URI business professor to join panel of leading women scholars on International Women’s Day

Virtual event hosted by International Council of Small Business

KINGSTON, R.I. – March 3, 2023 – Nancy Forster-Holt, assistant professor of innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Rhode Island, will join a virtual panel of leading women scholars hosted by the International Council for Small Business on Wednesday, March 8, as part of International Women’s Day.

The International Council for Small Business’ 2023 theme for International Women’s Day is “The Impact of Women Scholars on the Entrepreneurial Landscape.” The virtual event will run from 10 a.m. to noon. To register, go to the ICSB website. The event is sponsored by Seton Hall University.

Forster-Holt’s presentation, “Research Lanes and Intersections,” will focus on her research in pedagogy, Main Street business innovation, family business ownership, and their intersection with her interests in aging, mortality and retirement. Her interests have influenced her research and teaching, including an upcoming paper that uses palliative care to reimagine the role of letting go in family business ownership and the inclusion of an ageism workshop as part of an entrepreneurship class.

Developer of the URI College of Business’ Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program, Forster-Holt will join scholars from Seton Hall, Iowa State University, Texas Tech University, and the University of Delaware in the moderated discussion.

“It’s very humbling to be invited to participate in this exciting discussion,” said Forster-Holt. “I feel like a junior scholar still and it’s exciting when there’s affirmation that something that’s a real labor of love speaks to other people. I always hope that someone sees something in my work that they can use.”

Forster-Holt’s research, which includes small business owner succession, gender, and business ownership and its intersection with family, has been presented nationally and internationally, including in a TEDxURI presentation.

Among her numerous teaching interests, she developed an exercise – “student side hustle” – for an introductory class on innovation and entrepreneurship in which students launch their own business using the marketplace platform KANU, an app developed by two URI students. The exercise took first place in the Entrepreneurship Experiential Education Competition at the 2022 convention of the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Numerous universities have since adopted the exercise and platform.

The other scholars on the ICSB panel will discuss their own research interests, work and backgrounds. “There are some incredible ideas. None of our topics are the same. None of our methods are the same. None of our passions are the same,” she said. “I’m really excited about the entrepreneurial landscape. I feel like we’re standing on the shoulders of giants because there are a lot of things known about entrepreneurship – but there are a lot of things that still aren’t.”

Forster-Holt, who holds a Ph.D. and master’s degree from the University of Maine, is also a certified management accountant, registered financial gerontologist and is a member of URI’s Aging Fellows research consortium and a research associate for the University of Maine’s Center on Aging. She and her husband, Steve, own the manufacturing company Shaw & Tenney, which has won grants from the Maine Technology Institute for innovative projects in the manufacturing of forestry products.

The International Council of Small Business, which has dedicated its Journal for Small Business Management to the focus of “The Impact of Women Scholars on the Entrepreneurial Landscape,” has taken a leadership role in advancing new and highly relevant research of women scholars in the discussion of women entrepreneurs in a global context and suggesting future avenues of research.