Aspiring student entrepreneurs learn from panel of successful local female entrepreneurs | Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics

Aspiring student entrepreneurs learn from panel of successful local female entrepreneurs

Posted on Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

Students listening to panel

University of Guelph students headed downtown Guelph earlier this month for OWN IT, an evening of inspiration and a panel discussion with local female entrepreneurs on the fears, successes and future visions of starting a small business.

The event was co-hosted by the on-campus group Guelph Women in Leadership (GWIL) the Modern Bride, a bridal boutique located in downtown Guelph. The event aimed to inspire aspiring female entrepreneurs to take the next step toward their small business or ideas.

The panel looked at several themes related to entrepreneurship and being a female entrepreneur. Among the panel discussion, students were able to engage in the discussion and learned more about goal setting, growing and scaling a small business, recognizing leadership styles, the ups and downs of being a female entrepreneur, and the value of community over competition.

The event featured a panel of six female entrepreneurs, including:

  • Donna Hirst | CFO and Co-Owner, The Modern Bride
  • Jessica Hirst | CEO Owner and Founder, The Modern Bride
  • Jess Imrie | Owner, Jess Imrie Photography
  • Robyn Maude | Owner, Blooms and Flora
  • Bethany Gier | Owner and Designer, This Little Estate
  • Kendra Coons | Owner, Confetti and Co


“The event was an incredible success, bringing together U of G students and entrepreneurs from our community,” said Emma Pybus, U of G student and Director of Marketing for GWIL. “We can’t thank our co-hosts enough, Adele Gatto and Jess Hirst at the Modern Bride, as we couldn’t have done it without them.”


The event took place on February 11 at the Modern Bride downtown Guelph.

GWIL was founded in 2014 and is aimed at providing inspiration, leadership and empowerment for all students, particularly women. Within three short years, the delegation has grown from a single member to 20 young women who are extremely passionate advocates for gender equality on our campus and in society as a whole.

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