Kaitlyn Trabucco ’07: Empowering Women Through Education
This article was first published in the spring 2018 issue of STILLPOINT magazine.
When Haiti was struck with a disastrous earthquake in 2010, Kaitlyn Trabucco ’07 left her comfortable life in America to aid its victims. There, helping female entrepreneurs jumpstart their businesses, Kaitlyn realized a single difference between her and the women she was working with: education. It was then that two missions were instilled in her heart: to empower female entrepreneurs and make education more accessible.
Kaitlyn’s spark of inspiration led to Educents, a multi-million-dollar website she co-founded in 2013. This award-winning and record-breaking marketplace for educational tools distributes roughly 20,000 unique products from about 3,000 sellers—97 percent of whom are women. Some of Educents’ top sellers are women who started creating education materials independently, and now run businesses pulling in about a million dollars in revenue.
“It’s a mom who was staying home with her kid and was frustrated with what they were learning in school, so she made her own app or download, wrote her own book or curriculum, or developed a different learning style; or it’s a special needs teacher who had developed her own resources or her own game for kids with autism,” Kaitlyn says of the typical seller using Educents as a platform.
An ambitious innovator herself, Kaitlyn goes against the tide of a male-dominated industry in San Francisco. One of the seven percent of female entrepreneurs in a venture-backed company, she says the best business lessons she ever learned were not while starting a business or earning her MBA—they were on the Gordon lacrosse field. “You learn how to win, you learn how to lose, you learn how to compete, you learn how to pull strength out in others and put them in the right places where they belong,” she says. “I could go on and on.”
Learning to lose is an important lesson and a reality that Kaitlyn is not ashamed to admit. “It’s really easy to talk about the highlights, and I feel like so many entrepreneurs . . . are talking about the highlights, but what they’re not talking about are the lowlights and the really difficult moments.”
Having encountered two rounds of layoffs, hackers and even sexual harassment cases at Educents, Kaitlyn finds comfort in her community and in her faith. “Those are the moments where I felt the most that God was there and that God wanted Educents to succeed,” she says. “Those are the moments where I learned the most, and where my confidence came from.”
Addressing Gordon upon receiving the Alumni Entrepreneur of the Year during Homecoming last fall, Kaitlyn gave a rally cry for Christians to lead boldly in faith.
“We really need Christians sitting at the top of companies and being the ones making decisions, because it trickles down and affects everyone’s everyday life,” she says. “If I can treat people the way I believe Christ would want people treated, I think we can set a standard and change a lot of business ethics and policies in this world.”