The Ward4 co-working space for entrepreneurs and investors located in the Pritzlaff building complex in Milwaukee's Walker's Point neighborhood will host a week-long series of events for women entrepreneurs to celebrate Women's History Month.
Called Women's Entrepreneurship Week, the event series will be held March 13 through March 17 at 333 N. Plankinton Ave.
Events include networking opportunities, guest speakers, the opportunity to receive free business headshots, office hours with attorneys from Quarles & Brady LLP, a screening of the documentary "He named me Malala," and even a self-defense class.
In addition, Ward4 will offer free co-working to all women entrepreneurs from March 13 through March 17 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
"My goal is to bring in women who might not see themselves as being successful entrepreneurs in the community and give them the tools they need to succeed," said Kenzi Enright, community curator at Ward4. "All the things that we're doing we think in some way will benefit women who want to enter into the entrepreneurial environment."
Women's Entrepreneurship Week is Enright's passion project, and the idea to organize it was inspired by aspects of her own career.
A former employee of the Milwaukee-based subscription wine service startup Bright Cellars, Enright said she had no idea Milwaukee had as many resources and opportunities as it does for women to get involved in startups and tech when she was fresh out of college.
While working at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Athletic Department a few years ago, Enright had seen friends interested in pursuing careers in tech move away from Milwaukee to larger cities on the coasts. She, like her friends, didn't see Milwaukee as a destination for the career she wanted, but as a stepping stone for her next opportunity, she said.
[caption id="attachment_154361" align="alignleft" width="377"] Ward 4, a co-working space for startups and entrepreneurs located in the Pritzlaff Building at 333 N. Plankinton Ave.[/caption]
Then, by chance, she found out about Bright Cellars through an internship match program. She was the first employee the startup hired after moving to Milwaukee from Boston in 2015 and going through Milwaukee-based gener8tor's startup accelerator program.
"The tools I was given at Bright Cellars when I first began, wearing so many hats as startup employees do, gave me so much insight," Enright said.
The experience eventually led her to her current role at Ward4. Bright Cellars currently leases office space from the organization at 333 N. Plankinton Ave.
She's hoping Women's Entrepreneurship Week will connect women who are interested in entrepreneurial pursuits or entering a career in tech to resources and opportunities that will encourage them to get involved in the local startup community.
"It's for everyone," Enright said. "It's for women, allies of women and women who are successful entrepreneurs or just interested in the concept of entrepreneurial ecosystems in general. I'm from Milwaukee and I love Milwaukee. Growing Milwaukee in general, and the startup community, and the tech industry, would be huge."
For a complete list of events, visit the Women's Entrepreneurship Week webpage.