McDougall to present at Virtual Women's Business Conference
Feb. 25—JAMESTOWN — Heather McDougall will share her insights on founding a business and working in the wholesale industry during the 2023 Virtual Women's Business Conference next month.
The Jamestown Regional Entrepreneur Center is hosting the free event, which runs March 6-10, and is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Rural Development agency.
"We have introduced exciting new topics each year (since 2018) and we are looking forward to the new cohort of virtual training workshops offered starting March 6th," said Katherine Roth, executive director of the Jamestown Regional Entrepreneurship Center.
McDougall, of Jamestown, is a partner in the 701 venture capital fund in North Dakota.
"We invest in start-up companies, so early-stage startups that are in North Dakota, Minnesota ... in this region," she said. "We invest in their growth and hope that they do well."
In her biography, McDougall said she is a global changemaker, speaker and entrepreneur activating organizations and individuals in their visions for people and the planet.
McDougall serves as the head of experiential learning and community for the entrepreneurial education company ILT Academy, founded in Minnesota. She is a frequent executive and organizational consultant on sustainability, networking, problem-solving and leadership well-being. She mentors for national startup accelerator gener8tor in its sustainability cohorts in Chicago.
"... I really like to say that I help activate other changemakers in their mission for people on the planet," McDougall said. "And I believe that entrepreneurship is a really powerful vehicle to help usher that change into the world."
Her presentations on Thursday, March 9, are "Changing the World is Our Business. The Journey of a Female Founder" at 10 a.m. CST and "Is Wholesale Right for Me?" at 3 p.m. CST.
McDougall said she hopes women attend who are "curious about what entrepreneurship is like, women who've maybe wondered if they could start a business."
"It could be also for women who are in business and feel like they have some kind of growth that they want to take, they want to take their business to a next level or they have a goal that they want to achieve but aren't quite sure how to take that next step," she said.
She said if people have any questions about starting a business, the Virtual Women's Business Conference is a low-pressure opportunity to meet her and other presenters.
McDougall said the first presentation, "Changing the World is Our Business. The Journey of a Female Founder," will be about how she discovered entrepreneurship and why she believes entrepreneurship is a powerful tool to create change.
"Whether we're trying to impact big topics like global topics like climate change or racial injustice or we're passionate about implementing something in our community or changing our family's lives, I think that entrepreneurship is really a powerful way to do that," she said.
Themes in the presentation include from idea to mass market; empowered leadership decisions can impact the world; lessons in believing in oneself; facing the odds, standing on the legacy of women before; and letting go.
McDougall said the keynote is about "why entrepreneurship" and how creating structure around things people care about through business helps them take action and move things forward.
She said different themes will be part of the presentation through storytelling.
"A lot of the stories will be about what it was to design a product ... what do you do when you don't know what to do? How do you get started with an idea," she said.
"Is Wholesale Right for Me," at 3 p.m. CST, is more like a workshop and is geared to people who have products that they're selling or are curious about products and want to expand into them, McDougall said.
She will present stories from what she has directly learned or from other entrepreneurs she has worked with.
Topics include: What is wholesale? What types of wholesale exist? Questions to ask about my business before entering wholesale. Other topics include business model, supply chain, scalability, pricing, team, fulfillment and technology.
She said as the founder and CEO of Bogobrush, she learned a lot about what it is to be a founder and she brings things she's learned to the presentation.
McDougall earned her law degree from Mitchell Hamline College of Law, St. Paul. She said she worked for a venture capital attorney, where she found her passion for entrepreneurship as a vehicle for change. After that, she and her brother, John, decided to start a company that helped bring environmental and social values into people's daily lives. She said they tended to joke it was a bit of a "twist of fate" with Bogobrush, a sustainable toothbrush, because their father, Ken, was a dentist.
"Through Bogobrush, I learned so much more about entrepreneurship, I learned about investing and what it is for an investor to consider whether a company is investable or not," she said.
The company was sold last year.
In her current work in the 701 Fund, she not only helps decide who will get funding but also helps mentor other founders and support their journey.
"701 Fund doesn't invest in only sustainably driven, environmentally driven companies but we are focused on creating positive outcomes, whether that's medical devices or advancing ag tech .... ," McDougall said.
To learn more or register for the Virtual Women's Business Conference, visit