Leatherby Center lobby
Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship & Business Ethics

» Press Room

Latest Press Release 

November 29, 2023 

Chapman University's Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship Partners with Brea’s Chamber of Commerce with Workforce Development Program to Advance Women’s Careers

Orange, CA, November 29, 2023. Chapman University’s Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics was selected recently as the Inclusive Innovation Hub for Orange County, made possible through the support of the Accelerate California CalOSBA grant. In conjunction with this grant, the Leatherby Center is working with the Brea Chamber of Commerce’s workforce development program, Women Rising Leadership Academy.

The Women Rising Leadership Academy (WRLA) is a program that explores the underrepresentation of women in top leadership positions and offers creative and proven strategies to help women overcome barriers to their career advancement. The Academy, offered through the Brea Chamber of Commerce, includes 8, 2.5-hour, intensive workshops, each focuses on a specific challenge women face to advancement. WRLA teaches strategies and solutions to overcome those barriers.

In addition, the participants are given five, one-on-one coaching sessions that help each participant apply the strategies learned to their specific career situation. All coaches are International Coaching Foundation (ICF or equivalent certified). The Academy has proven results, helping graduates elevate and accelerate their careers as business leaders. Valued at $6000 per person, the Academy is offered at no cost to participants, other than a small materials fee. There are currently 77 working women and female business owners in the 2023-2024 WRLA cohort.

One goal of Accelerate California’s Inclusive Innovation Hub is to support female founders and to help women compete better in today’s economy.

Lacy Schoen, President and CEO of the Brea Chamber of Commerce said, “Helping underserved communities in business is not just the right thing to do, it’s a matter of more functional, effective, and profitable businesses. Diversity is the business strategy of our time, and we’re proud to partner with the Chapman University Leatherby Center on such an important issue.”

Cynthia West, Ph.D., Director of the Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics shared, “Women represent between 11% and 12% of all Board seats in the U.S. (Harvard University), and the figure has not grown much in the last 10 years. As of the end of 2022, there were 9.4% women as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies (Fortune). In order to get to parity, we must help women in their mid-careers to attain higher roles, supporting mid-career women to advance to positions of leadership in Orange County is just one of the lofty goals associated with our Accelerate California, CalOSBA grant. Our partnership with the Brea Chamber of Commerce is an invaluable piece of our overall strategy.” 

About The Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics
The vision of the Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship is to inspire, educate, and empower the next generation of talent to have an entrepreneurial mindset. To teach students how to innovate and take risks, whether they are starting their own venture, or working inside a corporation. Through our curriculum and our incubator, we provide hands-on experience to the next generation of talent, teaching them how to develop, scale, and launch their own ventures as future global citizens in the world economy. For more information, contact entrepreneurs@chapman.edu.

About the Brea Chamber of Commerce

The Brea Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit organization representing the business community in the greater Brea area. Founded in 1913, the mission of the Chamber is to foster a vibrant and connected business community. The Chamber is a Catalyst for business growth, a Convener of leaders, partners and influencers on important initiatives, and a Champion for a thriving business community. The Chamber provides education, information, business resources, training and government affairs services that benefit its members and the region. The Chamber provides Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and workforce development programs that elevate the business community and underrepresented populations throughout the region. To contact the Brea Chamber of Commerce, email connect@breachamber.com

About Chapman University

Founded in 1861, Chapman University is a nationally ranked private university in Orange, California, about 30 miles south of Los Angeles. Chapman serves nearly 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students, with a 12:1 student-to-faculty ratio. Students can choose from 123 areas of study within 11 colleges for a personalized education. Chapman is categorized by the Carnegie Classification as an R2 "high research activity" institution. Students at Chapman learn directly from distinguished world-class faculty including Nobel Prize winners, MacArthur fellows, published authors and Academy Award winners. The campus has produced a Rhodes Scholar, been named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars and hosts a chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation's oldest and most prestigious honor society. www.chapman.edu.

Media Contact:
Carly Murphy, Public Relations Coordinator


Desk: 714-289-3196

Mobile: 714-497-9683

Previous Press Releases

The Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship Partners with Brea’s Chamber of Commerce to Advance Women’s Careers | AP News
November 29, 2023

Chapman University's Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship Awarded $1 Million CalOSBA Grant for Inclusive Innovation Hub
November 15, 2023

Chapman University's Jake Aguas Publishes Management Textbook
September 9, 2020

Leatherby Center Director Mario Leone Negotiates Acquisition of OC Start-Up
September 9, 2020

Leatherby Center Team Wins Best Student Film at International Motor Film Awards
September 26, 2019

Chapman Blog: Teen Entrepreneur Academy Summer Camp Visits Leatherby Center
July 23, 2019

Orange County Business Journal: Keeping Grandparents Connected
June 17, 2019

Chapman Blog: Preview Day a Success at the Leatherby Center
April 23, 2019

Silicon Republic: Tablet Computer Maker GrandPad to Create 75 Jobs
March 28, 2019

Chapman Blog: Argyros School Students Tour Local Manufacturing Warehouse
March 13, 2019

Announcing New Director of the Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics
November 29, 2018

Girls Inc. summer program promotes entrepreneurship, economic literacy
May 15, 2018

Chapman Blog: 23FIFTN - Launch Labs Company Spotlight
April 10, 2017

Chapman Blog: siëo's Story: Demo Day Changed Everything
April 3, 2017

Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Business Ethics Opportunity Fair
March 15, 2017

Chapman Blog: Beatshare – Share the Moment, Share the Music, Share the Beat
March 7, 2017

The Panther: Students getting down to business
October 2, 2016

Chapman Blog: Chapman Entrepreneurs are VYRL!
August 11, 2016

OC Register: Student entrepreneurs aim high at Chapman
May 16, 2016

Chapman Blog: Student start-up grandPad receives major investment from tech firm Acer
April 8, 2016

The Panther: Chapman entrepreneurs are going Vyrl
February 27, 2016

OC Register: Chapman startups get an angel: Shan Steinmark will oversee Launch Labs incubator
February 1, 2015

Orange County Business Journal: Angel Investor to Chapman Center
January 28, 2015

The Leatherby Center Hosts the Keith A. Pham Business Model Competition
January 6, 2016

Business and product ideas take flight at Start-up Weekend Orange County on Nov. 22-24 at Chapman University
November 5, 2013

Chapman University student advances to finals at social entrepreneurship business plan competition, finishing 6th out of 28 participants.
May 15, 2013

OC Register:  Spark of Innovation:  Richard Sudek
August 7, 2012

OC Register: Tech Dominates Chapman biz plan competition
April 18, 2012

Entrepreneur Podcast Network:  Southern California’s eVillage of Chapman University Dr. Richard Sudek
March 4, 2012

Entrepreneur Magazine: Chapman University's Tilden Smith and Dylan Balsz recognized for launching International Pet Solutions
November 25, 2011

The Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship's first eVillage company, OrigAudio and co-founder Jason Lucash featured in the OC Register
November 16, 2011

"Chapman Business Report", Chapman on Television
November 7, 2011

OC Register: Can O.C. start a business in a weekend?
October 21, 2011

OC Register: Forbes names O.C. student 'most likely to succeed'
September 1, 2011

Forbes: All-Star Student Entrepreneurs: Profiting From Pet Potties
August 3, 2011

Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship and Ethics Recognizes William Wang, CEO of Vizio, as the Entrepreneur of the Year
July 25, 2011

OC Register: Chapman's new entrepreneur shepherd
June 1, 2011

The Leatherby Center is an incubator for startups. We offer a structured program guiding entrepreneurs from idea to business plan. Students, staff, and alumni may apply.

Get Involved

Learn about the multiple ways to get involved by visiting our various program pages.