Certificate in Women’s Entrepreneurship

April 2024 to Present

Through the Certificate for Women's Entrepreneurship at Cornell, I'm learning the skills to build, manage, and scale a successful business.

About the Institution

The new Bank of America Institute for Women's Entrepreneurship at Cornell offers an unparalleled opportunity for women to earn a certificate in business from this Ivy League university. Through a free online program made possible by Bank of America, students will gain the skills, knowledge and resources necessary to build, manage and scale a successful business.

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Highlighted Skills

Brand Development, Branding, Business Funding, Business Operations, Business Strategy, Digital Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Financial Analysis, Leadership, Marketing, Mentoring, Networking, Problem-Solving, Project Management, Relationship Building, Risk Management, Sales and Promotion, Social Media Marketing

Program Overview

Providing women entrepreneurs with the skills, knowledge, and resources to build, manage, and scale a successful business.

The Bank of America Institute for Women’s Entrepreneurship at Cornell is a collaboration between Bank of America and Cornell University to provide 100,000 entrepreneurs with access to an online certificate program that provides the knowledge and resources to build and scale successful businesses.

The curriculum is designed to meet the needs of emerging entrepreneurs who are developing their own leadership skills and approaching their business decisions to maximize the chance for success. The six courses include topics such as assessing readiness for entrepreneurship, performing customer discovery, creating a business model, executing product development and digital marketing, building a legal framework for success, assessing and obtaining financial resources, developing leadership capacity, and enhancing communication, negotiation, and persuasiveness skills. In each course, participants will hear about specific aspects that impact women entrepreneurs, and each entrepreneur will be given the opportunity to adapt the learning to her specific context.

Courses in the Curriculum:

Course 1: Creating Your Venture – Start with Customer Discovery

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand yourself better as an entrepreneur and business owner as well as learn about the gender issues that can impact you and your business.
  • Develop specific goals for your business that match your individual situation.
  • Learn how to talk to customers to uncover their most urgent problems so you can create a product with a market.
  • Create a business model and action plan to take advantages of opportunities you uncover.

Course 2: Funding Your Venture and Business Planning

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn to estimate how much funding you need to start or grow your business and when you will need it.
  • Get familiar with different sources of capital for new and young companies, the pros and cons of each, and what sources best fit your personal situation.
  • Understand the challenges women face in capital-raising and what strategies you can employ to overcome them.

Course 3: Growth Leadership for Women Entrepreneurs

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to assemble a founding team that meets the key needs of your business.
  • Understand how to establish an effective culture to attract and retain employees who are the right fit for the strategy of your business and for the key roles needed to implement that strategy.
  • Understand how to develop positive working relationships with partners, employees, customers, and investors, including by understanding and navigating the gender issues that may come into play.
  • Build your personal level of resilience and help your leadership team respond effectively to challenges and setbacks.

Course 4: Product Development and Digital Marketing

Learning Objectives:

  • Draw a roadmap for a customer-focused product development and marketing process.
  • Create an early brand that is connected to your value proposition.
  • Learn how to interpret customer analytics.
  • Explore digital marketing techniques to get, keep, and grow your customer base across multiple channels.
  • Consider ways to capitalize on your strengths as a woman to springboard your marketing.

Course 5: Laying the Legal Building Blocks for Your Venture

Learning Objectives:

  • Learn how to set up the right legal structure to protect your interests and maximize your options.
  • Anticipate legal challenges you may face and consider how gender affects the way you approach those challenges.
  • Have guidelines for when and what counsel you need.
  • Create a personalized plan to prepare and protect yourself and your venture from common pitfalls.

Course 6: Communication, Negotiation, and Persuasiveness

Learning Objectives:

  • Develop your leadership (executive) presence to be credible and compelling.
  • Be prepared for various negotiation situations.
  • Understand how gender impacts you in communication situations, such as pitching.
  • Develop strategies to be persuasive as an entrepreneur.

Skill Summary: 

  • Business Strategy and Planning
    • Business strategy development
    • Business plan creation
    • Market analysis and opportunity identification
  • Leadership and Management
    • Leadership development
    • Team management
    • Negotiation skills
    • Decision-making
  • Financial Acumen
    • Financial planning and budgeting
    • Funding strategies and investment
    • Financial analysis
  • Marketing and Branding
    • Marketing strategy formulation
    • Brand development
    • Digital marketing
    • Social media marketing
  • Networking and Mentorship
    • Networking skills
    • Mentorship engagement
    • Professional relationship building
  • Legal and Operational Insights
    • Legal considerations for businesses
    • Operational best practices
    • Risk management
  • Additional Skills
    • Problem-solving
    • Innovation and creativity
    • Project management
    • Customer relationship management (CRM)
    • Sales strategy

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Desiree' M. Slaughter

Desiree' M. Slaughter

Creative Professional, Solopreneur, Digital Creator

My online portfolio highlights the skills and experiences that I have gained throughout my academic and professional career. Browse around to learn more!

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