What We Are About
Women's Entrepreneurial and Leadership Lab Women's Business Center creates empowering environments where women say their ideas out loud. WELL WBC builds educational, experiential and entrepreneurial programs for Montana women to create more equitable, prosperous and collaborative futures for all.
- Inclusivity. You belong here. We work to reach all people including those who are underestimated, overlooked or oppressed.
- Leadership. We help authentic leaders find their full potential.
- Entrepreneurship. We gravitate toward entrepreneurial minds that strive to solve problems; big and small.
- Wholeness. We demand physical safety and emotional well-being.
- The Collective. We bring people together to build connective communities that can create a positive impact.
Women's Entrepreneurship and Leadership Lab (formally PYP) began when celebrated UM Professor Dr. Jakki Mohr identified a need in 2015. Too few women were participating in the University of Montana's student business plan competition. She called upon her robust network and started an inspirational series of lectures from esteemed female business professionals, infamous female alumni, and inspiring female founders.
After an incredible semester of inspiring speakers, Dr. Mohr connected with Morgan Slemberger and Paul Gladen at the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars. Sharing a similar passion for empowering women, Slemberger raised her hand to continue the program and has been doing so since January 2016.
Since the program's inception, women's participation in UM business plan competitions as well as their enrollment in the LaunchPad have increased by about three times. Examples of businesses that have come from the program include crepes, coffee shops, wall muralists, clothing lines, yoga instructors, marketing firms, writing courses, and more.
In 2021, the WELL team, led by Executive Director, Morgan Slemberger applied for and won a prestigious grant from the Small Business Administration's Office of Women's Business Ownership to start up Montana's second Women's Business Center with the aim to reach the underserved women entrepreneurs of Montana with the resources they need to be successful in business.