Kendra Scott might be known for her jewelry but this Austinite is working hard to give back to the community and open doors for women. She has committed a corporate and personal philanthropic investment to The University of Texas at Austin. To kick things off, Kendra, along with a panel of incredible female judges, hosted an event for Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute’s inaugural Dream to Venture event at UT.
An amazing panel of female judges were on hand to help Kendra pick the Leadership Institute’s pitch winners. Judges included Liz Mathews of Dell Technologies and Julianna Hough, who you may recognize from Dancing With The Stars or one of her many other projects. Two winning pitches were chosen. This is just one way the program will help over 24,000 women pursue their business aspirations over the next decade.
“Kendra’s investment will transform the lives of thousands of future leaders, and all of society will reap the benefits. I am thrilled she is expanding her partnership with UT to attract top talent and leverage the strength of our city and university as an engine for entrepreneurship.”Jay Hartzell, president of UT Austin.
The Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute (KS WELI) is a cross between the College of Fine Arts, the McCombs School of Business, the College of Natural Sciences, and The LaunchPad in Undergraduate Studies, that builds a community for often underrepresented women and creatives in entrepreneurial roles.
Since Kendra started KS WELI in 2019, the program continues to create a space for women to be heard. Kendra announced just yesterday that she was making a donation of $13 million to the program. With that amount and a strong team behind her, we have no doubt she will change countless women’s lives. The investment will seed and launch the Women in Entrepreneurship (WiE) Specialization in Fall 2022. The partnership with the McCombs School of Business is giving students the opportunity to earn a minor in entrepreneurship.