Curriculum // WiE Specialization

Women in Entrepreneurship Specialization

Launching this Fall 2022!

The Women in Entrepreneurship (WiE) specialization is a partnership between the McCombs Entrepreneurship Minor and the Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute. The first of its kind, this specialization offers all undergraduate students with a variety of classes that meet requirements 4 and 5 of the Entrepreneurship Minor.

To be a part of the WiE specialization, students are required to take WiE courses empowered by the KS WELI. Additional applications may be required per class. All undergraduate students are required to apply to the Entrepreneurship Minor and complete all 5 requirements to graduate with the Entrepreneurship Minor credential. 

“The creation of this WiE Specialization will build a bridge and a pipeline of talent between two of the largest entrepreneurial establishments within UT and provide KS WELI students with a world-class cross-disciplinary and credit-bearing educational experience hosted through McCombs.”
Lesley Robinson

Director, KS WELI // Lecturer, College of Fine Arts

Launch Your Startup Journey

The Entrepreneurship Minor provides students with access to entrepreneurship courses across colleges on campus. Along with minor classes you can compete in pitch competitions, attend entrepreneurship related workshops, gain experience from startups and develop connections with alumni, mentors or current entrepreneurs.

Currently ranked 4th in the nation by the Princeton Review, the Entrepreneurship Minor students have access to work across diverse industries, Forbes top 500 companies, local Austin startups, McCombs alumni, and successful entrepreneurs. Currently the minor has over 800 students across 100 majors across campus.

Student Quotes

“I am a chemical engineering student and have never had a course that I enjoyed as much as this one. In our five-week sprint, our group was so diverse – I learned that being an entrepreneur is a team skill, and with a chemical engineer, a business student, and 2 pre-law students, we were able to transform a beautiful idea into an even better one. We looked forward to every class.” 

Linley Morris, '23

Chemical Engineering, FA355 // Women in Entrepreneurship

“Going into the LeadHership Course I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, but the community of women both in the class and that we worked with over the course of the semester were some of the most inspiring I’d ever met! We learned both hands-on ways that we could support our own leadership journey, and what both leadership and entrepreneurship look like in practice. I loved this class, and the connections I made and skills I learned will stick with me!” 

Grace Robertson '23

Sociology and Public Relations, FA371/MAN377 // Entrepreneurial LeadHERship

“One of the biggest things that stood out to me about this class was the experiential learning portion. As a computer science and business honors student who has always been interested in entrepreneurship, I have taken part in my fair share of entrepreneurship classes and projects to come up with a company or business idea. I must say, this class is hands down the best entrepreneurship class I have ever taken.”

Chris Wang '23

Honors Computer Science & Canfield Business Honors, FA355 // Women in Entrepreneurship

“As a business major, this class gave me the opportunity to see another side to my future role in the business world. I was exposed to design processes and software systems used to create unique jewelry pieces. Using the 3D printer to create prototypes of our team’s designs was something I would have never had the opportunity to experience in any other class. The collaborations of working with my team and the Kendra Scott employees was something that will stay with me for many years to come.”

Adina Ichilov '22

Business Administration, TXA341E/MAN337 // Accessory Design, Development and Merchandising

Campus Partners

Meet the KS WELI Professors

Jan Ryan joined the University of Texas in 2017 as Executive Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in the College of Fine Arts.  As an early leader in women’s empowerment, Jan helped to architect the Kendra Scott WEL Institute, with a passion for equipping students in majors not usually considered “entrepreneurial” with the tools they need to become true leaders in their field.

Jan Ryan

Meet the KS WELI Professors

Dr. Melissa Murphy is an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Austin and one of the Kendra Scott WEL Institute’s founding fellows. She launched and teaches the first-ever consumer products practicum in the Kendra Scott WEL Institute where students learn to launch their own consumer products alongside Austin-famous entrepreneurs and mentors. Dr.Murphy is dedicated to helping women succeed professionally.

Melissa Murphy

Meet the KS WELI Professors

Jessica Ciarla is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Textiles and Apparel at The University of Texas at Austin. As a fashion designer and consultant, Prof. Ciarla enjoys mentoring students and continues to develop partnerships with industry leaders for collaborative learning experiences. She empowers women by creating course structures that include student led activities and problem-solving focused briefs.

Jessica Ciarla

Meet the KS WELI Professors

Lesley Robinson is the founding Director of the Kendra Scott Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute and is a Lecturer in the College of Fine Arts at UT. She teaches the foundational Entrepreneurial LeadHERship course that guides student leaders on a journey during which they will discover their personal values, strengths and authentic leadership style through a gender-informed perspective. Lesley is passionate about empowering students - especially women - to find the best path to their own destination and absolutely believes in ‘taking the world by the horns.

Lesley Robinson