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Venture Lab to Host Conference to Promote Women’s Entrepreneurship

September 8, 2017

The UC Merced Venture Lab is hosting The Woman Entrepreneur, a conference dedicated to educating the community and exploring opportunities for women interested in entrepreneurship in the San Joaquin Valley.

The conference will be held on campus Sept. 12 and feature panel discussions, breakout sessions and two guest speakers who are themselves successful women entrepreneurs.

Keynote speakers Carrie Norton of Green Business BASE CAMP — a consulting firm that helps early-stage companies find the tools needed to promote both sustainability and profitability —  and Lenore Estrada of Three Babes Bakeshop — a San Francisco-based bakery founded by Central Valley natives — will discuss their own entrepreneurial experiences and the challenges they face as women who ultimately found success in starting their own businesses.

The conference will also include a 30-minute panel discussion that provides an overview of the Venture Lab and what it can offer aspiring entrepreneurs. The panel will highlight the efforts of women entrepreneurs who are currently working with the Venture Lab to launch their own businesses.

The event culminates with breakout sessions designed to connect aspiring entrepreneurs in attendance with local mentors who can inspire, answer questions, teach them the ins-and-outs of entrepreneurship and provide guidance regarding the challenges that women entrepreneurs face when launching new ventures.

“The goal of the conference is to bring more women to the Venture Lab and bring a wider awareness of entrepreneurship opportunities to women in the San Joaquin Valley,” said Stephanie Butticci, with UC Merced’s Office of Research and Economic Development.

The Woman Entrepreneur will be held from 1-4 p.m. Sept. 12 in room 355 in the library. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. The event is open to everyone and admission is free, but attendees are asked to register online in advance. Questions about the event can be addressed to Stephanie Butticci at

The Woman Entrepreneur is presented by the UC Merced Venture Lab and sponsored by Margo Souza of and Emily Wirowek of the Law Office of Emily Wirowek.