Melinda Garvey, owner and publisher of AustinWoman magazine, has been named Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin, a yearlong appointment that began Sept. 1.
“I’m delighted by the continuing evolution of our innovation and creativity studies at McCombs, as evidenced by Melinda Garvey’s appointment as Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Kelleher Center,” said Thomas Gilligan, dean of the McCombs School. “She exemplifies a type of entrepreneurship of growing interest among business students, the small business owner. I foresee many productive conversations between Melinda and our students in the year ahead.”
Garvey, who follows Louise Epstein and Gary Hoover in the McCombs role, recently launched ATXMAN, a magazine about and for men in Central Texas. She founded AustinWoman magazine in 2002 after spending eight years at other publications. AustinWoman focuses on female entrepreneurship and women-run businesses, which Garvey says can often face more challenges than small businesses run by men.
“It’s frustrating because banks need to sit up and smell the coffee,” Garvey said. “Many of them not all are stuck in this ‘old boy network.’ They advertise to men and they target them.”
As a small business owner herself, Garvey recognizes the importance of businesses run by women and has spent time helping the Women’s Chamber of Commerce expand its member benefits. She is also a founding board member of Texas Women in Business, an organization that supports women business owners. She was named Office Depot’s 2006 Businesswoman of the Year.
As a guest lecturer at McCombs during the last five years, she has spoken about finding small business success, a topic she says she will focus on while Entrepreneur-in-Residence.
“The days of IPOs and big corporations are not over, but it is different now and small businesses are really the wave of the future,” she said. “It’s not only something you can be passionate about and something you can love, but you can make a great living.”
Garvey is planning to use her connections to help students meet entrepreneurs from a variety of companies.
“Students don’t have as much access and as much transparency into the small business world, and I always find they’re intrigued and often surprised at things I’m doing and how we’re doing them,” she said.
Meanwhile, she will continue to run the magazines with the help of her husband, Christopher.
“In every life cycle of an entrepreneur there is a time when you need to take a break,” she said. “This will allow me to put my head and my brain in a different place and regenerate.”