilapidated Jeep in which she was riding went flat. An easy matter to fix, but the wrench the driver had on hand could not remove the final lug nut holding the hubcap to the wheel. For seven hours, Herzog and her companions waited by the side of the road in the hopes someone would stop – a hope made somewhat futile by the high incidence of armed robbery on that particular road, resulting in a reluctance of passersby to help stranded motorists.
The Education section of the New York Times this morning had an article about the emergence of social entrepreneurship in the MBA community; I certainly recommend reading it if this is a topic of interest to you.
In the article, author Nazanin Lankarani discusses the results of a recent survey (pdf) of applicants as to why they are pursuing an MBA. The results were astonishing – almost 30% of the respondents cited “starting own business” as a prime aspiration, a statistic that is up approximately 25% from the last survey in 2006. The author also points out another interesting statistic – the prime aspiration “improving career prospects” has dropped significantly from the last survey (66.2 percent in 2009, 73 percent in 2006). This made me think about two things on my Wednesday morning coffee break. First, what are the prime aspirations for current UST MBA students? And second, what are my applicant’s prime aspirations for obtaining an MBA?