SAN ANTONIO -- Teaching girls how to start a company, instead of just finding a job. That's the goal of a conference held Thursday at Our Lady of the Lake.
It attracted more than 150 high school girls interested in entrepreneurship.
KENS 5 caught up with some of the budding CEO's.
"A lot of girls don't get this opportunity to learn about business and get to actually learn to create a business or just get through life in general," said Morgan Gaugler, a junior at Clark High School participating in the Entrepreneurship Connections Conference.
Business owners of today met the business leaders of the future, thanks to the National Association of Women Business Owners of San Antonio (NAWBO).
"If I had the opportunity to meet a woman business owner and have the experience to learn about a business plan, learn budgeting and do those things, I would have gotten here a lot sooner!" said Melissa Mastrodomenico of Mastrodomenico & Buxie CPAs.
This was Mastrodomenico's first NAWBO conference serving as a mentor. She expressed her excitement after students from her alma mater, Incarnate Word High School, joined the program.
"With change and discomfort comes opportunity and growth," she advises aspiring entrepreneurs. "So grow and get out of your comfort zone and do something that you feel you're learning and you're growing."
Young ladies from 16 area high schools took advantage of the opportunity to meet community role models and develop ideas for their own business.
"I'm coming up with a bed and breakfast and it's going to be called Moe's Sunny Bed & Breakfast," said Gaugler. "It's going to be a one-night stay with breakfast in the morning."
"I'd like to plan weddings and also corporate meetings," said Alisha Harris, a junior at Clark High School. "It's going to be called Enchanted Rose Wedding Design and it's going to be based here in San Antonio."
Kathleen Morrow, a freshman at The Atonement Academy, wants to start a local art school.
"Art is a passion that I've had for a long time. It's not just painting or drawing or sketching, it can be cooking or singing and I love all of those things," said Morrow. "I want to share my passion for those things with other kids in the community."
Next Spring, the NAWBO San Antonio will award six young ladies a scholarship. It is part of a $25,000 prize for developing the best business plan.
What's unfolding before their very eyes during the conference is not just a business lesson, but lessons on life and the world around them.
"I'm not one that usually breaks out of my shell and talks to complete strangers, but now that I'm sitting down with these girls and it is opening me up and I think that's a good thing," said Morrow.
NAWBO San Antonio is always looking for more schools to join in the program. If you're interested in learning more, visit www.NAWBO.org.
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