MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC)- More than 100 people packed Barrel + Beam on Thursday evening in Marquette to hear from a panel of local female entrepreneurs.
Innovate Marquette Smartzone hosted it’s Women in Entrepreneurship event on Thursday.
"It is to highlight the accomplishments and challenges and paths that have been paved by our female panelists, by their examples of being entrepreneurs as women in the Upper Peninsula and just in their communities,” said Chad Leisenring, Interim Marketing Manager for Innovate Marquette Smartzone.
This event is held twice a year and was originally scheduled for November but due to weather conditions was postponed until January.
The whole focus of the evening was to inspire women in the community.
"Nationwide women contribute $1.9 trillion to the economy with women led businesses and we want to increase that number and get women more involved," said Leisenring.
The panel was moderated by Ruth Solinski, Manager of Human Resources at RTI Surgical.
Panelists included Beth Millner of Beth Millner Jewelry, Sarah Ruuska of Lutey’s Flower Shop, Carrie Pearson, a children's book author and consultant, and Michlele Dupras of Revisions Design Studio.
Dupras started her business back in 2008 and strictly did online sales at first.
"And after a while I became very disconnected to the community that I lived in and I really wanted a chance to interact face to face with my customers, so we opened Revisions five years ago and it's been really rewarding to be a part of the Marquette community,” said Dupras.
She believes events like this are important.
"Events like this give us a chance to share our story and hopefully inspire other young entrepreneurs, men and women, and hopefully inspire someone to go out and follow their passion as well,” said Dupras.
This evening was free and open to the public.
You can find more information on Innovate Marquette Smartzone events here .