MISSOULA – Pursue Your Passions, the University of Montana’s women’s entrepreneurship and leadership program, is offering two new and one returning online course this spring. All courses are open to the public, as well as UM students. Although the classes are designed for women, anyone can enroll.
“Women can be more risk averse or less likely to speak up than their male counterparts,” said Morgan Slemberger, director of women’s entrepreneurship and leadership at UM. “PYP is designed to create a safe space for women to share their ideas out loud, with each other.”
The upcoming schedule of PYP courses will include a practical introduction to business for people with a start-up idea, as well as introductions for anyone looking to expand their professional networks to support their business or career. The classes are:
- Build Your Brand and Network: Feb. 22- April 30.
- Business Basics I: March 15- April 30.
- Business Basics II: May 10- June 18.
Since 2015, PYP has helped Montana women realize their personal and professional goals. According to a 2020 survey, students in the Build Your Brand and Network course reported an overall 60% increase in their likelihood to apply for a managerial or leadership position, and 48% reported an increase in their overall network and brand confidence.
“Our courses are online, but in the future the courses will be accompanied by an online network where women can interact together and support each other,” Slemberger said. “There are also weekly opportunities to connect with the women in their courses live on Zoom.”
Now may not be a bad time to investigate a business idea that has been sitting on the back burner, said Christine Littig, chair of the PYP board and Missoula Small Business Development COVID relief business adviser.
“There are so many moving parts in business, and our classes work to provide women with practical learning tools, as well as community connection to peers and resources,” Littig said. “Each class focuses on various tools that will support women in achieving their own definition of success – whether it be building a personal network or understanding business basics to start something.”
All PYP classes are accompanied by digital badges of completion, a unique resume or social media detail that is intended to lift PYP learners a step above their competition.
“We hope there are systemic implications for these badges that begin to support women in their next promotion, attaining a new job or as they start to investigate investment for their businesses,” Slemberger says.
In addition to digital badging, each online class provides a platform for women to connect with resources and each other to further support opportunities and learning.
To learn more about Pursue Your Passions, or to enroll in the courses, visit www.umt.edu/passion or text the phrase “passion220” to 52855.
Contact: Morgan Slemberger, UM Accelerate Montana director of women’s entrepreneurship and leadership, 971-219-4101, firstname.lastname@example.org.