November 23, 2022

A student entrepreneur creates an online magazine to empower female students

Inspired by her college friends, Rachel Keller’s Miss Miami magazine pushes boundaries and recently won first place in the UDisrupt Women Empowerment Business competition.

Frustrated with male-dominated spaces and the topics peddled at young women by mainstream media, Rachel Keller took matters into her own hands when she created an online magazine for female students, written and illustrated by female students.

Keller, a junior finance student at the University of Miami, said what makes her magazine unique are the deepest, most intimate issues and experiences she and her peers face on campus and beyond. of the. The post was created to address topics on protecting women, reproductive rights, tackling unattainable beauty standards, and preventing sexual harassment and assault.

“We’re expected to live up to the standards and expectations that have been set in the past when it’s time to change,” Keller said. “I thought a good way to really start the conversation was to create this magazine.”

Aiming for a print magazine, Keller ended up with an online flip-book in an effort to provide readers with a comprehensive, cohesive package instead of one or two articles a month.

Recently, she heard about UM Hillel’s UDisrupt Pitch competition, a “Shark Tank” style competition funded by the Jewish Federation of Greater Miami’s Women’s Impact initiative. The competition’s mission was to empower female students to create a product that will meet the specific needs of women in the workforce. Keller submitted his idea just months before publishing his first edition in February. In April, after a painstaking application and development process, which included professional help and guidance from a mentor, she was selected as the winner of the competition.

“I applied because I thought it might be a great way to get additional support and possibly funding,” said Keller, who won the $3,000 top prize.

Tamara Zishuk, director of strategic initiatives at UM Hillel, said Keller’s project was amazing and met the judges’ criteria.

“Rachel had the most fleshed out growth idea and strategy,” Zishuk said. “Overall, the pitch competition was amazing and showcased outstanding female talent on campus.”

With the prize money, Keller looks forward to building her brand and investing in more marketing to grow the magazine. She is pleased with the magazine’s growth so far and thanks its writers for revealing their innermost struggles and experiences.

“I found it important to find different female writers on campus to contribute to the magazine, because it was really important to me that I included a variety of female ideas and passions,” Keller explained.

Trenitee Wesley, a junior double major in marketing and management, decided to work with Miss Miami Magazine because of her passion for advocacy, interest in social issues related to women’s issues, and love for writing.

“There’s so much everyone can learn from our magazine because it gives voice to issues we were previously too afraid to talk about,” Wesley said. “Magazines like Miss Miami give me hope for society. Women come together to talk not just about our issues, but about our experiences and ways to tackle some of the issues we all face – we should create a safe space for women to be women, whatever that means for them, as they wish.

Keller noted that his knowledge of entrepreneurship stems from his courses at Miami Herbert Business School, coupled with his leadership position at the TAMID Group, a student organization that develops the professional skills of undergraduate students through experiential learning that includes practical involvement in start-up projects. , summer internships, etc.

“I created Miss Miami magazine for female students from all areas of college to relate to,” said Keller, who wants her magazine to be a source for women who feel unrepresented. “I want to counteract those feelings by writing and giving others a platform to solve problems in a simple way that doesn’t make anyone feel like they’re not enough.”