By day, Lauren Marsicano is a Coral Gables businesswoman and attorney. By night, she is the executive director and founder of Women for Success.
After studying law at Oxford University, Mariscano moved first to Tampa and then to Miami, where she worked in corporate law representing clients such as Bank of America, Chase, and Ryder. Seven years ago, she and her best friend Carolina Leyva launched their firm Marsicano + Leyva PLLC in the Gables; Leyva focuses on family law, while Marsicano practices commercial litigation and business law.
Along the way, Marsicano was recognized by the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division as one of the Top 40 under 40 attorneys. Her specialty is defending companies facing frivolous lawsuits.
“Sometimes we vilify companies in America, but many times these are smaller, family-run businesses. Sometimes people sue them hoping to get quick bucks,” she says. “Getting them great resolutions lets them keep operating.”
Three years ago, Marsicano founded Women for Success, a nonprofit that provides women with free workshops, tools, resources, mentorship, and small business grants to ensure that every woman has a chance to succeed, and to “define success on her own terms.” She has raised and donated tens of thousands of dollars to female startups and connected first-time business owners with donors and investors who have given hundreds of thousands to kick start local businesses.
This past September, Marsicano held her third “Female Founders Forum” at the Coral Gables Women’s Club. The three-day event brought together 170 like-minded funders, founders, and entrepreneurs, connecting female-owned businesses to help secure the resources they need.
What She Says
“For me, these people that we’re trying to help need to know that there is money out there and how to establish relationships with [investors]… A lot of this is about knowing how to get into the room, knowing how to pitch,” says Marsicano.
“Only 2.4 percent of VC funding goes to women-owned companies. But women-led teams and ventures get 30 percent more return on investment than male-run companies, [and] these businesses usually have some component of social good,” she adds. “It struck me that we value women as wives, but not as business leaders…. What we do is all geared toward increasing confidence.”