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Sonoma State Students Develop Entrepreneurial Risk Taking Through Global Collaboration

December 12, 2013 2:09 PM


Sonoma State Students Develop Entrepreneurial Risk Taking Through Global Collaboration

Rohnert Park, CA - The Community for Entrepreneurial Leadership and Learning (CELL) at Sonoma State University connected with VOICEOUT Theatre (VO), a not-for-profit multinational theatre organization serving the LGBTQ+ community, to grow the confident risk-taking skills that are essential for success as an entrepreneur.

Recently, VO and CELL led a workshop on the Sonoma State campus, where students participated in physical theatre activities. These activities engaged students in literally feeling the excitement of risk taking - identifying strengths and weaknesses and allowing themselves to be challenged.  In a campus survey conducted in March of 2013, students cited the top skill an entrepreneur needs to succeed is a "willingness to take risks".

"We decided to co-teach the CELL workshop to bring our methods into a space where entrepreneurs could explore what risk taking feels like, both how it affects the mind and body," explained Angela Ciandro, Co-Executive Director of VOICEOUT Theatre. "It was a chance to flex the risk-taking muscles and to assess how comfortable participants are with it."

VO Theatre is dedicated to empowering the creative voice of the LGBTQ+ community through physical theatre. "While our primary goal is working with the LGBTQ+ community, the methods we use have a universal application when it comes to deconstructing and building up self-confidence. Risk taking is a fundamental step in building self-confidence." VO's techniques complement entrepreneurs aspiring to take the next steps.

Through their own aspirations with the foundational mentoring of Kirsten Ely, the faculty lead of CELL, VOICEOUT received their first grant from the UK government to further their mission. As they continue their commitment to the LGBTQ+ community, they are growing internationally. Ely has helped VO advance their business plan and grow as an entrepreneurial organization.

Ely stated, "The mission of CELL is to help students and the community leverage their passions into an economically sustainable life path. We do this by incubating student businesses, fostering career pathways, infusing entrepreneurial thinking into curricular and co-curricular activities and accelerating entrepreneurship in the North Bay."

"Through the support of Kirsten Ely and the resources of CELL, we've started to develop the mindset of entrepreneurs, and boy, is there a lot of risk taking involved!" reflected Ciandro. "Today we are making our business work for us and it feels amazing." VOICEOUT Theatre and CELL grow their impact through entrepreneurship, community involvement and practicing the very principle they teach - risk taking. 


For more information, please contact: Annemarie Brown 707-664-2221,

About Community for Entrepreneurial Leadership  & Learning
Sonoma State University is leading an entrepreneurial movement in education with the launch of its Community for Entrepreneurial Leadership & Learning (CELL). Its mission is to incubate student businesses, foster career pathways, infuse entrepreneurial thinking into curricular and co-curricular activities, and accelerate entrepreneurship in the North Bay. The entrepreneurial mindset encompasses more than just starting businesses - it involves having the courage to take risks, leveraging passions with careers and learning from like-minded individuals. Through cross-disciplinary and collaborative partnerships with students, faculty, and leaders of both business and education, CELL intends to revitalize careers, develop critical thinking and grow problem-solving by stimulating entrepreneurial thinking. Learn how you can join the movement by visiting

About VOICEOUT Theatre
VOICEOUT is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company; a Social Enterprise. We use physical theatre to provide unique personal and artistic development opportunities for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, and queer youth, adults and artists internationally.VOICEOUT's energetic experiential development programs, classes, workshops and theatre projects harness the expressive power of the body so the individual voice can shine OUT! For more information, please visit


Contact SBE
Contact SSU
Sonoma State University School of Business and Economics. Reach.
1801 East Cotati Avenue, Rohnert Park, CA, 94928 • 707-664-2377 16690