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For Immediate Release:
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Gretchen Johnson

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Mentoring Program for Female Entrepreneurs Launched

New Program Part of Female Entrepreneurs Alliance at Rothman Institute

Madison, NJ (December 5, 2003) — A new mentoring program for female entrepreneurs will launch in December. It is part of the Female Entrepreneurs’ Alliance at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Rothman Institute and will provide women business owners in New Jersey with easier access to mentors who can serve as a source of information or support.

The role of the mentor is not limited to women. It is open to anyone in the business community who feels that they have the experience, time, insight and desire to give guidance and council to female entrepreneurs.

The new mentoring program responds to the needs of women entrepreneurs who, in 2002, comprised 26 percent of all privately-held firms in New Jersey — or approximately 174,616 firms. New Jersey ranks tenth in the nation in the number of women-owned firms.

“The problem for women is that they often follow a more circuitous route into business ownership than males,” said Dr. Ethné. Swartz, assistant professor of entrepreneurship at the Institute. “They lack the industry contacts and social capital that males have built up during a lifetime in business. Women have to be deliberate in their search for such leveraging relationships.

“But, they learn fast,” she said, “and are not afraid to ask for help. We hope we can assist in their search for support and guidance.”

According to the Center for Women’s Business Research, mentors can play a vital role for new or growing firms in providing advice and leveraging additional support from other networks. Where mentor relationships are made available to women business owners, they appear to make greater use of these than do male counterparts.

Entrepreneurs and mentors are able to participate in this new program by filling out a statement of interest form on the Web. Visit the Rothman Institute Web site (www.fdu.edu/rothman) and click on “Female Entrepreneurial Alliance” and then “Mentoring Program. “

For more information, please contact Ethne Swartz at 973 443 8979, or e-mail entalliance@fdu.edu.

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This release authored with FDU Pagetoaster.