Ashley Grimes (left) and Destiny Jones have started a new business to help women entrepreneurs. (Courtesy photo)
Ashley Grimes (left) and Destiny Jones have started a new business to help women entrepreneurs. (Courtesy photo)

After attending multiple networking events, Ashley Grimes and Destiny Jones said they were left unfulfilled and unsatisfied.

Those repeated experiences helped the budding business owners to realize that there was a need to establish a platform for female entrepreneurs to continuously connect, share information and gain support.

In February, the two founded The Millennial Entrepreneur Network, LLC, which they said would accelerate the advancement of female entrepreneurs with an objective to provide members with the essential tools and connections needed to succeed in the competitive business world.

“Women are already a minority in the business world, therefore it is imperative for them to be educated on how to run a business,” said Grimes, 26, of Randallstown. “My mom would always say when odds are already working in your favor you have try two times harder to be better than the competition.”

Currently pursuing a Master’s in business administration with a concentration on entrepreneurship at Morgan State University, Grimes teamed with Jones, 23, a Baltimore resident who she earned a bachelor’s of science in international business and marketing from Salisbury University.

“We help aspiring female entrepreneurs to establish a supportive community through powerful connections,” Grimes said. “We encourage, enlighten, and empower women to become leaders in the business world.”

The company hosts a series of brunch events for women entrepreneurs that include those from diverse backgrounds and occupations.

“The Millennial Entrepreneur Network, LLC speaks on topics that are relative to entrepreneurs at any stage in business,” Grimes said. “We also bring speakers that share their failures and successes and how they got started and what they have done to sustain in order to enhance the experience.

“Our attendees are able to have an open dialogue through Q&A, have meet-and-greets after the event is over as well as build their network up through mixing and mingling with other entrepreneurs,” she said.

The company choose to hold a brunch because it’s typically cheerful, sociable and inciting, Grimes said.

“It is talk-compelling — it puts you in good spirits, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, and it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week,” she said. “Brunch is a communal experience.”

Diversity remains a key because of the varying perspectives involved, which is essential in business, she said.

The Millennial Entrepreneur Network, LLC eventually will become the premier organization of women serving women in business, Grimes said, noting that they’re already an active and inclusive organization that fosters professional mentorship and resources, and a diverse network of members supporting one another in the business world.

The company aims to prepare young women for success, promote women entrepreneurship, address the barriers to entrepreneurship and find solutions by advocating the measures meant to promote women entrepreneurs, she said.

“We are able to ensure positive outcomes through providing members with the appropriate tools in order to develop and grow their business and be successful,” Grimes said. “We provide our members the opportunity to meet, exchange information and develop business relationships as well as help build profitable relationships.

“The Millennial Entrepreneur Network, LLC will also link them with mentors in their industries as well as have one-on-one strategy meetings with our members,” she said. “We understand that women’s entrepreneurship is the best way to achieve economic, financial and social impact; however, it can be hard being a double minority.

“Women in business encounter unique challenges and we wanted to provide a supportive community that provides the knowledge and skills in order to excel as an entrepreneur in the business world,” Grimes said.

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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