Autumn Moore, BBA ‘10, has made it her mission to empower entrepreneurial women. That mission led her to start her own small business and it’s the impetus behind her dissertation, Race, Generation, and Gender: Reflections of African American Millennial Women Entrepreneurs on their Career Development.
A Bill Gates Scholarship recipient, Moore pursued her undergraduate degree in human resource management before seeking masters and doctoral degrees.
Through her minor in entrepreneurship at the Fox School of Business, Moore learned how to create business plans and maintain authenticity. Her classes introduced her to the foundational knowledge of marketing and budgeting.
“Courses at Fox made me stand out early in my career as a teacher and while interviewing for positions,” says Moore. “I also learned the importance of organization, research and knowledge of data. This allowed me to better shape what I wanted to learn within my dissertation.”
After completing her undergraduate studies, Moore attended Saint Joseph’s University for her Masters in Education and became a teacher. She then went back to school for a Doctorate of Education in Leadership and Administration from Point Park University. During this time, she worked as a college administrator, which gave her more insight into her future career path.
Moore’s entrepreneurial drive and desire to create community led her to create a unique card game.
“The idea behind the card game was for women to have fun while being authentic and connecting with one another,” says Moore. “I realized that the idea of the card game was something that I wanted to push, so I created a networking event for women as well. I decided to contract exclusively with women-owned businesses, and individuals like female DJ’s and female artists.”
Moore paused the selling of the game and production of her networking events while working towards her doctorate—but the process of creating those spaces for women helped to inspire her research interests.
Her dissertation examines how race, generation and gender intersect in the lived experiences of African American millennial women entrepreneurs.
“I always felt interested in entrepreneurship and wanted to share my knowledge with the many African American women in Pittsburgh that also have an interest in this field,” says Moore. “I wanted to see the mindset of the women who have the desire to take on the entrepreneurship field full time.”
“The research provided me with clearer insights on women-owned businesses and what women face in the industry,” adds Moore. “It confirmed that more progress needs to be made due to people having inherent biases that are not inclusive within the business industry.”
Moore emphasized that race itself is a social construct that people have created, and that it is important for people to understand history and learn the experiences of others.
As associate director of the Department of Youth Leadership at the Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh, Moore learned the importance of community activism. The Urban League of Greater Pittsburgh focuses on serving African Americans and other minorities throughout the city. Moore sees a great purpose in developing future leaders in her community. After noticing that the most disadvantaged communities in Pittsburgh had a primarily Black population, she was inspired to generate real change.
“I want to encourage both women and the youth that I work with to take their own steps and make their own paths. My goal is to ultimately encourage my students to embrace their experiences and keep moving forward,” says Moore.