Collecting Change: Women’s Conference Helps Millennial Womenpreneurs Create Social Impact

The Women’s Business Center of Northern Virginia, in partnership with Walker’s Legacy, is hosting its first-ever Social Entrepreneurship Conference. Whether you’re a new or an established business, you will walk away inspired and ready to plant your brand deeper.


According to a report by the National Women’s Business Council, only five percent of millennials in America own their own businesses. This number seems to be low, considering the fact that the millennial generation is made up of innovators, creatives and socially conscious people who want to solve the world’s problems.

So, what’s the reason for the lack of business launches? Student loan debt. It cripples thousands of would-be entrepreneurs from pursuing their dreams.

The Women’s Business Center of Northern Virginia (WBC) is aware of these statistics and has created a conference aimed primarily at this demographic. “Collecting Change: Grassroots Methods to Building Social Enterprise” is a conference that will take place in Falls Church, VA on Saturday, September 23rd from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm.

“We decided to start this conference because we wanted to reach more working millennials and we tried to find both a topic and a time that would be attractive to them,” says Juli Monroe, Director of the WBC.

The majority of the WBC’s clientele is comprised of small business owners, ages 35+ who have more flexibility to come to training and events mid-day and midweek. They wanted their Fall conference to cater towards a younger crowd who wouldn’t typically have access to their services but who are definitely interested in resources to launch their startups.

So, what exactly is social enterprise?

According to Bethany Rubin-Henderson, award-winning social entrepreneur, and guest speaker at the conference, there are a few sure things that social enterprise is NOT. Social enterprise, or social entrepreneurship, is not: a 501 (c) (3), a non-profit/NGO, corporate social responsibility (CSR), community service/volunteering or philanthropy. These are all good causes, but they don’t quite define a social enterprise.

A social enterprise is “innovative, systems changing, scalable, measurable, replicable and sustainable,” according to Rubin Henderson. It’s a for-profit business model that must maintain a certain set of standards to promote the wellbeing of the community and/ or the environment.

Because the millennial generation is community- and cause-driven, business models that combine for-profit and nonprofit components are attractive to this demographic.

What can I expect at the conference?

Along with a deeper overview of social enterprises, event attendees can expect to walk away with a toolkit for building their social media base, steps on how to crowdfund mission-based projects, and a wealth of knowledge from social entrepreneurs in the military community.

Walker’s Legacy is a conference partner and will be moderating a panel consisting of Cortni Grange, Founder of Future Leaders & Young Entrepreneurs (FLYE) and Kezia Williams, Founder of the Black upStart.

Additionally, there will be a clothes donation area to give infant and toddler clothing to millennial single mothers in the Moms Who Hustle program.

After all, it’s all about finding strategic partnerships to best serve populations in need and extend one’s reach in the community.

Where do I sign up?!

To register for the Collecting Change Conference, please visit here:

Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith is passionate about connecting marginalized populations to resources that position them for success. As a business counselor at the Women’s Business Center of Northern Virginia, she equips aspiring business owners with the tools they need to become economically empowered through entrepreneurship. She teaches monthly business startup classes and conducts daily counseling sessions to meet the individual needs of her clients.

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Walker's Legacy is a growing global women in business collective founded to establish networks of empowerment and access for women of color in business.