An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Jennifer Schwab (founder and CEO) of ENTITY, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of ENTITY – what problem were you trying to solve and why?
The problem I was trying to solve was one that impacted my own career journey and that is the lack of female mentorship in many businesses. I was a tax consultant at Ernst & Young and did pretty well for myself, but I didn’t have mentors as an entry level employee. I think if I had other women to look up to during those early days of my career, I could have ramped up even faster. I started ENTITY in 2016 because I believe that if women uplift and empower each other, we can have a greater presence in fields currently dominated by men, particularly in STEM. I believe upskilling women for jobs in STEM, digital marketing, and sales, can bring us one step closer to bridging the gender wealth gap, which is my personal mission.
What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?
The COVID-19 pandemic hit our company pretty hard, as I know it did for many others. From 2016 to 2019, all of our upskilling programs were held in-house at our original headquarters in Los Angeles. We switched to all-online programming and so far it has been pretty successful! We are always looking for ways to make our programs more accessible to a wider audience. We made a huge leap forward by receiving $100M in student tuition financing through Income Share Agreements which allows our students to pay for the program after they land a job.
What does the future hold for ENTITY?
I am so proud of this company’s growth. We are building an incredible team who come to work every day loving what they do. Our goal is to up-skill, mentor, and place one million women in lucrative and fulfilling careers by 2025. I would love it if ENTITY became a household name and little girls grew up wanting to be part of our network of powerful, career-driven women. We can establish a virtuous cycle of women supporting women. It is all about paying it forward to help other women.
What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
Trust your gut. Build an A-plus team that you wake up everyday looking forward to interacting with. Never lose sight of your mission – it will get you through the tough times. Recognize and embrace a macro tailwind that could exponentially grow your company – this is the time to double down.