For the past year, I have been highlighting women artists and entrepreneurs through the Pittsburgh Women MAKE It project, meaning that I have been fortunate to meet a myriad of women doing amazing things throughout our city. While that blog has been on a bit of hiatus, my focus on the dynamic work being done by local women has not rested. Through the course of my travels, I’ve met Nazli Saka, the Community & Student Engagement Manager at Chatham’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship. Our first meeting was at 21st Street Coffee and Tea, for a networking event.
Nazli came to the event with a kind spirit, ready to connect women to any opportunity that they may have an interest in. I certainly left my conversation with her thinking that I could conquer the world! That is why when I heard that she is going to be overseeing the Chatham program, I wanted to learn more.
Talking to Nazli about the program, she was very excited. She told me that she recently gained a Business Incubation Management Certification through the International Business Innovation Association (InBIA). She is looking forward to sharing her skills with the IncubateHER participants, and will even be leading the Design Thinking session.
IncubateHER will be a free, competitive, year-long business incubation program for early-stage women entrepreneurs, with a product or service-based businesses. IncubateHER participants will receive quite a bit. Some of those perks will be industry-specific mentors, entrepreneurial education and training through Chatham’s Women’s Business Center, a tailored growth curriculum, a year-long membership to the Center for immersive networking opportunities, and $1,000 at the successful completion of the program to grow their businesses. Women with day jobs outside of their own business are encouraged to apply, as the monthly cohort meetings will occur after 5:00 pm.
One of the bonuses of being involved is the recently developed prototyping and design lab that Chatham opened. Participants in IncubateHER will have access to a 3D printer, 3D scanner, the CNC, and laser cutting and laser etching equipment. This in and of itself is amazing!
Applications are now-but the deadline is quickly approaching. Stop by the website by November 30th for your chance to participate.
And if you are a woman with a business less than 2 years old, don’t fret, there is still an opportunity for you. You can get in touch with Nazli at the Chatham Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship, to ask about the Concept to Launch program.