Sunday, December 27, 2015

Create Your Own Success in 2016

You don't have to be an introvert to appreciate these tips because even entrepreneurs need a little solitude and a chance to be themselves:  Introvert holiday party survival guide.  And when you take time out to re-energize, you might read five new year's resolutions for entrepreneurs.

Meanwhile, I wish you a new year filled with success, happiness, and high impact initiatives.  Can't wait to reconnect with you in 2016!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Helping Women Break Barriers

To increase the amount of funding for women entrepreneurs we need to get more money targeted toward women entrepreneurs and increase the number women VC's in charge of that money.  But there's more and Anne Ravanona, Founder & CEO of Global Invest Her, reveals what else is needed to boost business for women entrepreneurs and mentions a competition for women entrepreneurs -- The Babson Breakaway Challenge -- that offers a $250,000 grand prize to one winner business as well as the creation of a customized brand identity platform..

Read more:  Breaking Barriers for Women Entrepreneurs and Women VC's: Babson Breakaway Challenge With $250K prize

Note:  You must apply by January 5, 2016 for a chance at $250,000 in funding.  Good luck!

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Buying Versus Starting Your Own Business: Pros and Cons

As you contemplate running your own business, should you start it from scratch or buy one?  Here are some pros and cons to both.

Read more:  Buy a business or start your own?

Sunday, November 29, 2015

How to Put Yourself in a Good Mood Every Day

So I'm reading the article 20 Career Tips From Entrepreneurs and what stands out?
I don’t mean real stress like bad health or how you are going to pay the predicted 300K tuition for your kid’s future college, I mean that nagging stuff that makes you in a slightly less good mood every single day.
Beyond putting yourself in a good mood everyday -- who wouldn't want to accomplish that? -- what else matters on the career front for women entrepreneurs?

Have a look, it's worth it:  20 Career Tips From Entrepreneurs

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Build a Better Business

How do women entrepreneurs build better businesses? Governments must ease up regulations and help create stronger work-family policies. Are there certain policies that can promote women’s engagement in high-growth forms of entrepreneurship, not just business creation in general?

In the article below, that's the question posed by author Sarah Thebaud, Assistant Professor, Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara. She says:
In a recent analysis, I show some surprising new evidence that work-family policies may be of critical importance. I found that when women have access to policies like paid leave or subsidized childcare, their odds of starting a venture oriented toward economic growth and job creation are higher. When they don’t, their odds are lower.
Read more:  Stronger work-family policies help women entrepreneurs build better businesses

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Women Entrepreneurs Are Making Progress

According to Margot Dorfman (pictured), CEO of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, women entrepreneurs face daunting challenges but they are making progress.
About 10 million women-led businesses in the United States generate $1.6 trillion in annual revenue. Almost every major industry sector — including technology, services and construction — has seen increases in women-led companies, Dorfman said.
Dorfman also says that if you look at the number of women running businesses, it's good but if you look strictly at the numbers in terms of revenues, it becomes problematic.

Read more:  State of Women Entrepreneurship

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Don't Take a Back Seat to Anyone

Representatives from Microsoft, PayPal, Google and the SBDC Pennsylvania recently hosted a seminar "Tips from the Pros: Using Technology and Online Tools to Boost Your Small Business."  They talked about the latest products and services offered by those companies and gave tips for businesses to effectively use various forms of technology.
Marino [U.S. Rep. Tom Marino] said because his wife owns a small business, he sees and understands the challenges small business owners, especially women, face on a regular basis, and he respects them for the hurdles they have to overcome.
“The women I’ve dealt with in small business, they don’t take a back seat to anybody,” he said.
Read more:  Representatives from Microsoft, PayPal, Google and local organizations offer tips for small business owners 

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Is Now the Best Time to Have a Baby in Corporate America or When You Work at a Small Business?

Whether you work in Corporate America or a small business, is now the best time to have a baby?
“Employees want work to be more flexible, and companies are realizing we have to be better. It’s not just an economic issue; it is a moral imperative. As I’ve [Stewart Friedman, Wharton practice professor of management and founding director of the Wharton Work/Life Integration Project] been saying for decades, we need a new national policy.”
Read more:  Is Now the Best Time to Have a Baby in Corporate America?

Note:  According to the article, when it comes to parental leave, sadly, the U.S. is at the bottom of the list of developed countries.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Accelerate Your Business With Social Media

Women in the United States make 78 cents for every man's dollar made according to the Institute for Women's Policy Research. What's the solution to overcoming gender inequality in the workplace?  Start a business and get a grip on your social media skills.

A new program Power, Prestige & Profits (PP&P), offers a step-by-step how-to online course to help women take control of their lives and build their social media empire.
PP&P focuses on delivering high value online courses to serve the growing small business, entrepreneur and solopreneur communities in need of social media help at a price point they could afford.
Learn more:  Kyra Reed and Gretchen Fox Help Female Business Owners Overcome Gender Pay Gap and Accelerate Their Business With Social Media

Photo courtesy:  Kyra Reed and Gretchen Fox, PP&P

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Gender Equality is a Long Way Off at Most U.S. Companies

If, according to a recent WSJ article, gender equality is a long way off at most U.S. companies, what is a woman to do?  That's the purpose of this blog is to escape from corporate America and start your own business.  That way, you are in control of your own destiny.

Read:  What's Holding Women Back in the Workplace?

Sunday, October 11, 2015

What the World Needs Now is ... More Entrepreneurs

According to Dell, the world needs 600 million new jobs by 2025 to handle the growing working-age population. Those jobs, Michael Dell points out, aren't likely to come from big corporations like Dell, but instead from entrepreneurs and small businesses.

Rhonda Abrams says, "if you think that small companies and start-ups can change the world, you're not alone."
"Nothing will build a country out of poverty more quickly than jobs," said [Elizabeth] Gore [former Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EIR) for the United Nations Foundation and now EIR for Dell]. "And entrepreneurs create 70 to 90 percent of jobs worldwide. In turn, that supports building a health infrastructure, leads to better governance, and focuses on what people need to succeed."
Read more:  Why the world needs entrepreneurs

Screenshot:  Elizabeth Gore

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Female Funders

Katherine Hague, founder of Toronto-based ShopLocket, an online sales platform for hardware startups, says a $10,000 commitment from angel investor Heather Payne, founder of HackerYou, helped launch her company in 2011.  Now, Hague is bringing that experience to her latest project, Female Funders, a site dedicated to providing women with “approachable” resources to help them jump into angel investing.

Read more:  How female entrepreneurs hope to spark a new wave of women-led ventures

Screenshot courtesy:  Female Funders

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Let's Applaud Women Business Owners

Veteran politician State Rep. Betty Boukus (pictured) is a woman on a mission -- to applaud women business owners who have made a name for themselves in Plainville, Connecticut.
“It’s important the people of Plainville know that every day in these difficult times women are doing what they have to do to make their businesses a success,” Boukus said. “These women and their employees are supporters of the town of Plainville.”
Read more:  Women-run businesses flourishing

Screenshot courtesy:  State Representative Betty Boukus

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Women Entrepreneurs 40 Percent More Likely To Donate Than Men

Are women more generous than men?  According to CCTV America they are.

CCTV America's Shraysi Tandon filed a report that indicates when it comes to raising money for charities or looking for a big donor, women are more generous than men.

No surprises here.  Women like to not only run a business but make the human connection too.

Read more:  Female entrepreneurs leading in charitable giving

Saturday, September 12, 2015

New Rule Levels Playing Field for Woman-Owned Small Businesses

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) issued on 9/11/15 a final rule authorizing federal agencies to award sole-source contracts to women-owned small businesses eligible for the Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) Federal Contract Program. Effective October 14, 2015, the rule levels the playing field for women-owned small businesses across the federal contracting marketplace.
SBA will use this new tool to continue to open doors for women entrepreneurs in the federal and commercial contract space. SBA's efforts include actively promoting women-owned businesses through programs such as ChallengeHER, the Women's Business Centers and InnovateHER, as well as implementing recent changes to its lending program that have made smaller dollar loans more accessible to women, and creating the online portal, LINC, to ease the process of finding capital to grow or start small businesses.
Read more: SBA:  New Authority Will Bolster Women-Owned Small Businesses

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Creating Magic For Children

Delhi, India-based entrepreneur Romilla Tewari's children became her first customers.  After their birth, Romilla (pictured) started looking for options to do up their rooms in a way they would love and ended up starting her own business six years ago.
Romilla wrote an e-mail to a foreign company which specializes in doing up kids’ rooms, expressing her interest in bringing their products to India. They obliged with a positive response the very same day. 
Her company has grown to two brands:  ThinkCutieful and (e-commerce) under parent company Eunoia Designs Pvt. Limited.

Read more:  Romilla Tewari creates magic for children, gives them space to dream

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Showing Courage to Start a Business

What do a lot of small business owners want to do when they first launch a business?  Delegate.  Be a better boss.  Learn how to lead effectively.  These are just a few of the ways in which small business owners plan to grow their businesses.  And they have plenty of help.  10,000 Small Businesses, a program that Goldman Sachs has brought across the country, assists small businesses with all the functional aspects to growing a business.

One thing we already know:  These business owners show a lot of courage by starting a business.  It takes guts and initiative.

Learn more:  10,000 Small Businesses program thriving in Chicago

Screenshot courtesy:  Chicago Sun-Times

Sunday, August 23, 2015

From Velvet Ropes to Vintage Chairs, Entrepreneur Realizes Her Dream of Owning a Business

Lisa Escobar (pictured) had a Vegas dream job managing high-end nightclubs Tryst and XS inside the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore. But as much as Escobar loved it, that job wasn't her calling.
So in 2012 — in the middle of Southern Nevada's recession — Escobar quit and launched a business as an interior decorator and stylist, using her Rolodex of VIPs as a starting point for a client list.
What was the transition like?

Learn more:  Entrepreneur realizes dream of launching her own business

Visit:  Lisa Escobar Design

Screenshot courtesy:  Lisa Escobar Design

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Women Are Best As Entrepreneurs

Why are women best at being entrepreneurs?  Easy.  Female entrepreneurs are more likely to be risk averse and so avoid the pitfalls that can kill a young business, says Paul Bentley, Kleinwort Benson’s head of entrepreneurs.  He goes on to specifically say:
"Female entrepreneurs tend to be more risk averse and position themselves better to create long-term value. They often avoid the pitfalls that befall early stage firms, meaning their businesses will show a more consistent track record."
Read:  'Women are best entrepreneurs' as they are more likely to avoid pitfalls that can kill a young business 

Screenshot courtesy:  This is Money (photo of Julia Elliott Brown, Upper Street London co-founder)

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Defeat Your Fears and Reach for the Sky

Cielo, the word for “sky” or “heaven” in Spanish, and an acronym for Community for Innovation, Entrepreneurship, Leadership and Opportunities. Cielo is on the campus of Golden West College in Huntington Beach, California, where classes in self-wellness and entrepreneurship are being held over the summer in something of a soft launch for the center.

Cielo is expected to launch in the fall of 2015 as an incubator for lifestyle and skills-based microbusinesses, providing their owners access to capital, mentorship and classes – and possibly office space.

Among those using Cielo to launch her business is Leticia Benitez, 37, a wife and mother of an elementary school-age child.  She plans to nurture her small side business making cakes covered in ribbons of frosting and a layer of fondant, a creative outlet outside of her normal part-time work at the local Cheesecake Factory.

Read more:  Reaching for the sky: Cielo incubator in Huntington Beach will focus on lifestyle trades

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Messiness and Being a Cheapskate Can Launch a Business

Mary Rascher had “three of the messiest kids ever” as her inspiration for making laundry soap, but the full-time electrical mechanic started investigating how to make soaps and later lotions that she now sells at the Downtown Rantoul Farmer’s Market and various Gordyville events under M&M Creations.

Rascher says she’s so “cheap,” she wanted to figure out a way to make her own laundry soap.

Read the entire article:  Tightwad Mary:  Desire to save money led Rascher to start making her own soap

Screenshot courtesy:  M&M Creations

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Where Does Your Heart Belong?

Ever dream of owning your own business?  That's how this business owner got started.  She dreamed about owning a bakery and then made it a reality.  From the moment Emily Grable stepped inside the North Canton, Ohio-based Hazel Artisan Bakery Café, she knew it was where her heart belonged.

Nine years after visiting Hazel Artisan Bakery Café for the first time, Grable’s dream came true.
She purchased the bakery, located at 1176 S. Main St., saying it was something that was just “meant to be.” It was a transition she was comfortable with, having worked as a pastry chef for the previous owner for more than a year before taking over the business herself.
Grable is now one of nine million women-owned businesses operating in the U.S., according to the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO).

Read the entire article:  Cafe owner finds calling in pastry  Facebook Page here.

Screenshot courtesy:  Hazel and Rye

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Definition of Entrepreneur? Good-Looking Men Who Don't Have Jobs

When Carla Walker-Miller (pictured) first encountered the word "entrepreneur" while she was growing up, she thought, "it meant good-looking men who didn’t have jobs. That’s what she saw in the magazines: men talking about their ideas and starting companies but never seeming to work."

Fast-forward to today when Walker-Miller is running Detroit-based Walker-Miller Energy Services, employing 43 people and on pace for generating annual revenues of $7 million this year (2015).

Walker-Miller talks about how she broke out of the corporate world, the challenges of being an African American woman in business, and how she keeps her work-life balance.

Read the entire article:  Entrepreneurs must buy, bargain, finesse their way to the table

Photo courtesy:  Carla Walker-Miller

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Just Be Who You Are

Serena Williams (pictured) is a world class tennis player and has medals to prove it.  Do you describe yourself as the best entrepreneur in the world?  Better be careful here.  You don't want to come across as full of yourself.

Here are some words that are great when other people use them to describe you--but you should never use to describe yourself.  For example, drop “innovative,” since most people aren’t.

Just be who you are.

27 Words You Should Never Use to Describe Yourself

Screenshot courtesy:  EJI

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Yes Country for All Women

What a great day to celebrate not only the birth of our nation but the fact that the best country for women entrepreneurs is ... drum roll ... United States, (Canada, Australia, Sweden and the United Kingdom) according to a global report commissioned by Dell.
Those women entrepreneurs aren’t just starting a business for themselves but also are adding jobs, expanding into new markets and even looking for export opportunities, said Aidis [Dr. Ruta Aidis, project director of Dell’s Global Women Entrepreneur Leaders Scorecard].
Read the entire article:  The best country for women entrepreneurs is ...

Note:  Coming up on July 7th is Escape From Corporate America's 11th birthday!  My how time flies when you love what you do and are passionate about it.  I hope you enjoy our posts.  To many more years of entrepreneurial empowerment!  Here's our first post back eleven years ago.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Pitch: Hunting Women Business Owners

The Pitch, launched by SheKnows Media, is a vehicle for female founders to deliver their pitch and allow it to build steam among potential consumers.  Many of the entrepreneurs showcased in The Pitch will all be solving problems that are common to them.   Watch Tonya Von Court's pitch above.
The Pitch will continue to produce and air new videos each week from entrepreneurs and activists launching both for profit and nonprofit ventures. Audience members will have the opportunity to comment, share, and upvote their favorites using a set of custom emojis. There will also be a live judged Pitch event at the BlogHer15 conference on July 18.
Bottom line:  You gotta sell your vision ladies!

Read the entire article:  New Platform Helps Women Entrepreneurs Master the Art of the Pitch

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Who Are You Hanging Out With?

Who you hang out with can make a difference on how far you travel on the success train.
The people we choose to surround ourselves with often matter a great deal to our success — especially when we are trying to thrive as entrepreneurs. That’s because spending time alongside other motivated and successful people can have positive effects on our own success. 
It can be hard to find other successful women to learn from and collaborate with, but hopefully this blog, for example helps.

Studies show that women who attend events with another woman set very different goals—more ambitious goals—for themselves compared to women who attend alone.

Read more:  A Friend's Support Can Make Women Better Entrepreneurs

Saturday, June 13, 2015

How to Conquer a Male-Dominated Business Landscape

Compared to male-owned businesses, women business owners generally fail at a higher rate (failure is not a bad thing), employ fewer people and generate less revenue.  Despite that, women entrepreneurs are the fastest-growing segment of business owners in the U.S.

The reasons for women trailing are complicated and varied.  For a booster, read this:

6 Female Entrepreneurs Share Their Best Business Advice

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Fortune Favors Bold Women Entrepreneurs

Crowdfunding platforms such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter are everything but the rage these days.  Why not?  For crowdfunding benefits are the ability to quickly raise capital and the enhanced marketing profile generated via the fundraising campaign.

But almost as important is how crowdfunding allows startups to pursue fast and relatively affordable market validation for their products.

According to, crowdfunding also offers much better opportunities for women entrepreneurs than traditional venture capital, which directed as little as 4% toward women-run startups versus 96% for male-fronted companies according to recent research.
“Women entrepreneurs are incredibly successful with crowdfunding raises,” said [Craig] Asano [Executive Director of the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA). “Through crowdfunding women entrepreneurs, project owners and company owners are achieving much higher raises, and in some cases they are more successful than men.”
Read the entire article:  Crowdfunding Cultivates 'Fail Fast' Culture, Helps Women Raise Startup Capital

For more on crowdfunding that we've written about, visit here.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Kauffman Index 2015: A Multilayered Portrait of Entrepreneurship in America

The numbers in the new 2015 Kauffman Index reveal a multilayered portrait of entrepreneurship in America right now.  Here are five of the trends.
  1. Opportunity versus necessity
  2. Startup density
  3. Still a man's world?
  4. Race, ethnicity, and immigration
  5. Age matters, and so does education, but not the way you think
In the case of Still a Man's World, the trend is not so positive for women:
The preponderance (63.2%) of newly minted entrepreneurs were men, while only 36.8% of women started their own venture in the most recent year. The number of female entrepreneurs is close to the 20-year low of 36.3% from the 2008 Index. For comparison, there was more equity between genders in 1996 than there is now.
  • Men: 1996 56.3%, 2014: 63.2%
  • Women: 1996:43.7%, 2014: 36.8%
Learn more:  The State of the American Entrepreneur in 2015

Sunday, May 24, 2015

What Used to be a Man's World on Business Ownership Is Long Gone

Twenty-eight years ago Pam Sullivan wanted to launch her own marketing company in Boston but ran up against one serious problem:  As a female sole proprietor, she couldn't secure a loan. With help from the Small Business Development Center, she put together a business plan and secured the money that helped launch a new career.

Fast-forward to now where that sort of problem is a lot rarer.

According to a new report, "2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses," commissioned by American Express OPEN, nationally, the number of women-owned businesses has increased 74 percent since 1997.  Sales figures for women-owned businesses in New Hampshire where Sullivan is based now reached nearly $8 billion, more than double the total in 1997.

One of the key statements made in the article is this:
“What I’d attribute the growth to is there are quite a large amount of resources, things like the Small Business Association, groups that are very willing to extend their help,” she [Tonya Rochette, vice president and partner at Human Resource Partners, which has offices in Concord and Dover] said. “And perhaps more women are willing to ask and accept the help.”
Read the entire article here.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Most-Coveted Role Among A-List Actresses? Business Owner.

There's Jessica Alba with The Honest Company and Kate Hudson with Fabletics.  Now Oscar winner Halle Berry is one of the latest female celebrities to start a business. She launched Scandale Paris last year, a line of lingerie sold at Target stores.
For decades, famous faces have been hired by big corporations to sell hair dye, lipstick and high-end fashion. But now, more female celebrities are taking control and starting their own businesses. It’s also helping some balance career and motherhood.
Read more:  More celebrity women taking on role of business owner

Screenshot courtesy:  Scandale Paris

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Watch These Videos to Become a Better Entrepreneur

The Kauffman Foundation has released a series of six videos on success strategies for women entrepreneurs. The videos are part of Kauffman FastTrac, which helps educate aspiring entrepreneurs and provide them with the resources and community they need to grow their business.

Find the videos on finance, legal, negotiating, marketing, [what? no global expansion video?], social media and managing work-life balance here.

Screenshot courtesy:  Kauffman Foundation

Sunday, May 03, 2015

SBA Encourages Women to Win Federal Contracts

The Small Business Administration said it is implementing a law that gives women more opportunities to win federal contracts.  U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (pictured) says she is glad the agency has moved quickly to implement her legislation aimed at encouraging women-owned small businesses.
Shaheen says removing barriers to federal contracts will encourage more women to start their own small businesses, generating economic growth in New Hampshire and across the country.
Learn more.

Screenshot courtesy:  Jeanne Shaheen - United States Senator for New Hampshire

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Support for Female Entrepreneurs From Around the World

Eighteen (18) startups from around the world, will join Blackbox for the Spring 2015 Female Founders Edition (held in Palo Alto from April 27 - May 8, 2015) program.  Check it out here.  It's great to see support for female entrepreneurs from around the world!

Quick backstory:
Blackbox, the Silicon Valley accelerator dedicated to leveling the playing field for global startups, today announced their first-ever program comprised exclusively of women founders. Blackbox Connect Female Founders Edition is committed to helping women gain access to Silicon Valley resources and funding networks, and is powered by Google for Entrepreneurs.
Screenshot courtesy:  Blackbox

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Women Will Lead the Way to Economic Growth in the United States

According to the Ewing Marion Kaufman Foundation’s recent report “Sources of Economic Hope: Women’s Entrepreneurship," women business owners will lead the way to economic growth in the United States.

The report alludes to the fact that “accelerating women’s entrepreneurship could have the same positive effect on the U. S. economy as the large-scale entry of women into the labor force had during the 20th century.”

Read more from Anne Janiak (pictured) for Westfield Communications:  Leading female entrepreneurs to success

Screenshot:  Ann Janiak

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A Welcome Hangout For Bargain Hunters: The Man Cave

Marta Albizu (pictured) has opened an upscale men's consignment store that offers gently used men's clothing in excellent condition at even better prices.  Though she says the space offers something much more valuable.
With a sectional couch and a flat-screen television, a stately chess set replicating a treasure from the Qin dynasty, and the doting hospitality of owner Marta Albizu and her family, the store is a welcoming hang-out for bargain hunters.
Learn more here.

Screenshot courtesy Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Are Women Making Financial Sacrifices To Start a Business?

According to a new study by Experian, women business owners may be making too many sacrifices when it comes to their personal finances — and it’s putting their personal credit ratings at risk.

The study examined both business and personal credit data on male and female business owners, then analyzed the differences between the credit profiles.

Here's what they found.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

#HerOwnBoss: Women Entrepreneurs Share Advice

How refreshing to see that the National Women's Business Council has launched a new project to share great advice, important truths and inspiring stories from women entrepreneurs.

For example, interviewee Jaime Nack says:
Be confident. Too often, women speak softly, don’t make eye contact, or use “maybe” or passive language when they talk about their work.  Be bold and embrace your success at every stage.  People are drawn to positive and confident entrepreneurs. 
Learn more:  #HerOwnBoss

Screenshot courtesy:  NWBC #HerOwnBoss (Jaime Nack)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Where Are the Women Entrepreneurs?

Former Kauffman Dissertation Fellow Sarah Thébaud (pictured) recently wrote an insightful article for Newsweek about the lack of women in entrepreneurship:  Why Are There So Few Women Entrepreneurs?

She states:
... disparity is the fact that women are much less likely to lead new business enterprises. On average, men are nearly twice as likely as women to launch a new business. And women are primary owners of only about 28% of private firms.
According to Thébaud, the key reason why there are so few women entrepreneurs is an unconscious cognitive bias that is likely to play an important role. She says, "I find that women entrepreneurs are at a disadvantage because people are prone to doubt that they possess the kinds of traits and skills that we stereotypically associate with entrepreneurship."

Read:  Why Are There So Few Women Entrepreneurs? and related piece, The Gender Stereotypes of Entrepreneurship

Screenshot courtesy:  University of California, Santa Barbara, Sociology

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Dream Big and Go For It

Founder and CEO of Dream Big Toy Company Jodi Bondi Norgaard has a strong motto: "Dream Big and Go For It!"  She is one of many advocates who are pushing media and retail to do a better job portraying girls beyond stereotypes -- sending the message that girls can aspire to do more than wear a pink dress and tiara.

Ms. Norgaard launched her line of plush, sports-themed dolls, Go! Go! Sports Girls, six years ago.  "Many retail buyers told me my product would never sell because they weren't 'fashion-forward' enough to warrant a slot in the toy aisle alongside sexier competitors.  I never gave up because I believe strongly that girls deserve better.  Six years later I am flanked by other women who have started businesses to create change and shut down stereotypes that confine or degrade girls and women. What's more, sales for my products continue to increase," says Norgaard.

Visit  Go! Go! Sports Girls

Watch her TODAY Show video:  'Girls' toys?  Group of women revolutionize the toy aisle

All I can say is Go! Go! Jodi!  We are very proud of your accomplishments and wish you continued success.

Screen shot:  Go! Go! Sports Girls 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Path to Business Ownership Is Challenging and Rewarding

According to a recent study by the National Association of Women Business Owners, the number of women-owned businesses has grown at one and a half times the national average for new businesses during the last decade.

Find out what kind of an impact that trend is having on industries.

Read:  Women business owners share stories of success

Screenshot courtesy:  Carter & Co. Communications (pictured is Holly Carter)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Don't Start a Business For the Money

We've all heard the statement "don't start a business for the money."  What do you then start a business for?  It's usually to satisfy a need in the marketplace and you absolutely love the idea of being the one who can address the need with your skill set.  Hopefully the money will flow in later.

What else do you need to succeed in starting a business?  David Kiger outlines some considerations here:  Advice for Female Entrepreneurs.

Photo Credit: monukhan2013

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Women Make Their Marks Building Businesses

According to "Area women make their mark building businesses," a woman's touch can be golden to a startup business.

Find out what it takes to build a successful business.

Screenshot courtesy:  Far Reach (Iowa Software, Websites, Marketing, and Apps) -- Kate Washut, Partner, Far Reach

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Why Does the Funding Gap Still Plague Women Entrepreneurs?

We've come a long way in the business world but why does the funding gap still plague women entrepreneurs?  It could be that women are more risk averse.
Despite the hurdles widening the funding gap, every entrepreneur needs capital to sustain a business. As a woman entrepreneur, don’t let these start statistics deter you from actively seeking funding.
Read the entire article:  5 Ways Women Entrepreneurs Can Overcome the Funding Gap

Photo Credit: swanksalot 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

When I Grow Up, I Want to Become ...

We've all been in this position at some point in our life wondering:  "When I grow up, I want to become a business owner, physicist, engineer, etc."  Fast forward a couple of years.

If you have pursued your dream and need an extra little push to realize your goal, you might want to consider the Amelia Earhart Fellowship.  Zonta has awarded 1,438 Amelia Earhart Fellowships, totaling more than $8.6 million, to women from 70 countries.

Learn more:  Amelia Earhart Fellowship just one way Zonta helps women realize their goals

Photo Credit: One/Million

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Starting a Business Can Begin At Any Age

Zandra Cunningham is the owner and creator of New York-based Zandra’s Beauty, a line of all-natural, luxurious bath and body products.  She is 14 years old.
It was one of five small businesses selected for free retail space last year in the Market Arcade through the pilot program, Queen City Pop Up. The West Side Bazaar has carried her products since 2013. A 1,300-square-foot production space in the Pierce Arrow Commerce Park on Elmwood Avenue is the company’s base. 
Find out how she got started here.  Starting a business can begin at any age.

Screenshot courtesy of:  Zandra

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Ladies, Let's Take On the World in 2015

Reporter Sandra Guy at the Chicago Sun-Times interviews me about my business and books.  In our discussions, I emphasize one of the big initiatives we have planned this year, which is helping women business owners expand their businesses internationally.

The Sitdown:  Laurel Delaney sees plenty of sparkle for Chicago exports

Happy 2015!