Press Release: Girls With Impact Program Driving Teen Girls’ Confidence in Entrepreneurship, Leadership

Stamford, CT, January 24, 2017 – Fully 100% of girls feel more career-ready and 90% feel greater confidence in their ability to differentiate themselves in college applications as a result of Girls With Impact’s 12-week “mini-MBA” program, the organization announced today.

Girls With Impact – the nation’s only entrepreneur and leadership program created just for girls — released the initial results of a pilot tech-enabled program featuring girls from five states, including Connecticut and New York.

The 12-week program culminated in a presentation of the girls’ business plans before parents — ranging from mentoring kids with cancer to Case Aid, one-touch, mobile-based emergency help. View video.

Delivering their elevator pitches just three weeks into the program.

“It’s amazing to see how, thanks in part to technology, we’re empowering these girls to learn, build, and connect — even from across the country – without the cost or hassles of traditional education,” said CEO Jennifer Openshaw. “Corporate and business leaders – especially those committed to gender diversity – can now join us in building this next generation of top female talent.”

“Girls With Impact has truly leveraged our dollars in multiple ways – and we’ve just scratched the surface,” said Chris Meyers, president of brokerage firm Houlihan Lawrence, a Berkshire Hathaway company (NYSE:BRK.B) and its first corporate partner.

Strong Diversity, Strong Pipeline

Girls from over 20 schools in five states (CT, NY, MA, MD, and CA) participated.  Although diversity largely depends upon outreach efforts, applicants spanned all key audiences:

  • Hispanic:       31.9%
  • White:           29.8%
  • Black:            23.4%
  • Asian:            14.9%

Among the schools represented are Aliso Viejo High, Darien High, Greenwich Academy, Horace Mann, Kolbe Cathedral, Mahopac High, Marian High, New Rochelle High, Notre Dame Catholic High, and Stamford High.

Gains in Leadership, Professional and Business Skills

Girls With Impact tracks improvements in business skills through a pre- and post-test.  Results include confidence gains in business knowledge including the ability to identify competition (72%), lead others (140%), and know the steps to launching a business or project (57%) as well as personal skills such as building savings (134%), handling rejection (56%) and communicating effectively (63%).

The high school girls said they will benefit in a myriad of ways, including tangible business skills (90%), the ability to differentiate themselves from others (90%), improved presentation skills (80%), improved organizational skills (60%) and strategic thinking (60%).  One father, a CFO, pointed out that he’s seen improved organizational skills as a result.

Detailed results are as follows:

Confidence in…. Increase in confidence*
How to build savings through the Rule of 72 134%
Identifying competition 72%
How to communicate with confidence 63%
The difference between an entrepreneur and social entrepreneur 61%
Steps to starting a business or project 57%
How to handle rejection 56%
How to identify a target market for a product/service 42%
Create an effective elevator pitch 34%
A “Unique Value Proposition” 31%
A for-profit vs a nonprofit organization 24%
How to build a network 18%
How to build an advisory board 16%


Skill-Related Confidence
 Increase in confidence
Lead a team or meeting 140%
Identify resources to advance a project /business 131%
Take on a leadership role (leading/managing others) 117%
Set and meet goals 116%
Use technology/tools 80%
Speak publicly with clarity and confidence 50%
Identify a market need 26%


How will they benefit?
Girls say: % of girls
Tangible business skills 90%
Differentiation/set themselves apart 90%
Strengthened college apps 80%
Improved presentation skills 80%
Improved speaking skills 80%
Boosted confidence 80%
Improved strategic thinking skills 60%
Improved organization skills 60%
Improved chances of having a successful career 60%


Girls With Impact runs an interactive, expert-led online Academy from the comfort of home. Offered each quarter, the program moves girls from ideation through business planning. Graduates then transition to the Boardroom program providing year-round project support and critical skills development.

Applications are being taken now. To explore partnering or bringing Girls With Impact to your community or employees, contact us.

*Students were asked to rate their confidence in key areas on a scale of 1-5. Results represent the difference in the average of answers for each question between the pre- and post-skills survey.

Jennifer Openshaw