Every year Biz Girls gets better and better. We’ve evolved from the first year’s amazement that the girls could actually complete the program and get their companies live within the tight time limits of the program to this year’s re-branding of the program from “Biz Girls Camp” to “Biz Girls CEO Development Program.”
While the Biz Girls CEO Development Program works on the same values and principles as the “camp”, we’ve raised the bar on what is expected of the girls – and interestingly – they have raised the bar on what is expected of us. In response to this, we implemented three new parts of the program this year. We couldn’t have done this without the volunteer effort of Louise Campbell-Blair, who joined us as Biz Girls’ CMO to get our marketing program in place, but who ended up doing much, much more. The three new programs include a Mentorship program, advanced workshops and sponsorships to help with tuition, allowing us to achieve our diversity goals.
Mentorship Program: Each girl is given the option to have a mentor who will work with them after the program has completed. In the past we’ve had challenges with getting continuity and providing a way for the girls to continue their businesses on into the school year. We’re hoping that by providing a mentor who can give advice, help set realistic goals and monitor progress, will improve the chances that these young companies will continue to grow and thrive well after the summer ends.
Advanced Sessions in Web Design, Pitch Development and SEO. This year we brought in a number of experts who helped by offering afternoon programs on three of the program days with advanced sessions covering web design, pitch development and marketing the web sites. The results were amazing. The pitches this year were great and included full powerpoint presentations. The web sites were much more sophisticated and filled out with graphics and logos, especially in Boulder where the girls decided in their strategic plan that developing logos was important to them. And finally, the SEO worked better than anyone had expected with Rachel from casetaste.com getting her first order the day after the program ended! Rachel ended up on a CBS TV program as a result of her success!
Finally, we added a program for donors to sponsor a Biz Girl. This was a tremendous success as it allowed us to pursue our objectives for diversity and make sure that no girl was denied a spot in the program because of an inability to come up with the tuition. Thanks so much to the generous individuals who supported these girls!
For those of you who haven’t been involved, here’s a summary of the companies that we formed this year: