Saturday, December 28, 2013

Make 2014 Your Best Ever!

©2013 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
Wishing you a new year filled with growth, adventure, hope, promise, fun, good health, happiness, love and the launch of a new business.

My best, 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Shine Bright This Holiday Season

©2013 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
  Wishing You a Joyful Christmas
and a Star Bright New Year

Note:  These star lights were sold during the Christkindlmarket Chicago 2013.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

UpStart Program for Minority and Women Entrepreneurs

A new program designed to help aspiring minority and women entrepreneurs launch successful businesses, is being offered by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation in collaboration with the UW-Madison Small Business Development Center and area professionals with expertise in fields such as accounting, sales and marketing.

UpStart Program for Minority and Women’s Entrepreneurship will offer two 13-week sessions in 2014 with classes starting in early February and again in mid-September. The free program was piloted during fall 2013 with 15 participants and will accept up to 25 applicants for each session in 2014.

Learn more here.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Women Entrepreneurs See the World Through a Different Lens

Designer Tory Burch wants to see more women entrepreneurs than the current 126 million already running businesses worldwide.  She says:

“Based on our experiences, women entrepreneurs see the world through a different lens and, in turn, do things differently.”

Learn more about what Ms. Burch thinks will drive more women to entrepreneurship here.

Photo courtesy:  Lauren Indvik

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Female Entrepreneurs You Should Know About

In Tech Cocktail:
Although there are noteworthy entrepreneurs across all genders, races, ethnicity, geography, etc., this post is dedicated to shining a spotlight on female entrepreneurs, as we at Tech Cocktail are proud proponents of the Change the Ratio movement.  And while it’s easy to applaud the Ariana Huffingtons, Marissa Mayers, Oprah Winfreys, Sara Blakelys, and Sheryl Sandbergs of the world, there are countless female entrepreneurs doing great things that you (likely) haven’t heard of.
Well worth a look.

And don't kid yourself, persistence and determination matters when starting a business.

15 Female Entrepreneurs You Should Know About (But Probably Don't)

Photo courtesy:  Dana Lockadoo

Sunday, November 24, 2013

For Women Entrepreneurs, It Can Be a Messy World

We've come a long way.  Or have we?  On Oct. 25, 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed the Women’s Business Ownership Act.  What did it do for women business owners?
The law, designated H.R. 5050 for the equality it set out to establish for female entrepreneurs, banned discrimination against women seeking business loans and improved access to educational and technical assistance. 
Fast forward to here and now:
Sarah Biller, 42, president of financial technology company Capital Market Exchange, cites perfectionism as a major challenge for women, including herself. “I wanted to come to market with a perfect solution,” she says. But “it’s a messy world.” That “tendency to play by the rules and dot every ‘i’ or cross every ‘t’ stands in the way of women all the time,” she says.
Read the entire article:  Is the Playing Field Even for Women Entrepreneurs 25 Years After H.R. 5050?

Photo courtesy:  Paul Downey

Saturday, November 09, 2013

To Play the Venture-Capital Game, Watch Sports

I've always lived my life by not playing by the rules but according to Fiona Murray's article below, you should do the opposite.  That is, to get in the venture-capital game, you must play by the rules.  Here are a couple of them:





Counter-intuitive advice, eh?

Read more  How female entrepreneurs can get in the venture-capital game

Photo credit:  Ed Yourdon 

Saturday, November 02, 2013

The Type of Business You Run Might Determine Your Growth

According to the Miami Herald, while women are launching businesses at a rapid pace — 1.5 times higher than the national average — their companies still remain small in scope, with only 4 percent reaching earnings of $500,000 and only 1.8 percent surpassing the million dollar mark, according to American Express small business research.

Why is that?
Speaking in Miami [at the national conference of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)], Anna Colton, Bank of America’s Small Business Banking national sales executive, said the reasons why women are struggling to land venture capital may be the type of businesses they run. Venture capital firms tend to invest in high tech and life sciences, but women tend to have professional services firms, she notes. Colton feels that could change when venture capital firms are made to understand the growth and success of women-owned businesses.
Read the entire article here.

Photo courtesy:  Moodboard

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Best Way to Reach Customers? Face-To-Face.

Source:  Cox Business
The Cox Business Snapshot of Women Entrepreneur Survey was fielded among 624 U.S. women business owners and was conducted in October to coincide with National Women’s Small Business Month.  They set out to identify what opportunities and challenges are driving these women leaders.

One snippet of data:
85% of the women surveyed said there are business challenges that are unique to being a woman. 73% said gender bias was a problem and 55% said there are industries where there aren’t many opportunities for women.
Women prefer face-to-face meetings with customers versus email, telephone, social media or snail mail.  What also scored high for women is having control of their destinies.  No surprises there.

Learn more here.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Smart Startups

How can you ensure that people buy your product or pay for your service? How do you compete with similar companies? How do you come up with a winning business idea in the first place? These are questions that the women in the following slide show have answers for.  Be sure to go through each slide to find each woman business owner's secrets to success.

Let their success stories inspire you to make your dream a reality. 

Photo courtesy:  Jerry

Saturday, October 05, 2013

Exporting as a Growth Avenue for Your Business

I've been writing a NEW book on exporting all year (as shown)! Please sign up below to be notified of publication date (December 18, 2013) and to pre-order book at a guaranteed price!

Here's part of what you will learn from my new book:
  • Identify products and services that can be profitably exported.
  • Use the Internet to facilitate all aspects of exporting, especially marketing.
  • Develop a clear strategy on how to export.
  • Export your product or service efficiently and profitably.
  • Find customers retail and wholesale customers globally, enter new markets, get paid, and ship.
  • Explore your best territory using statistics and market research.
  • Develop pricing and prepare documentation.
  • Leverage the Internet and social media—including using tablets and mobile phones—to boost your online exports.
Can't wait for you to read!

Sign-up here: Exporting:  The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Be Your Own Boss

Oftentimes there are mixed messages sent about women starting businesses.  It varies from how they struggle, to what they lack and why it's so hard for a woman to be a boss.  Forget all those negative notions.  Why not focus on celebrating the successes of a woman running a business?
If we are going to boost the number of women starting up their own business we must instill a sense of confidence amongst women and make it clear that they have every opportunity to succeed. Part of this is simply recognizing that entrepreneurship comes in different shapes and sizes.
Read the entire article:  Championing Women in Business
Photo courtesy:  John Fischer

Saturday, September 21, 2013

How Do You Achieve Success?

©2013 Laurel Delaney.  All rights reserved.
On achieving success, it can be through hard work, luck, talent or all of those things.  In this feature:

Kay Koplovitz not only shows what can be achieved, she's helping others with their dreams.

Check it out here.

A bit on Kay Koplovitz:
She was the founder of USA Network, the first woman president of a television network, and creator of what's now called Syfy. She went on to become chairwoman of Fifth & Pacific, the parent company of Kate Spade, Juicy Couture and other fashion brands. Koplovitz was a driving force behind Springboard Enterprises ... - USA Today

Saturday, September 14, 2013

100 Best Sites for Women

Forbes has published its fourth annual list:

The 100 Best Websites for Women, 2013
From Forbes:  As is always the method to our madness, the above list is the culmination of a year’s worth of Internetting, asking around and getting lost down the rabbit hole of the best (and sometimes weirdest) of the Web ...
Oh, maybe we'll make the list next year! 

Saturday, September 07, 2013

To Bootstrap or Not to Bootstrap?

To bootstrap or not to bootstrap?  It is the difference between slowly gaining ground in growing a business versus giving up equity and rapidly growing by going after VC funds.

Cindy Padnos (pictured) is the founder and Managing Partner of Illuminate Ventures.
Padnos cites a statistic that women made up just 7 percent of partners in the tech sector among the 100 most active venture capital firms from 2009-2011. A white paper she published shows that women-operated, venture-backed high-tech companies average 12 percent higher annual revenues, using an average one-third less capital than male counterparts.
Read the entire article:  To pitch or not to pitch:  Silicon Valley women founders weight venture capital versus bootstrapping

Photo courtesy:  Steve Wilhelm

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Women Lead the Way in Startups

Stamford, Connecticut
Why are women leading the way in startups, at least in Stamford, Connecticut?
... studies show that women are strong, credit-worthy borrowers, who have higher payback rates of bank loans compared to the population as a whole.
See what else is cooking for women business owners in Stamford, Connecticut where they've witnessed a 17.3 percent growth in jobs -- or a whopping 92,000 positions -- among women-led businesses -- from 2007-2011.

What does this tell the world?  Make women a priority. 

Read the entire article to find out what Stamford is doing to harness female talent and attract other women entrepreneurs:  Women Entrepreneurs Can Drive Economy 

Photo courtesy: Lee Cannon

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Alison Gutterman Goes Interactive With Her Products

Alison Gutterman, President, Jelmar
Introduced 46 years ago by Skokie-based Jelmar, Tarn-X, the metal tarnish cleaner, is the top brand in its category in the United States.  And CLR, the company’s 30-year-old calcium, lime and rust remover, also holds a top spot, according to IRI.
President Alison Gutterman (pictured) has zeroed in on marketing innovation and new product development to reach a new generation of customers since she took over six years ago.
Learn more on how Alison's marketing efforts are paying off and how to stay relevant and competitive in tough times- here.

Photo courtesy:  ©2013 Laurel Delaney.  All right reserved.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Believe in Your Dreams

To women everywhere ...

"Believe in dreams, your dreams for yourself. Your dreams to be who you want to be, to touch the sky, to travel far, to be valued for who you are, as a whole person, with the body you were given and the brain you’ve developed." - Dale Fiek

Read the entire article here.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A Crowdfunding Site Exclusively For Women?

Crowdfunding website exclusively for mom and women entrepreneurs Nap Time Startups, announced its beta launch, which is scheduled to begin on December 2nd with a first year goal of funding 1,000 startups.

As part of the beta launch, pre-registration is currently open to entrepreneurs, donors, investors and business service support affiliates.

Learn more:  Crowdfunding Site for Women Entrepreneurs

And don't forget to pay a visit to Kickstarter and Indiegogo - two other large funding platforms. 

Photo courtesy:  401(K) 2012

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Lack of Confidence? Fear of Failure?

Is that what's holding you back from becoming an entrepreneur or starting a business - a lack of confidence and a fear of failure? 

According to a recent article, it says:
Women often don't think they are capable of launching their own businesses, which is one reason there are significantly fewer female entrepreneurs than male entrepreneurs, according to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2012 Women's Report released July 31st.
Read the entire article here.  See if you agree.  And as always, I welcome your comments.

Illustration courtesy:  QuotesEverlasting

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Hardest Part of Growing Fast?

When you're running a fast-growing business, what's the hardest part about it?  Best-selling author Jim Collins has written about and below, two women entrepreneurs -- partners Stephanie King-Myers and Nancy Bigley who run Chicago-based Bottle & Bottega -- say that the hardest part about turning a small business into a growing franchise is ...

Read entire article:  Two Women Entrepreneurs Share the Hardest Part of Growing Fast

Photo courtesy:  Wesley Fryer

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Live the Life You Want: Start a Business

Award-winning journalist and best-selling author Jean Chatzky talks with Victoria Colligan, co-founder of Ladies Who Launch about her company, which provides a social network for entrepreneurial women, and about why and how women make the decision to launch their own businesses.  Victoria says that more women are starting their own businesses in order to live the lives they want.

Read the entire interview here.

Photo courtesy:  Leah Jones (Ladies Who Launch Evanston)

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Start a Project. Make It Your Business.

Seattle-based nonprofit Landesa launched the Security for Girls Through Land Project (Girls Project), which leverages land and land rights as a way of improving social and economic prospects for the next generation of women in West Bengal, India.
The project reached more than 7,000 girls in 299 communities in West Bengal between 2010 and 2013, and is expanding to reach roughly 35,000 more in 2013. Landesa’s goal is to eventually reach millions of girls by partnering with a national government initiative called the Rajiv Gandhi Scheme for Empowerment of Adolescent Girls (SABLA).
The reason I bring this up is because Melany Grout (recently featured in Oprah Magazine), an attorney with Landesa, spends more than her share of time flying from Seattle to Dubai to Delhi to Kolkata, India.  Once there, she teaches young girls how to grow food, often on an unused backyard patch of land.  Hence, teaching families the value of young women.

Oftentimes, it takes a project to realize your true passion.  And in more instances than not, that project develops into a business.

So, what are you working on?  What are you passionate about?  If you haven't started a business yet, put the two together and you have a winning formula for business success. 

Photo courtesy:  McKay Savage

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Happy Birthday No. 237 to the United States and No. 9 to the Official Escape From Corporate America Blog!

Happy 9th Birthday to the official Escape From Corporate America blog and Happy 237th Birthday America!  Enjoy the day and thank you all for your readership.

Celebrate and make your business unbeatable!

For a little bit of history about this blog, go here.

Photo courtesy:  ©2013 Laurel Delaney.  All rights reserved. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Sometimes the Best Ideas Are the Most Basic

At 17, Kavita Shukla (pictured) got a patent for FreshPaper, a sheet of paper infused with a secret blend of organic spices that prohibits bacterial and fungal growth on fresh fruits and vegetables.  Then, she got a degree in economics from Harvard.  Next, she launched her company, Fenugreen (named for fenugreek, one of the plants in her patented concoction).

How did she get the idea for the FreshPaper?
Kavita was visiting her grandmother in India when she accidentally swallowed tap water while brushing her teeth. She panicked, but with a flurry of activity in the kitchen, her grandma produced a murky brown concoction of herbs and spices for Shukla to drink—and she never got sick. She was fascinated by her grandmother's wisdom and, when she returned home to the U.S., began experimenting with the effects of various spices by dipping strawberries into them to find out which prevented bacteria and fungus from growing. 
The rest is history - FreshPaper is now sold in stores across the U.S., as well as 35 other countries.

Read the entire article, including lessons from Kavita (one being our subject line for this post) - here.

Photo courtesy:  TEDx Manhattan

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Women Entrepreneurs Are the Future of Business

Sara Blakely, Founder, Spanx
Forget leaning in.  And when you are an entrepreneur, who cares about working in the corporate world?  It's the women entrepreneurs who can and will make bureaucracy a word of the past.

Read Fast Company's great article by Miles Kohrman ...

From refugee camps to the boardroom, Elizabeth Gore and Ingrid Vanderveldt on how women entrepreneurs are the future of business.

Can Women Entrepreneurs Make Bureaucracy a Word Of the Past?

"They're fundamentally seeing that entrepreneurs, women especially, are really the key to our global and sustainable future," Vanderveldt says.

Photo courtesy:  David Shankbone

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Bad Girl Entrepreneurs?

Is there such a thing as bad girl entrepreneurs?  There is Cincinnati-based nonprofit Bad Girls Ventures (BGV) -- that's close enough! -- and they recently graduated its first group of women entrepreneurs for 2013 with award loans to two local companies.
Project Blue Collar was the big winner, receiving a $25,000 loan (sponsored by Meshewa Farm Foundation) from Bad Girl Ventures, or BGV. The runner up was SuZu Designs, which got a loan for $10,000.
The two companies were among 35 woman-owned start-ups who were in the BGV program.

Congratulations to Project Blue Collar, SuZu Designs and all the other participants in the program!

There's more - so stop in here.

Photo courtesy:  Project Blue Collar ("buy a collar, save a dog!" -- as shown above)

Saturday, June 08, 2013

How to Turn Your Passion Into a Business

Meet Eleonora Carisi.  Model.  Contributor to the popular Italian fashion website  Founder of, which insiders now rate as one of the country's 50 most popular fashion blogs. Two years later, Carisi took over YouYou Store, a concept store in the center of the city (Turin, Italy) that sells a small selection of cutting-edge goods from up-and-coming local designers.

Find out how Carisi boldly turned her love of clothes into a full-time career here.

Meanwhile, here's the answer to one of many questions she was asked by during an interview:
What is your best piece of advice for young women hoping to start their own businesses?
Eleonora:  Is it really what you want to do? Ask your heart.
Photo courtesy:

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Chuckle of the Day: Why God is an Entrepreneur

Delightful post authored by Bob Marovich over at the Black Gospel Blog entitled, "Why God is an Entrepreneur."  Point of the story:
Thank GOD for thinking like an entrepreneur!
Have a good week!

Photo courtesy:  Tonynetone

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Technology Is a Key Growth Driver

According to small business research from Dell and Intel, start-ups and small businesses in the United States are focused on growth, primarily domestically, and are increasingly investing in technology to help them scale.

Key findings:
  • Maintaining their optimism: Over the course of the next year, more than half of entrepreneurs and small business owners expect finances to improve (56 percent), and most expect better prospects for sales (75 percent) as well as greater growth opportunities (58 percent).
  • Looking to technology as a growth driver: The majority of entrepreneurs and small business owners consider access to technology to be key to successful growth (77 percent).
  • Staying domestic: The majority of U.S. startups and small businesses see greater growth opportunities at home than abroad (84 percent).
  • Focused on growth: Nearly half of respondents are planning to grow their companies in the near future (48 percent), while a significant percentage is focused on long-term growth (38 percent). 
Access the full report here.

Infographic courtesy of Dell.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Push Yourself Out of Your Comfort Zone

This is a very wild, run-on article!  The key points made within it are based on the recent Women in Technology Leadership and Entrepreneurship Forum RISE (Relationship & Information Series for Entrepreneurs).
Women entrepreneurs must stop hanging back, letting fear win, believing that being partners and parents precludes them from being successful business owners.  They must push themselves to create businesses with scaleable ideas that can grow into multimillion or billion dollar companies.
Read the entire article:  Women in Tech Must Push Relentlessly to Succeed

Photo courtesy:  Wolfgang Lonien

Saturday, May 04, 2013

Building Beyond the Glass Ceiling

In this post, find out the top U.S. cities for women entrepreneurs (San Francisco and Seattle, for example) and catch a wonderful infographic that includes seven tips for future women entrepreneurs.
Two important steps to successfully starting up are finding a mentor and building a network of fellow female entrepreneurs that you can turn to for advice and referrals. Launching a business in a city with a thriving community of women entrepreneurs is a good place to start.
Photo courtesy:  ericskiff

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Leap In!

I just love the article below by Dr. Candida Brush, professor at Babson College.  It's about Cheryl Sandberg's new expression, or book, if you will, "Lean In," which inspires women leaders to move forward in their careers, pursue opportunities and actively accept responsibilities.

Dr. Brush challenges the theory of "leaning in" for women in the workforce by saying it may not be enough for women entrepreneurs.  She goes on further to say:
In fact, they need to “leap in."  It is impossible to be an entrepreneur by leaning- you have to commit, take risks and take action.
Read the entire fabulous article:  "Leaning In is Not Enough:  Women Entrepreneurs Need to "Leap In"

Photo courtesy:  Foxtongue

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Easily Bored? Try Entrepreneurship!

Successful entrepreneurs are often a lot alike. Some characteristics of an entrepreneur include being ambitious, outgoing, creative, enthusiastic, energetic and yes, easily bored.  Is that you?  Then you might be wired for entrepreneurship.
There are some characteristics that specifically describe a personality type which many entrepreneurs have (e.g., Bono, John F. Kennedy, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, Steven Spielberg and Donald Trump).  It’s called the Davinci personality type.
Read the entire article (including a neat infographic):  9 Characteristics of an Entrepreneur:  Recognize Some of Them?

Photo courtesy:  Noise Photography

Saturday, April 13, 2013

How to Pitch Your Ideas

Let's say you came up with a new idea for paint that is temperature resistant and environmentally safe (the ladder in the photo could use it).  How would you pitch your idea to VCs?  According to Ivo Lukas's article, "Women Entrepreneurs:  Pitch Your Idea:"
Whether you are bootstrapping or pitching to get VC/angel investors, you must keep in mind two things about your business pitch: keep your story simple and sweet. I've been asked lately about what the top "must haves" for women are when pitching their businesses and/or ideas. There have to be some formulas for success, right? As women in a male-dominated industry, we should be sharing these trade secrets with each other!
Read the entire article here.

Photo courtesy:  ©2013 Laurel Delaney.  All rights reserved.  "Chicago lakefront 4/13/13"

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Steady As She Goes

According to "The Slow and Steady Approach to Entrepreneurship," you don't need to be an overnight success to become an entrepreneur.

Entrepreneurship requires a more slow and steady approach.  Start with building a solid skill set early on.

Is that what you have found works too?  I welcome hearing from you!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Mini Cooper With Female Bunny Ears!

©2013 Laurel Delaney.  All rights reserved.  "Mini Cooper Bunny!"
The Peninsula Chicago goes all out on Easter this year.  What I love is the pink.  Have a Happy Easter!

Photo courtesy:  ©2013 Laurel Delaney.  All rights reserved.  "The Female Mini Cooper Bunny"

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Oh Quit Your Day Job and Get Going!

Yes, it is a big risk to quit your day job and launch a business.  But, on the other hand, you could spend the rest of your life working in corporate America and forever thinking about starting a business yet never do it.

On your death bed do you want to mumble, "I hated my job in Corporate America and wish I would have quit in my twenties to start a business."

Or, would you rather say, "I lived a life that was meant for me and yes, - starting a business was a big risk in my twenties but it made me who I am today:  happy, creative, content, fulfilled and so satisfied that I risked it all to make something great happen!"

Read:  Can You Afford to Quit Your Day Job?

You tell me:  Can you afford not to quit your day job to become your creative best self in life?

Photo courtesy:

Sunday, March 17, 2013

All Entrepreneurs Are Irish On St. Patty's Day!

©Laurel Delaney 2013.  All rights reserved.  "Irish Hats"
When you have a fighting spirit, as all entrepreneurs do, there is a bit of Irish in you!  Happy St. Patty's Day!  My favorite day of the year.  Enjoy!

Photo courtesy:  ©Laurel Delaney 2013.  "Irish Hats"

Saturday, March 09, 2013

Are You A Female Entrepreneur With Style?

Stephanie Burns along with her business partner Jody Coughlin run Chic CEO, a free web resource for female entrepreneurs that provides all of the fundamental information women need to start a business, from how to write a business plan to how to invent a new product.
Finances, funding, and marketing -- Chic CEO has got it covered. Together with her business partner Jody Coughlin, Stephanie has created a platform for women to find the answers to help them make their dream a reality.
Chic CEO Walks Women Through the Practical Steps of Starting a Business

Visit:  Chic CEO (as illustrated)

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Be Obsessed With Metrics and Data

As you grow your business, being obsessed with metrics and data can be a good thing.  Take Marissa Mayer, for example, CEO of Yahoo:
After spending months frustrated at how empty Yahoo parking lots were, Mayer consulted Yahoo's VPN (Virtual Private Network where workers can use it to securely log into Yahoo's network and do work) logs to see if remote employees were checking in enough. Mayer discovered they were notand her decision was made. 
When is the last time you checked your VPN logs or parking lots?  Could your workers be slacking off?

Read:  How Marissa Mayer Figured Out Work-At-Home Yahoos Were Slacking Off

Illustration credit:  Marissa Mayer's Twitter page

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Expect To Succeed and You Will

Rachel Leavy, 24 years old, didn't expect to start a business nor did she expect to do well running it but she has.

She teaches obedience classes at night and holds doggy daycamp three days a week.  The idea sparked to start Miss Rachel's School For Dogs when her dog Dixie was hit by a car.

Find her on Twitter and visit her site.  You never know when your next big idea will strike.  Be open to it.

Illustration credit:  Miss Rachel's School for Dogs

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Women Entrepreneurs: Bring On the Optimism in 2013!

A recent national survey of women business owners conducted by Group, Inc. and the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) found a strong sense of economic optimism, including a prediction by 85 percent of women business owners that more women will become entrepreneurs in 2013 than in past years.

How is that so?  Find out here.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Get Comfortable With "The Ask"

The Ask!

When you're ready to seek funding for your business, get comfortable with "the ask."  You've got to be bold enough to put your business out there in the market, strut your stuff (capabilities) and "ask" for what you want.  But that's not what this article is about.

The article below is about why crowdfunding is a game-changer for women entrepreneurs
Women-owned firms start and grow businesses with substantially less outside financing, according to a Department of Commerce survey of women-owned companies across the U.S. That helps to explain why the average women-owned business has 25% lower revenue than the typical male-owned firm in the same industry.
Read the entire article here.

Many of you have asked me via email for donations on your projects over at Indiegogo and Kickstarter.  What's your experience been like on the funding front -- good, bad or indifferent?  Have you heard of the new kid on the block (not necessarily a crowdfunding site) called Fundwell?

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Sometimes Life Is Full of Surprises

Alecia McClung, CEO, ARO
Chicago CEO Alecia McClung (pictured) has gone from serious health issues to successful woman business owner.  She runs Administrative Resource Options (ARO), a one-stop shop for outsourcing office management and services.

As Alecia says, "Sometimes life is full of surprises."  
Womenetics: When and why did you start your business? How did you recognize that there was an opportunity to outsource your services to companies in the Chicago area?

Alecia McClung: We primarily started outsourcing in mailroom and print centers. I started the infrastructure in 1990, about 22 years ago. We started out in the legal market and expanded into hospitals, schools, manufacturing, and now we’re pretty much in every market. 
Read Alecia's inspiring story and interview here.

Photo courtesy:  ARO

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Women Business Owners Fight for Government Contracts

With federal spending cuts, women entrepreneurs are feeling the pinch.  U.S. government contracts to women- owned small businesses dropped for the second consecutive year, declining at a faster rate than awards to their male counterparts.
The women’s contracts slid 5.5 percent to about $16.4 billion in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30 from $17.3 billion in fiscal 2011, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Awards to small firms owned by men fell 4.1 percent to $80.9 billion.  
What's causing the decline?
The gender gap may reflect stiffer competition over a shrinking pool of contract revenue as well as the bureaucratic burdens associated with a new effort to reserve awards for women-owned firms, according to former procurement officials and small business advocates. 
Read the entire article here.

Are you experiencing this challenge?  If so, we welcome hearing from you.

Illustration credit:  BloombergBusinessweek

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Have a Heart for What You Do

Brenda Frazier, owner of Brenda Kay Frazier's Beauty Shop
Success comes in a variety of ways but no matter what, it always requires having a heart for what you do.  See how women business owners use their brainpower, instincts and their heart to do what they love doing here.

Illustration credit:  The Express

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Managing Talent: The Dandelion Metaphor

Listen carefully to this insightful video.  I love "The Dandelion Metaphor" as it relates to finding obscure spaces in your business where people can grow.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Stake Out Your Place On the Road to Success

With the beginning of a new year, it's really time to stake out your place on the road to success.  It's in line with what we wrote about here with unleashing your yellow tree in 2013.

Deborah Sweeney (pictured), contributor to Forbes, provides her tips to ensure every day of 2013 is a great one for you and your business.

Read:  How Female Entrepreneurs Can Stand Out in 2013 - Forbes

Visit Deborah's company:  MyCorporation

Photo courtesy:  MyCorporation

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Unleash Your Yellow Tree in 2013

©Laurel Delaney 2013, "Yellow Tree"
You've heard of Blue Ocean Strategy (go where profits and growth are - not where competition is) and the Black Swan concept (an event deemed improbable yet causes massive consequences).   But have you heard about the Yellow Tree?  Unleash your Yellow Tree (ability to stand out in the crowd) in 2013. 

Happy New Year!

Photo courtesy:  ©Laurel Delaney 2013, "Yellow Tree"