Inspiring and supporting young entrepreneurs as they pursue their dreams, Nesha Sanghavi is paying it forward in the form of a major gift to the West Virginia University College of Business and Economics.
Sanghavi is a 2008 finance and economics graduate, and was a finalist in the West Virginia Statewide Collegiate Business Plan Competition. She launched UG Apparel in 2011 because she saw a lack of fashionable options for women when it came to collegiate sports apparel. With her line in approximately 500 retailers nationwide, she commemorated her success by donating $100,000 in late 2017 to establish the Nesha A. Sanghavi Endowed Scholarship and the Nesha A. Sanghavi Endowed Student Enrichment Fund.
“Growing up in Charleston, West Virginia, and attending WVU, I wanted to create enough wealth that I could give a portion of it back to my alma mater,” she said. “Entrepreneurship and small business are what our economy really needs, for the future of West Virginia. I want young people to know that they can have the support and tools needed to create whatever they want.”
Sanghavi continues to grow her business and her success. In 2016, the owner and creator of UG Apparel was chosen as West Virginia Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the U.S. Small Business Administration’s West Virginia District Office. She also continues to share her success and wisdom with the next generation of entrepreneurs. During the summers of 2017 and 2018, Sanghavi returned to the WVU campus to serve as the keynote speaker for the opening ceremonies of the West Virginia Governor’s School of Entrepreneurship, which was hosted by B&E.
“Through our curriculum and experiential learning opportunities, we strive to inspire an entrepreneurial mindset within our students. And we are able to do that thanks to support from successful, innovative alumni like Nesha,” said B&E Milan Puskar Dean Javier Reyes. “But what really sets Nesha apart is her efforts to share her story and encourage other young people to reach for their dreams. She is an excellent role model to our students. She sees a problem and she solves it. She sees an opportunity and she goes for it.”
The gift was made in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia's University. The fundraising effort by the WVU Foundation ended Dec. 31, 2017, with more than $1.2 billion raised.