A rendering of Kendra Scott's forthcoming student creative center, to open at the University of Texas, Austin in September 2020.

Kendra Scott is deepening her commitment to the communities in which her brand thrives.

The designer — whose brand, which was founded in 2002, has since gone on to be valued at $1 billion — today unveils a partnership with the University of Texas at Austin, which will host the new Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute.

Scott’s company said as of 2018, only 17 percent of venture-backed companies worldwide were founded by women. The program, open to all of the university’s students beginning in the spring, hopes to help that number grow.

The study course will include leadership workshops and summits with female executives; a fashion and lifestyle entrepreneurship practicum available through the University of Texas at Austin’s business school; an accessories design and merchandising course through the university’s college of natural sciences; seminars at Kendra Scott’s headquarters, plus leadership training, internships and on-campus venture funding opportunities.

Next September, Kendra Scott will also open a student creative center at the university to act as her leadership institute’s main home.

Scott said of the institute: “As a female founder, I’ve seen firsthand the obstacles that women often face in business. As the chief executive officer of Kendra Scott, I’ve come to realize that there’s nothing stronger than a group of women who stand together with a goal of changing the world for the better. My vision for the WEL Institute is to create a safe space for the next generation of young women to harness their entrepreneurial spirit and give them the tools to excel.”

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