Montclair State University will offer free childcare during its all-day Women Entrepreneurship Week Conference on Oct. 23 at the University’s campus. The unique offering of no-charge, on-site childcare allows entrepreneurs at all levels to attend the event, which is free and open to the public.
“I’ve attended a lot of industry conferences in my career, none offered childcare support for working parents,” said Carley Graham Garcia, executive director of the University’s Feliciano Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation (FCE&I), which organizes the conference. “We are committed to supporting women full-circle in their lives, through program development and mentorship. Thanks to Lightbridge Academy, childcare will be on-site, steps from where parents can learn, network and grow their businesses.”
FCE&I, which has a special mission to nurture female founders, started Women Entrepreneurship Week in 2014, when events were held at four universities. This year, the sixth annual, WEW will be celebrated at more than 200 universities and colleges in 30 countries, as well as 43 states and the District of Columbia in the United States. The signature WEW event each year is Montclair State’s daylong conference, which drew more than 500 attendees in 2018.
The launch of free childcare during the WEW Conference marks a new chapter in FCE&I serving the needs of female founders. The childcare services will be provided on campus by Lightbridge Academy, which has been a supporter and sponsor of Women Entrepreneurship Week for three years.
“We know the struggle parents face every day to provide quality early childhood education and safe care for their children while working on their business venture or at a company,” said Guy Falzarano, founder and CEO of Lightbridge Franchise Co., which has 116 centers open or under development in seven states. “We are happy to provide childcare to the attendees of the WEW Conference, an event whose mission we support whole-heartedly.”
The WEW Conference, on Oct. 23 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., will feature a dozen entrepreneurs from a variety of industries, including Abby Taylor, co-founder of Playa Bowls, and Betty Manetta, president and CEO of Argent Associates. The event will culminate with Jen Shap leading Google’s #IamRemarkable Workshop, which empowers women and underrepresented groups to celebrate their achievements in the workplace and beyond. It is the first time Google will be presenting the workshop at a university. Women looking to grow or start their own businesses or take on a more entrepreneurial role within larger companies, and aspiring student entrepreneurs, will receive high-energy inspiration, practical tips and advice at the conference.
Montclair State will host a second WEW event, “Finding Success as Food Entrepreneurs,” on Oct. 21 from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. featuring founders from the food and restaurant industry.
Both events are free and open to the public, and will be held at the University Hall Conference Center at Montclair State University. Registration is open now. For more information and to register, visit: www.WomenEntrepreneurshipWeek.com.