By Ashley Cooperman
During the College’s eighth annual Women’s Leadership Summit, students had the opportunity to hear from the summit’s keynote speaker on Nov. 7 in the Education Building Room 115.
Nathalie Molina Niño, the chief executive officer of Brava Investments, spoke about her rise to the top of her company, her latest book and the need for women in the entrepreneurship industry.
Molina Niño is an entrepreneur who has a background in engineering. After selling her first company in 1999, she dropped out of school. Molina Niño was inspired to start her own business after her grandmother and father, who were also both business owners. Molina Niño received her master’s degree from Columbia University in playwriting, a completely different direction from where she started out in the beginning stages of her education and career.
Molina Niño is known for her efforts educating women seeking to be founders of their own companies. In 2012, Molina Niño co-founded Entrepreneurship@Athena at the Athena Center for Leadership studies of Barnard College in New York City. Its mission is to level the playing field for women entrepreneurs with their male counterparts.
“Women are starting more companies than men,” Molina Niño said. “Women have no problem being entrepreneurs.”
Molina Niño has started five other companies. She also began finding tech startups at just 20 years old, during the early days of global positioning systems. She said that one of her companies was in 42 countries and had 70,000 employees.
Just over two years ago, Molina Niño started Brava Investments, a company that recruits and helps other businesses with their startups to ensure positive growth. Brava Investments seeks investments that help women achieve an economic impact with a platform of experts and gender equality advocates through a flexible and long-term company structure.
Molina Niño then spoke about her book, “Leap Frog: The New Revolution for Women Entrepreneurs,” where she gave tips, advice and guidance for entrepreneurs looking to succeed in the business world. In the book, she emphasized what entrepreneurship and investing is like for entrepreneurs who are tired and fed up with hearing often cliche advice.
Molina Niño said her book is full of shortcuts based on her experience. After starting six companies and creating startups at a young age, she insisted that her success came from her work ethic and business capabilities. One of the key points that Molina Niño discussed was tokenism and how women do not need charity, but rather the economy needs women.
Molina Niño’s presentation was not only helpful for students who plan on entering the world of business, but for anyone who is interested in women’s empowerment.
“I think she had a lot of really great things to say about women empowerment and what that actually meant and how people, companies and investors can help,” said Ileana Androvich, a junior psychology major.