2015 WBENC SEP Pitch Competition Winner Fon Powell (center); second place Jasmine Curtis (left); and third place Naomi Thomas (right). (PRNewsFoto/WBENC)
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Women’s Business Enterprise National Council Sets Stage In Orlando For 2016 Student Entrepreneur Program And Pitch Competition

The WBENC is proud to announce the 19 student entrepreneurs selected for the 2016 WBENC Student Entrepreneur Program.
2015 WBENC SEP Pitch Competition Winner Fon Powell (center); second place Jasmine Curtis (left); and third place Naomi Thomas (right). (PRNewsFoto/WBENC)
2015 WBENC SEP Pitch Competition Winner Fon Powell (center); second place Jasmine Curtis (left); and third place Naomi Thomas (right). (WBENC)

The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) is proud to announce the 19 student entrepreneurs selected from 16 universities for the prestigious 2016 WBENC Student Entrepreneur Program (SEP) at WBENC’s National Conference & Business Fair in Orlando, Florida from June 21 to 23.

The program fosters growth for the next generation of women-owned businesses through tailored entrepreneurial curriculum and mentoring from certified women’s business owners and Fortune 500 Corporate Members, while supported by title sponsor FedEx, pitch competition sponsor EY, and Student Scholar Supporters.

In 2015, WBENC awarded $5K in seed capital to Fon Powell, creator of the S.A.L.T device. This year, the cohort will compete in the EY WBENC SEP Pitch Competition on Thursday, June 23 3-5 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Orlando – Convention Center.

“FedEx is proud to support the WBENC Student Entrepreneur Program (SEP),” says Sue Spence, vice president, sourcing and procurement at FedEx. “This program has a proven track record of providing essential resources to help encourage the next generation of women business owners. Playing a role in the growth of small businesses is a major focus area for FedEx, and it’s even more exciting to play a role in the development of young women through the SEP program.”

WBENC is committed to being the nation’s leader in women’s business development. This year’s cohort includes students majoring in biomedical, engineering, computer science, business, and arts degrees.

{in alphabetical order}

  • Temiloluwa Adeniyi – University of Cincinnati
  • Chidimma AmagwulaPrairie View A&M University
  • Mona AminEast Carolina University
  • Justine Avoudikpon – University of Georgia
  • Emily BocchinoFlorida State University
  • Ny-Aja BoydNorth Carolina A&T State University
  • Eunice CofieUniversity of Cincinnati
  • Mariah HenryFlorida A&M University
  • Shannon Homa – Alvernia University
  • Lisa HuangRice University
  • Natalie KassUniversity of South Florida
  • Sarah Lumanu – Prairie View A&M University
  • Ya-El Mandel-Portnoy – Mount Sinai School of Medicine
  • Yadira Martinez – College of Southern Nevada
  • Hayley OwczarzakAquinas College
  • Chancedy Pulliam – Mississippi State University
  • Dhuree Seth – Embry Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Tamarre Torchon – Georgia State University
  • Vinitha Thiyagarajan Upaassana – University of Cincinnati

“We must be proactive about encouraging future WBEs of all backgrounds to see the possibilities in opening their own businesses,” says Pamela Prince-Eason, WBENC President and CEO. “The SEP program does this by bringing students from across the country, in different fields and with diverse backgrounds.”