Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Challenges and Rewards to Being a Female Entrepreneur

At a recent panel discussion, three female entrepreneurs shared their stories of how they started their businesses, the challenges they faced and the rewards it provided them.  The article below highlights some of their advice.  For example:
“You need a good business plan,” she said. “Any of you who are looking to put a business together, I strongly suggest to you to put that business plan together and research it.”
The entrepreneurs featured are:
  1. Robin Phipps of Kearney, Green Thumb Design and Scholarship Coaching for Youth
  2. Lisa Johnson of McCool Junction, Kerry’s Restaurant and Catering
  3. Ashlee Schneider of Grand Island, Snap Fitness
Read more.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Sharing Best Lessons Learned in Entrepreneurship

Women entrepreneurs share their best lessons learned from their experiences being entrepreneurs.  Here's one tip.
She [Bernadette Reid, from Halifax who runs Sankofa Marketing and Sales] says her best advice for women starting out is to ask for help. Why reinvent the wheel when you can learn from other’s mistakes? She also says women in business shouldn’t be afraid to make mistakes: if something isn’t working, try something else.
Read more here.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Natalie Kaddas Shows Us How to Take a Business Global

Photo courtesy: Kaddas Enterprises; Natalie Kaddas, CEO, Kaddas Enterprises with President Obama
For those of you who run businesses where you aspire to take it global, you might want to look at an upcoming WEGGinar™ that takes place tomorrow, 4/5.  The presenter, business owner Natalie Kaddas (pictured), talks about what she has done to bring global success to her company.

The webinar is no charge thanks to Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global (WEGG) sponsors (UPS, BAL and IBM) and if you don't have the time to listen to the recording tomorrow, you can always listen to it later.  I'll be on the call handling the Q&A.  Hope you can join us and feel free to ask questions!  We'll deliver answers.

Register here:

On a different yet inspiring note, check out 10 Pioneering Women Artists History Forgot

Saturday, April 01, 2017

Meet the Tea Lady

Jennifer Gerdes began selling tea and handcrafted candles and other artisan goods when she started her own business, J. Cottage Industries, four years ago.  Now she has a knack for it and has become known as 'the tea lady'.  She recently opened a formal tea party at the State Farmers Market in The Market Tea Room and Country Store which opened there March 25.
"It's a space that is really all about honoring what's made right here in South Carolina," [Dupre] Percival [owner and operator of Dupre Catering and Events] said. "It's really about hospitality and Jennifer's tea room is the icing on the cake. It's a place for people to sit, talk and just enjoy being together."
Read more here.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

You are Never Too Young to Start a Business

Eight-year old Oklahoma entrepreneur Londyn Bond took a trip to a jewelry store, which sparked an idea, and spurred her to start her own business making bracelets.

Londyn's Moments, as it is called, are a range of bracelets that sell from 10 to 15 dollars a piece. Half of the profits goes toward supplies for new products and the other half goes into savings
She makes each bracelet within a few minutes and then sells them to people all over and at different trade shows.
It goes to show you that you are never too young to start a business.  Read more here.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Good Girl Business Owner

The title of this post is a joke and it goes like this.  From a woman business owner:

“When I had the fan motor in my walk-in freezer [at her business] replaced, I bought an extra one since the guy had trouble figuring out the underlying problem. When I told him there was another fan motor he said, ‘Good girl,’” Ross says.

That's a man acting condescending toward a woman business owner.  So my advice to you today?  When a repairman treats you that way, tell him to take a hike.  Then call the company, report the encountering and say, "Your good little repair person is never coming back here and I will never use your service again."

Read some other far more charming and enlightening small business stories here.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Quit the Rat Race and Start a Business

If Claire and Ian Harrison (shown below) can start a food firm that provides hot food and drinks, you can too, that is, start a business.

Here's the catch.  The Harrison's business was inspired by a hand made camper van, referred to as the Kitchen Kart, which had been touring Mexico.  Ian had created the trailer out of warehouse pallets.

Next up for them?  Handling a wedding with 100 guests next year.

Read more here.

Saturday, March 04, 2017

The Future of Business is Female

Love, love, love this:
If you ask some of the most powerful female executives today what the future looks like for women, most of them agree on one thing: It will be better than today. The reason for their optimism? "The business world is not static," says Ellevest co-founder Sallie Krawcheck. "Whereas before, if there were issues in the workplace, a woman had a choice: Stay gutted out, go without information to another company, or go home. Today, there's a fourth really important choice, which is start your own thing.
Read more and watch the great video with insights from top women leaders here.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

How to Get a Product Out of a Lab and Into the Real World

Amy Sheng, co-founder of CellScope created a smart-phone attachment for diagnosing kids' ear infections and brought it into the real world.  She and fellow co-founder Erik Douglas, now help the modern family access healthcare more conveniently.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Move Beyond Discussing Barriers to Achieving Success

Female entrepreneurs are showing they are a force to be reckoned with despite barriers and challenges that could get in their way but don't.
“What they see is what they’ll be,” said Iyadunni [founding partner of V-Rock Productions] “Everything I do, they [her daughters] want to do it. We’ve had lots of conversations, and I’ve encouraged them to create their own life using the gifts and talents that have been given to them. They haven’t encountered the same obstacles that I did 12 years ago.”
Many women entrepreneurs encourage other women to get out there early and learn the ropes because starting a business.

Learn a few other tips here.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Anything Can Spur You Into Starting a Business

What typically spurs a woman into starting a business?  It can be anything from wanting control over a one's destiny to divorce or even death of a loved one.

In Aoife Doherty's case, her motivation for starting Derry, Ireland-based Sass & Halo, which specializes in bespoke handmade floral crowns (as shown) for discerning fashionistas, came by accident.
I was bridesmaid for my brother’s wedding last May and for the ‘craic’ [craic is the atmosphere and fun surrounding an event] decided to make some special floral crowns for the hen party. When we posted photos on social media, friends asked me to make crowns for birthdays and other special occasions but it wasn’t until I started getting online enquiries from people I didn’t even know, that I thought I might be onto something.
Since then, she has had a lot of business (HQ shown at left). But the remarkable thing is that Aoife is starting her business just months after the sudden loss of her dad.  She must have that fighting Irish spirit and knows her dad will not only be proud of her but will be wishing her tremendous success.  Just like we are.

Saturday, February 04, 2017

Run Everyday

As a regular runner, I speak from experience.  Regular exercise isn't just good for your body, it's great for your mind too -- from clear thinking to creativity.  It really helps me do a better job running my enterprises.  Even CEO of Lifeway Foods, Julie Smolyansky, feels the same.
“I try to run every day, and science now shows a positive correlation between running and creativity.  It has helped me maintain a sense of balance. It grounds me and offers an outlet on my most stressful days, and allows me to lean into risk and uncertainty.”
What else enables success for winning entrepreneurs?  Taking chances, following your passion and staying on course, are just a few common mantras that many successful young entrepreneurs practice.

Below are a couple of other secrets from Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg to Spanx founder Sara Blakely who insist their paths were paved with ups and downs, and, most of all, perseverance.

Here they share some of their secrets.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Listen to Your Customers and Adapt With the Times

Ilene Keivel started her career in the health care industry, working in sports medicine and outpatient physical therapy. But her inner calling was centered around baking and decorating. She decided to leave the physical therapy career, work at a cookie bakery for a short while, and then start her own business.  Hence, Geneva, Illinois-based Sweet Natalie's was born in 2012, naming it after her daughter.

When Keivel had changed her diet to gluten-free, she noticed how hard it was to find items that adhered to her diet and were tasty.  That prompted her to change her bakery's business model and develop gluten-free foods, Paleo, low carb, vegan and so forth.  Plus, the bakery was turned into a co-op in 2014 where she invited other bakers to come in on a rotating schedule to bake in her kitchen, which is open 24 hours a day.

What Keivel earned while growing her business is to go with the times, listen to your customers, and adapt.

Read more here.

Screenshot courtesy of Sweet Natalie's

Saturday, January 21, 2017

March On Ladies

Whether a mother, sister, aunt, grandma, entrepreneur, activist, feminist, actor, homemaker, or artist, women are changing the world.

Let's support equal rights, women's rights, and human rights in general.

Read more here.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

How Can Women-Owned Firms Grow Their Enterprises?

The 2015 State of Women-Owned Business Report (AMEX Open, 2015) estimated that women started 1,200 new businesses every day during the past year, up from an average of 740 a day the year prior. Four out of 10 new firms are now started by women.

Putting the elephant on the table:  The real issue at hand is not getting more women to start a business, but rather providing support to women who are already in business to enable them to grow their enterprises to the next level.

The McKinsey Institute projects that if women business owners achieved the same level of success as their male counterparts, $3.2 trillion in revenues and employ 16 million people.

How can women-owned firms grow their enterprises?  Read more here.

Sunday, January 08, 2017

Skip Wishes and Set Goals in 2017

Many female entrepreneurs still have not realized the power of setting effective business goals. Is that you? If it is, make a plan and it can be as simple as drawing something up on a napkin because it's impossible to really know if your daily activities are moving you in the right direction if you do not set business goals. Skip wishes and set goals in 2017.

Read more about the importance of goal setting and get a few tips here.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Go Get'm Gals: Start That Business!

Happy New Year Escape from Corporate America fans!  I wish you a joyful, healthy and prosperous 2017.  Now to business.  As Forbes points out:
... the past year [2016] has seen some staggering success stories, with women entrepreneurs raising record funding rounds, blowing past revenue goals, founding barrier-breaking businesses, and -- in many cases -- beating the men at their own game.
Check out the 10 highlights here.  Meanwhile, start that business! And if it is in coding, you are even more in luck.  Make it awesome.  Make it yours.