On August 22nd, WE NYC and Luminary hosted the We Master Leadership Conference at Luminary’s collaboration hub for women. Next Street and WE NYC, an initiative of the Department of Small Business Services, offer leadership training to women entrepreneurs throughout the year. The recent all-day conference included talks and workshops highlighted by #IamRemarkable, the Google initiative empowering women and underrepresented groups to celebrate their achievements.
Luminary: A Space and A Partner
Luminary, a women’s collaboration hub, is a space where women can go for professional development and to expand their networks. Together, Luminary and WE NYC hosted this We Master Leadership Conference to help women entrepreneurs master negotiation and hone collaborative leadership skills. Three years ago, Next Street developed this first-of-its kind soft-skills workshop. Since 2016, more than 1,000 women have completed the workshop.
The 15,000 square feet, according to Luminary, “is built for like-minded women to collaborate and connect.” The Hub provides members with weekly programming, a fitness studio, and networking workshops. Luminary spoke with Next Street about its place in the ecosystem that supports women entrepreneurs.
Q: What gaps exist in the support for women entrepreneurs and professionals? How can programs like WE NYC fill those gaps?
Luminary: Luminary is a collaboration hub for women. We see tremendous opportunity creating programs rooted in community, access, and professional development. Since opening our doors this year, we have led over one hundred programs and experiences for our members. Women are searching for more than a place to work, they want a place that works for them.
We are a reliable resource and an advocate for women and the businesses that they are building. WE NYC and Luminary are co-creating informative and engaging programming that will help nurture and execute ideas. The hope is that our collective work drives results and lasting impact. Together we are convening a program that addresses the growing number of women entrepreneurs and small business owners. It’s important for us to lead by example and provide women with the frameworks and toolkits they need at every stage of building a business.
Q: How does Luminary play a role in the broader ecosystem for entrepreneurial women?
L: We’re a diverse and expansive ecosystem of support and community. Every member has access to unmatched development experiences, connections, conversations, and opportunities that you can’t find anywhere else. It’s our energy and commitment to helping each other that broadens our ecosystem even further. Entrepreneurship is a major area of focus for us. Therefore, it’s our role to amplify the voices of entrepreneurs and support women-owned businesses.
Q: What programming does Luminary offer that can build on what conference participants will learn from the Google #IamRemarkable session?
L: This is a members-first community and a significant part of our programming is member inspired and led. All of our programs are focused on four key areas:
- professional development
- career change and pivoting
- personal development and wellness and
- small business and entrepreneurship
All programs have one goal: helping women succeed in what they want to accomplish. We know that women are generally less likely to share their wins, ask for help, negotiate, or market themselves to their fullest. Luminary wants to change this pattern with providing concrete skills on these topics so that women can thrive individually and in their enterprises.
Q: What’s the message behind #ComeSitAtOurTable?
L: Luminary is an inclusive community, not an exclusive club. We don’t have an application process because diversity and inclusion are paramount to our mission. We welcome all women across industries, backgrounds, levels, etc. and from launch, we included men in our programming and in our space. Men are welcome to join too. Unlike any other community, we bring together our individual members and corporate and nonprofit members in one space so that they can connect and learn from one another. We make room for all at the table.