By: Lexie Newhouse
On February 28, 2019, Georgia State University hosted entrepreneur and investor Nathalie Molina Niño as featured guest for the Distinguished Speaker Series. This program was a collaboration between the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Institute (ENI), the H.J. Russell Center for Entrepreneurship (HJRCE) and Spotlight Programs Board.
Each guest received a complimentary copy of Molina Niño’s book LeapFrog: The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs, featuring fifty hacks for women entrepreneurs. The conversation was moderated by Isabelle Monlouis of ENI.
“Women hear the word ‘shortcuts’ and think cheating,” said Molina Niño, “We have to change that dominant narrative.” These shortcuts refer to the idea of leapfrogging, otherwise known as a “clever, ethical means of leveling the playing field.” She hopes that her book promotes the voice of those unheard and unrepresented, sharing that “Women don’t need any help being entrepreneurial; what they need is help transcending.”
A frequent question Molina Niño receives is why she invests in men-owned and women-owned companies. “I don’t understand why women leave men out of the equation,” said Molina Niño, noting how men historically hold all the power, capital and influence. She explained that men are crucial in enabling the empowerment of women, especially in entrepreneurship, and ultimately focuses on those companies as a platform to work towards equality by leveraging men’s historical advantages.
Molina Niño also emphasized that “There is money out there to be found that is better than venture capital,” where female founders only raised 2.2 percent of all venture capital in 2018. “Venture capital is the most expensive form of capital because you’re giving away a part of your company,” cautioned Molina Niño in an effort to encourage women entrepreneurs to find alternative approaches to securing funding.
Highlighting her involvement in politics in addition to her efforts in business for women, she shared that, “For women entrepreneurs, getting women elected is the rent we pay for making money.” Molina Niño finds that people often times struggle between being an entrepreneur or an activist, but she reassured the audience that “you can be both.”
In closing, audience members had the opportunity to ask Molina Niño any lingering questions. One student asked about Molina Niño’s favorite investments, where she shared about a company that is working towards providing over-the-counter birth control to ultimately address the economic impact of unplanned pregnancies.
The program was followed by a private reception where guests had the opportunity to network, take photos, and have their copy of Leapfrog signed by Molina Niño. Thank you again to our partners and Nathalie Molina Niño for such a successful evening. Be sure to pick up a copy of Leapfrog today!