Ursuline’s entrepreneur class builds future leaders


With every new school year comes new opportunities. Ursuline Academy’s 2018-19 school year has been no different. The Academy’s high school division introduced an entrepreneurship class where juniors and seniors can enroll to learn the ins and outs of starting a business. 

Divided into important business topics such as idea development, market research, designing and testing ideas, business planning, making the pitch and business launching, these classes also allow time for Ursuline students to hear, first-hand, from real-world entrepreneurs. 

What better way to kick off the very first entrepreneurship panel than with Ursuline alumnae. 

“The women of Ursuline, for years, have been recognized for their courage and persistence in what they do, and it is solely because of women like these that Ursuline’s legacy will live on for years to come,” said senior Madisen Suell. “I truly hope to bring honor to my school’s name just as these brilliant women have.” 

The first alumnae panelists were Deb Augustine Elam ’79, retired GE Foundation president and chief diversity officer and current president and CEO of Corporate Playbook; Simone Bruni Crouere ’89, owner of Demo Diva; and Clare Donovan ’09, inventor of FlowGlows. 

The panel was facilitated by Liz Glaser Broekman ’85, associate vice president and director of P.O.W.E.R. at Fidelity Bank. 

Panelists shared their experiences, offered advice on being your own brand and discussed how it all relates to the academy’s motto of Serviam: “I will serve.” 

“It was the essence of seizing an opportunity and running with it rather than trying to plan their lives out perfectly that made these women’s success stories real,” Suell said. 

Additional alumnae entrepreneurs will speak throughout the year. 

Future female entrepreneurs who are currently attending Ursuline will gain professional mentoring in business from alumnae.

This new class exemplifies the innovative thinking brought to New Orleans by the Ursuline nuns from France in 1727 and nurtured by them during nearly three centuries.

“With the Ursuline Entrepreneurship Program, our girls can identify ideas and turn them into goods and services to benefit others,” said Ursuline president, Dr. Karen McNay. “Entrepreneurship is the perfect step to fulfill our motto: Serviam. Students can see the fruits of their hard work after identifying needs and finding solutions to meet them. We look forward to expanding this program throughout the Academy.”

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