On a recent trip to visit extended family, Cjala Surratt ’22, founder of the Black Citizens Brigade, was presented with a gift—her late grandmother’s boiler room jacket. Surratt’s grandmother had been a ship-fitter in Norfolk, Virginia, and the clothing item…
Entrepreneurship Coach, Author Hayley Foster Speaking at SU for Global Entrepreneurship Week
Hayley Foster, author of “Foster Your Passion: A guide to finding your passion and the tools you need to foster it” (Foster Consulting, 2018), will keynote Global Entrepreneurship Week with a book talk, signing and reception on Monday, Nov. 12, from noon to 1 p.m. in the Peter Graham Scholarly Commons in E.S. Bird Library.
The event, which is free and open to the community, is co-sponsored by the Whitman School and the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars at Syracuse University, and co-hosted by the Women’s Network student organization and the Syracuse Entrepreneurship Club.
One of the themes of this year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week is celebrating women in entrepreneurship. Foster, who has been an entrepreneur for as far back as she can remember, will offer up tips for finding your passion and developing the tools you need to foster it.
Foster started her entrepreneurial journey at the age of 10 with a paper route, then babysitting and working at south shore beach clubs, a yogurt parlor and interning at her dad’s company during college summers. Two weeks after graduating college, she began her career in advertising at Wells Rich Green and then Grey Advertising, building marketing campaigns for some of the largest brands in the world.
She then spent five years in Client Services at Organic Inc., an online marketing and web development company, launching some of the first websites and online marketing campaigns for companies like Reebok, GE and Chase Bank.
In 2002, Foster felt the pull of her entrepreneurial spirit and co-founded Verge Marketing Inc.—a bag and accessory design and manufacturing company with offices located in New York City and Shenzhen, China. From building the infrastructure from the ground up, to managing all aspects of the business, she grew Verge to more than $5 million in revenues, earning accolades from Entrepreneur magazine as a “fastest growing company” and landing on the Inc. 5000 list for three years.
But after 12 years, she lost her passion for what she was doing.
In January 2015, Foster felt it was time to take her 20-plus years of experience and give back in a way that would inspire, support and educate other women entrepreneurs. She started Foster Inc., a network of women-owned businesses. Through peer-to-peer advisory groups, one-on-one consulting, boot camp workshops, masterminds and value-added networking events, Foster works with women entrepreneurs to help them either get started or take their businesses to the next level.
She is also the founder of the “Foster Your Passion” podcast—an entrepreneurial docu-drama filled with actionable advice for anyone looking to start a business mixed with entertaining conversations with other women entrepreneurs and family. Earlier this year, she finished her first book, also titled “Foster Your Passion,” filled with tools and strategies to help others find their passions and live a life with more meaning and purpose.
Foster also donates her time organizing events and serving on committees for various nonprofits.