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Washtenaw United: Women Entrepreneurs Taking Charge In Washtenaw County

Kristin Gapske
Washtenaw Community College

While there is still work to be done, women continue to shatter glass ceilings. More women are taking on the challenge of entrepeneurship and doing so successfully. At some point, most everyone launching a new business needs some guidance, and that's where Kristin Gapske and her team come in. Kristin is director of the Entrepeneurship Center at Washtenaw Community College. She joined WEMU's David Fair about how the center is assisting women in business start-ups and in industry growth. 

WEMU has partnered with the United Way of Washtenaw County to explore the people, organizations, and institutions creating opportunity and equity in our area.  And, as part of this ongoing series, you’ll also hear from the people benefiting and growing from the investments being made in the areas of our community where there are gaps in available services.  It is a community voice.  It is 'Washtenaw United.' 




Kristin Gapske is the Entrepreneurship Center Director at Washtenaw Community College, a community hub for business advice, in-depth campus and community resources, and inspiring entrepreneurial events.  Kristin is an entrepreneur and successful business founder with additional wide-ranging experience in nonprofit business and economic development, and a January 2020 winner of WCC’s inaugural Equity in Action award.

She led an importing company and distributed home decor products wholesale in the US. In addition, she has many years of nonprofit volunteer fundraising in the US and Australia, specializing in organizations supporting women, underrepresented entrepreneurs, students, artists, and Southeast Asia. 

Through her work at the Entrepreneurship Center, Kristin enjoys helping fellow entrepreneurs fill the gaps between dream, startup and growth, and assists in connecting the dots to resources, mentors and other entrepreneurial support organizations.

In addition, she sits on the board of the Ypsilanti-based nonprofit organization Friends in Deed.


WCC Entrepreneurship Center (EC)

Entrepreneurship Center Business Assistance Request form

EC Events and Workshops

EC Renew Your Business Training and Grant Program

EC Entrepreneurs-In-Residence Program


United Way of Washtenaw County recognizes the importance of supporting women and their careers and entrepreneurship thereby making the connection of financial stability and meeting basic needs. We are developing strategies to positively impact the economic mobility of our citizens.

United Way of Washtenaw County awards Power of the Purse grants annually as part of its Financial Stability Initiative. These grants provide support for programs, projects or initiatives that prioritize the financial wellbeing of people who identify as women, individuals and families with low incomes, communities of color, and historically and/or systematically marginalized groups.

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— David Fair is the WEMU News Director and host of Morning Edition on WEMU.  You can contact David at 734.487.3363, on twitter @DavidFairWEMU, or email him atdfair@emich.edu

Contact David: dfair@emich.edu
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