Alumni Attend Business Conference in Las Vegas

September 14, 2017
Prairie View A&M University

Prairie View A&M University was well represented at the WBENC National Conference & Business Fair in Las Vegas, Nevada. Recent graduates Isis Ashford ’17 and Alexa Pete ’17 were two of 20 women selected to participate in the 2017 Student Entrepreneur Program and Pitch Competition this past June. The program’s purpose is to, “foster growth for the next generation of women-owned businesses through a tailored entrepreneurial curriculum and mentoring from certified women-owned businesses and Fortune 500 Corporate Members.”

Although the business aspect of the conference was important, Ashford said the support system of women coming together was the focus. “My initial mindset was coming in, getting the money and making business connections, but it wasn’t that type of party at all,” said Ashford, “It was literally get to know all the women around you.” While at the conference, Ashford was matched with Brenda Loube of My Corporate Fitness, who served as her mentor. “Being young, it’s hard to network with people from age generations and you don’t know what to say,” said Ashford “Brenda didn’t care, she would introduce me to any and everyone; She took a lot of time to help with my pitch.” Ashford said Loube acted as her life coach and was really appreciative of the help she gave when preparing for the pitch competition, which she placed third and won $2,000. “I really came in there about the competition, but that isn’t what I walked away with,” said Ashford. “The money was like a small thing, but getting to know these women was the whole experience and what it was about.”

“My initial thoughts coming in, getting the money and making business connections, but it wasn’t that type of party at all. It was literally get to know all the women around you,” said Ashford.  was matched with Brenda Loube of My Corporate Fitness. “Being young in these circles, it’s hard to network with people from age generations and you don’t know what to say,” said Ashford “Brenda didn’t care, she would introduce me to everybody and anybody.” Ashford compared her to a life coach and was really appreciative of the help she gave. “It relieve a lot of pressure and she took a lot of time to help me,” said Ashford.

Alexa Pete ’17 also attended the conference. Pete said she found out about the conference through a friend who had attended the event before. “As I approached my senior year, I decided I might as well apply for it just to see the possibilities and what it takes to be an entrepreneur,” said Pete, “I wanted to see what were the stories/backgrounds of the different women and what it takes to maintain a business.”  In the future, Pete wants to start a consulting firm that focuses on energy companies that struggle in gaining a competitive advantage in the renewable energy space.

While at the conference, Pete went through training that taught skills like supplier diversity, book keeping, and relationship building with corporations and within the entrepreneurship program. “It was very inspiring to see women who are doing what I want to do,” said Pete. Although barriers can be hard to break when you don’t come from an entrepreneurship background, the women she interacted with showed her that it was possible. “The attitude of ‘just go for it’ or ‘just do it’ was a big thing,” said Pete, “Everyone was more than confident in their business and the purpose of their business.”