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.

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