Women's History Month: Emily Gresham is unlocking opportunities for entrepreneurs

Posted at 4:01 PM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 16:01:09-04

Emily Gresham is the co-founder of StartUP FIU, a hub that fosters and develops entrepreneurship and innovation to help business owners thrive in today’s fast-changing world.

"We do a lot of different things for three different constituents. So faculty, students, and community entrepreneurs," said Gresham.

A platform that helps entrepreneurs navigate and harness the opportunities to shape a better and more innovative future.

The program StartUp FIU is customized based on who you are.

"For our students we have studios so they'll be five to seven week sprints where they’re moving towards either solidifying their ideas or finding customers. For our community members, that ranges from two week bootcamp, monthly workshops, we connect you to consultants,we connect you to our network of people in the market," she said.

Since its founding in 2016, StartUp FIU has helped over 14,000 people and businesses. 60% of whom are women-owned.

"What's really important for them to learn is why they’re doing what they’re doing. What problem are you trying to solve? How do you plan to make money? What are your costs? How to pitch to investors. How to present yourself," added Gresham.

After losing her government job in 2010, Sherronda Daye turned her hobby into a business. Now she’s the owner and founder of Sweet Jalane’s bakery.

"When I first came into the program I was a mother trying to feed my children so I didn’t have an accounting structure in place, I didn’t have branding or product positioning or product packaging down packed," said Daye.

Daye never thought she’d be where she is today, running not one but three brands.

"Struggle always comes before success. So I would recommend that they would partner up with a program like StartUp FIU. Don’t be afraid to ask the hard questions. And don’t be afraid of legitimizing your business," added Daye.

"It takes a village to grow a company. We are here to help you. We have a network full of other people who want to help you. Don’t do it alone, its just more painful," added Gresham.

You can learn more about the resources available here.