Hosted by the Harvard Extension Entrepreneurship and Real Estate Association, the event featured four female entrepreneurs who spoke about their companies and personal business ventures. In her presentation to an audience of around 100, Dina Dwyer-Owens, co-chair of franchise holding company Dwyer Group, emphasized the importance of business values and advocated for continuous self-improvement.
“I really want to inspire people to take responsibility for having clarity about their personal values,” Dwyer-Owens said prior to the event.
In her speech, Dwyer-Owens discussed the history of her company, which she inherited from her father, and how they built it into a billion-dollar business. Dwyer-Owens then outlined the guiding principles of her company and showed clips of her appearance on the CBS show “Undercover Bosses” to demonstrate how she takes responsibility for her business policies.
“[Business is] not about money. It’s about how we treat people,” Dwyer-Owens said. “The profits are simply the applause we get for doing right by taking care of people.”
Conference organizers Ruxanda Krekeler, Harvard Extension Entrepreneurship and Real Estate Association events coordinator, and Aksinia S. Stavskaya, the Boston ambassador of Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, said they hope the event will inspire current and future business women.
“I really want [the audience] to know that there are so many women entrepreneurs. We face the same barriers in our businesses,” Stavskaya said. “I want them to feel inspired, to feel strong, to feel like together we can do things and grow.”
An internationally recognized movement sponsored by the United Nations, the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day aims to empower women in business worldwide. Stavskaya said that her position as an ambassador to the movement gives her the unique opportunity to meet and collaborate with entrepreneurs.
“Being able to bring [entrepreneurs] all together to empower each other…I feel this amazing strength,” Stavskaya said.The host organization, Harvard Extension Entrepreneurship and Real Estate Association, is a student group that connects women at the Extension School with businesses leaders, real estate professionals, and faculty members. Other speakers at the event were nonprofit leader Neli V. Rowland, former cable television host Rita Davenport, and accounting specialist Sharon L. Lechter.
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Harvard Today: November 10, 2014