CertificateWomen of Color Entrepreneurs–Leadership

students in library

5 Modules + Capstone Experience
Learn how to write funding applications and pitch your business idea.


Program Overview

Bellarmine's six-month-long Women of Color Entrepreneur Leadership Certificate takes up to 10 women of color with different business ventures and teaches them how to run them. Participants hone their skills in business marketing, taxes, and sales pitches. This opportunity gives the aspiring entrepreneurs a fully-funded curriculum.

Applications for the upcoming 2024 cohort now open until February 28th.


Instructional and Mentoring Model

Instructors will include a combination of women faculty from the Rubel School of Business; minority women entrepreneurs; and senior leaders from the business and non-profit communities.

Course Description

Five functional modules plus one capstone experience, which includes, for example, developing an application for funding opportunities.


One four-hour module per month; program will be completed in six months

Class Size and Participants

Up to 10 Women of Color entrepreneurs will be accepted into the program. Once applications are reviewed, finalists will be interviewed before final acceptance. In this short virtual interview, it will be important for applicants to express why they feel the program would be helpful to them and their expectations for the program.


In-person classes on Bellarmine's campus:

Our Modules

Lead with your strengths and set the tone for others to believe in your leadership abilities. Understand your leadership style, the importance of emotional intelligence, and how your approach impacts those you are attempting to influence.

Financial Acuity
Enhance your understanding of financial statements through real world examples and applications. Learn to read and understand finance information from the perspective of a non-financial executive to better monitor and evaluate financial performance.

Marketing/Social Media/Sales
Gain value-added marketing skills to help understand how to price, place, and position your product, and identify key target segments to grow your customer base. Find out the best ways to immediately hook your audience during a sales pitch. Prioritize your pitch with data & personalize your approach with research. Enhance your social media skills and learn how to boost your online presence. Create and share information by building a buzz about you and your business products and services on important social media channels such as LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.

Communication and Negotiation
Develop the oral and written communication skills that will help you make a pitch to any investor or funding source. Also learn the nuances of communication in negotiating difficult conversations.

Culminate your experience in the program by developing a business model canvas that showcases your value proposition, how you expect to generate revenues, and what resources you will need to grow your business. You will present your business model canvas to fellow cohort members and receive feedback to improve and refine your presentation.

Practice Your Pitch And Presentation Skills 
Refine your presentation and pitch skills to secure buy-in and foster belief in the value proposition of your product. Collaborate with cohort members and engage in one-on-one sessions with an experienced marketer to elevate your presentation abilities. The ultimate objective is to ensure thorough preparation for presenting your business model canvas to business leaders and to effectively compete in pitch competitions by the end of this session.

Criteria for Applying

  1. We welcome women of color applicants from under-represented minority populations
  2. Applicants will be aspiring entrepreneurs who are in the founding stage of their entrepreneurial journey (less than two years of experience in their new venture)
  3. Priority will be given to businesses located or serving communities in the Western and Southern neighborhoods of Louisville, Kentucky.
  4. Considerations will additionally be based on types of industry sectors, in order to create an ideal experience for each cohort of Women of Color entrepreneurs.

Note: If your application is not accepted for this round, please re-apply for the next round.

Faculty Profiles

Pat Carver

Dr. Patricia Carver, Director of the Women of Color Entrepreneur-Leadership Certificate
Module Teaching: Leadership

Patricia P. Carver, a Bellarmine University professor in the Rubel School of Business, teaches business administration and core courses. Before Bellarmine, Dr. Carver spent 25 years working in government and the private industry. She is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and experienced in the areas of accounting, finance, management, strategic planning, consulting and education.

An activist in her community, Dr. Carver currently serves on the Board of the Archdiocese’s Multicultural Catholic Ministries and The United Way as Treasurer. She is a graduate of Leadership Louisville and member of the National Association of Black Accountants, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Delta Sigma Pi Professional Business Fraternity, and Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society. Dr. Carver was a candidate for the “Woman of Achievement Award” sponsored by the River City Business and Professional Women, a “Black Achiever” and recipient of the “William T. Miles Award for Outstanding Service” to Bellarmine University and the surrounding Community. A graduate of the University of Louisville, Dr. Carver obtained a Bachelor of Science in Commerce with a major in Accounting, and a Master of Business Administration and Ph.D. in Leadership in Higher Education from Bellarmine University. Dr. Carver received numerous awards for her dissertation focusing on Black women college students.

As time permits, Dr. Carver enjoys reading, cycling, and meaningful conversations with family and friends. Dr. Carver and her husband Richard, have two children, Michael and Toni, son-in-law Ruben, as well as three grandchildren, Sinclaire, Parker, and Sebastian.

Alisha Harper

Dr. Alisha Harper
Module Teaching: Financial Acuity

Alisha Harper is an Associate Professor of Accounting and Chair of Bellarmine’s Business Administration program. She received her B.A. from Shepherd University, her J.D. from the University of Louisville, and a LL.M. in Taxation from Georgetown University. Prior to joining the Bellarmine faculty, Alisha worked for 8 years as a Senior Attorney for the IRS Office of Chief Council. Her research interests include practical tax & investment strategies and pedagogies in the online classroom. Professor Harper serves as the academic advisor for Delta Sigma Pi and as the faculty coordinator for Bellarmine’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program.

Carla Childers

Dr. Carla Childers
Module Teaching: Marketing and Social Media

Dr. Childers is an Associate Professor of Marketing. She earned her Ph.D. and MBA from the University of Kentucky and her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration with specialization in Marketing from Kentucky State University. Dr. Childers is joining Bellarmine after 12 years on faculty at Ohio University. Her research interests are in the areas of consumer behavior and services marketing and her publications cover topics including service quality, place branding, hospitality and tourism, and marketing pedagogy. Prior to earning her doctorate, Dr. Childers served as a full-time instructor at Kentucky State University, worked as a rental representative at Enterprise Rent-A-Car, and was the Market Research Coordinator for Knight Ridder at the Lexington Herald-Leader newspaper. She has professional experience in advertising, sales, market research, and retailing. Currently, Dr. Childers serves on the American Marketing Association Collegiate Chapters Council and as Co-Chair for the annual International AMA Collegiate Conference.

Nuket Serin

Dr. Nuket Serin
Module Teaching: Digital Marketing

Dr. Serin is an Assistant Professor of Marketing in the Rubel School of Business at Bellarmine University. She received her Ph.D. from Florida International University. Her research focuses on two primary domains: 1) consumer well-being and choice behavior; 2) branding, social media, and digital communications. Her dissertation focuses on the role of brand activism in shedding light on ongoing socio-political issues (i.e., social inequality, racial injustice, immigration issues, LGBTQI equality, and the refugee crisis). She has published several papers in esteemed journals, including the Journal of Advertising and Journal of Consumer Affairs. Her work has also attracted many awards. She also shows robust evidence for ongoing service roles in local, national, and global communities to create a meaningful contribution to society. She has created innumerable opportunities to support doctoral students in academia globally from diverse backgrounds through her roles as a Vice-Chair of Content Management for AMA DocSig and a treasurer and Vice President for the FIU Business Doctoral Student Association. She holds an MS in Marketing degree from the University of South Florida and an MA in Business Administration degree from Cukurova University, Turkey.

Carla Childers

Holly O'Driscoll
Module Teaching: Capstone

Holly O’Driscoll is an industry expert in the field of Design Thinking and human centered innovation. Throughout her 20+ year career, Holly has built a reputation as a master human centered innovation strategist, trainer and facilitator having led programs in more than 20 countries. She is the former Global Design Thinking Leader at Procter & Gamble, where she led more than 250 workshops, often at the request of C-suite executives. She is the founder and CEO of Ampersand Innovation, LLC; a Design Thinking and human centered leadership and innovation strategy consultancy whose clients include Walmart, McCormick, Procter & Gamble, American Express Global Business Travel, Novartis, Estee Lauder, Coca-Cola, and more. Holly is an IDEO Experience Point certified Design Thinking facilitator and trainer of other facilitators. She is a 2019-21 Entrepreneur in Residence at Miami University, a trainer/consultant for the Xavier University Leadership Center. She is the former faculty chairperson of the Rutgers University Design Thinking Exec Ed program and has guest lectured on the topic of Design Thinking at The Parsons School of Design, Trinity College, Harvard Business School, Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, and more. In January 2018, she was named one of Michael Bloomberg’s Design Thinking Coaches for the Bloomberg Philanthropies USA Mayor’s Challenge project, which resulted in the city of South Bend, Indiana being awarded a $1 million prize for the progress made during their partnership. In addition, she has contributed to several books including Tom Wujec’s The Future of Making, David Dunne’s Design Thinking at Work, and Thomas Lockwood’s Innovation by Design. She is working on her own book about Design Thinking and leadership. Holly is also a globally sought-after conference keynote speaker. Holly has a BA in Chemistry and MBA from Thomas More College. She lives in Cincinnati, OH with her husband and four children. Holly@holly-odriscoll.com • www.linkedin/hollynodriscoll

Carla Childers

Dr. Angelique Johnson
Module Teaching: Communication and Negotiations

Angelique Johnson is CEO/founder of MEMStim LLC, a company that produces implantable electronics to treat neurological disorders. With a doctorate in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, her work on microfabricated electrode arrays has resulted in several national and international patents, funding from the NSF and NIH, and a feature on the cover of Hearing Research. As an expert in Lean Startup Methodology, Dr. Johnson has educated several founders on how to build successful companies. She is an authority on innovation and entrepreneurship. Dr. Johnson has delivered a congressional briefing on Capitol Hill, served as a speaker for the eighth district of the Federal Reserve, and delivered several international talks. She has been featured on NBC Universal, National Public Radio, The Root news site, Louisville Insider, Business First, and other media outlets.

Passionate about people as well as entrepreneurship, Dr. Johnson has led numerous outreach programs to promote tech careers to underrepresented minorities and women. One such program involved her traveling to Abu Dhabi to increase opportunities in STEM for Middle Eastern and North African Women. Dr. Johnson is CEO/Founder of Vissionaireum, an organization that promotes, trains and equips underrepresented entrepreneurs.

Contact Information

Patricia P. Carver, Ph.D. 
Program Director, Women of Color Entrepreneurs – Leadership Certificate

Israel Cuenca
Assistant Coordinator

Rubel School of Business