Today more than 40 percent of all successful start-up companies in the United States are spearheaded by women. As the number climbs, industry experts are taking notice of the unique gender advantages female entrepreneurs possess. On Wednesday, Oct. 19, starting at 5:30 p.m., the College of Business Administration (CoBA) will host a keynote address and panel discussion that will offer insight, intrigue and inspiration on ways women are leveraging their innate abilities to succeed in business.

Sponsored by Northwestern Mutual, the signature event, which is titled Female Entrepreneurs: The Gender Advantage, is free and open to all majors and genders, although advanced registration is required. The program is being offered to help encourage aspiring entrepreneur-minded females, and provide opportunities for students to connect and establish mentorship opportunities with successful business women, many of whom will be in attendance at the event.

Although the event emphasizes the female perspective, organizer Jim Hamerly, director of Business Community Relations for CoBA, explained that male students can also benefit from the talk by “learning about and understanding the unique advantages each gender brings to business.”

Hamerly described that females are naturally better at a process called forming and storming, which is the lifeblood of entrepreneurs. It’s a process that entails brainstorming, sharing of ideas and determining the strongest and most viable concept to pursue. Expectations of success are also unique to each gender. While males tend to bet the house and take riskier financial decisions, females are more likely to make calculated and conservative business decisions, a smart tactic since business ventures can fall flat. Females are also better at balancing work and personal life, and are fundamentally stronger at networking among their peers.

“Universally, men communicate for status and position which results in competition and a dog-eat-dog approach to business, whereas women communicate for connection,” said Hamerly. “By forming social connections and not being threatened by the achievements of others, female entrepreneurs find greater success.”

Twenty years ago, successful female entrepreneurs were women who emulated male behaviors. The industry as a whole at that time wanted to see strong, male-dominant business leaders. But according to Hamerly, today’s industry has shifted and is embracing the female approach to business.

Presenting on the uniqueness female entrepreneurs bring to business is keynote speaker Natalie Pace, chief executive officer of the Women’s Investment Network, LLC, and author of You vs. Wall Street. Following her address, a discussion panel featuring six top-executive female entrepreneurs will answer questions about how their gender aided in their success, and how others can leverage their abilities to build up their own business.

To register for the free event, visit Female Entrepreneurs: The Gender Advantage.

Although the event emphasizes the female perspective, organizer Jim Hamerly, director of Business Community Relations for CoBA, explained that male students can also benefit from the talk by “learning about and understanding the unique advantages each gender brings to business.”