Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Happiness Found: Working For Yourself

In Chron.com

A report released this week finds older workers who are self-employed — particularly those who not only work for themselves but also employ others — are likelier to be happier with their work situation than those who labor for someone else while women face the hardest road.

Small-business owners (whether men or women!) are happier, said Ellen Galinsky, president of the Families and Work Institute, a New York-based nonprofit research group that studies workplace and family issues.

Galinsky said the study provides a message to employers hoping to improve employee retention: "There are lessons in here for organizations that employ people: Provide people with learning opportunities, provide them with more autonomy, provide them with more flexibility," she said.

Hey, hey and Happy New Year!

Read the entire article here.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Another Move By Corporate America ...

In The Wall Street Journal

I have been trying to track down the online version of the letter to the editor published in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, December 6th entitled "In the Days When Shopping Was Elegant." It was all about the Marshall Field's name coming off the building the first of the new year when Macy's takes over. It's a great letter but what really struck me was the author's insight that is applicable to everything we write about on this blog:

"... And now, taking Marshall Field's (Chicago) sign off the building is another move by corporate America to take us all down to the lowest common denominator. I resent the increasing "sameness" in stores everywhere. Call it the Wal-Marting of America. Let's boycott'em all! Mom and Pop stores, arise! The cycle is coming around!" ~ Bill Evans, Bainbridge Island, Washington

Isn't that a fresh new take on entrepreneurship? Way to go Bill!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Why Do Women Escape From Corporate Canada?

In Oak Bay News

Women in Canada are starting more businesses than ever. Money isn't the main reason. Guess what is? Find out here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A woman entrepreneur's desire to succeed

In Entrepreneur

While some would have found the twists and turns of this woman's entrepreneurial ride too tumultuous to stomach, and her unexpected obstacles insurmountable, her business has emerged successful. Read the article to find out why and how. It could be you.

Monday, November 21, 2005

What Motivates Women Entrepreneurs?

In icWales

Whether you are running a business in Wales or Wilmette, Illinois, women are motivated by a desire for independence, freedom and self-fulfilment, research shows.

Learn more by reading: The Start-Up Barriers Facing Women

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Drucker Managed To Do It First And Now He Is Gone

In the Financial Times

My favorite and most influential management guru -- Peter Drucker -- passes on at age 95.

"Managers learn in business school that relationships are either up or down, but the most important relationships today are sideways," Drucker said with an Austrian accent grown stronger with old age. "If there is one thing that most of the people I know in management have to learn it is how to handle relationships where there is no authority and no orders. Now, what else do you have?" ~ Peter Drucker, November 15, 2004.

Doesn't it sound like entrepreneurship? Well entrepreneurship and innovation occupied him powerfully in his later years, along with the growth of what he called “knowledge work” and management's wider role in society. He revelled in such observations as “for the first four years, no new enterprise produces profits. Even Mozart didn't start writing music until he was four."

Drucker taught us that the best ideas have to be simplified in order to be effective. Who else could question with such authority: “What business are we in, and who are our customers?”

I will miss his genius immensely. Read the obituary here.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Women Entrepreneurs Aspire To Just "Be"

In The Wall Street Journal

Yesterday I read Colin McGinn's review on "What's It All About?" -- a book on how to figure out what our values and goals should be -- and could not help but notice how parts of his review minded me so much about entrepreneurship. I don't know if the piece is available online but here is the clip I enjoyed the most:

"This possibility suggests that some notion of authenticity and genuine achievement is necessary for a meaningful life, not merely agreeable affect. As Mr. Haggini (author of book) notes, we needn't restrict such achievement to the artist or scientist or entrepreneur; everyone strives for success in one form or another, even if it is "just" being part of a loving family. People need to achieve worthwhile goals if they are to feel satisfied with their lives, but the goals may vary. Above all, people need to become the kind of person they individually aspire to be."

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rosa Parks, The Entrepreneur

Rosa Parks was a true entrepreneur. She had courage and stood up for what she believed in. She was a change maker -- fighting so vigorously for her, and everyone else's, rights. Freedom was her ultimate goal. And it all started on that one bus ride.

I will see if I can dig up a story I wrote that included a passage about Rosa Parks. It's never been published but maybe in Rosa's honor, this is the time to do so.

Let's mourn her passing and celebrate her life.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Happy Women's Small Business Month!

In U.S. Census Bureau Daily Feature

Profile America for Saturday, October 22, 2005 is on Women Entrepreneurs. Did you know that this month is Women's Small Business Month? Well it is! Celebrate ladies and congratulations!

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Pros of Running Your Business Like A Girl


In her new book, "How to Run Your Business Like a Girl," Elizabeth Cogswell Baskin turns the idea of doing something "like a girl" on its head by exploring common female traits and how women entrepreneurs -- and all entrepreneurs -- can use them to their advantage when running a business.

In her interviews with women business owners she found that women tend to use three unique strengths more than their male counterparts: trusting their intuition, focusing on relationships, and putting more emphasis on life balance.

Find out more here.

Monday, October 10, 2005

When Will Businesses Get Clued In?

In Portland Bizwomen.com

It happened again. The workday was essentially over, shirts were untucked, shoes were off, and the kids had their faces focused on TV and the computer. My husband cleared dishes, and, employing a typical making-dinner-avoidance strategy, I sorted through the day's mail.

Two offers made me narrow my marketer's eyes. My Saab dealer sent a service reminder and discount for car detailing to my husband, Paul. My local grocer had sent some coupons to me, well, just look at these facts ...

The Center for Women's Business Research reinforces Pettigrew's original claims about business and women. As of 2004, 10.6 million firms in the United States are at least 50 percent owned by a woman or women, and over a million women work out of their homes. The untapped women-owned business-to-business marketing opportunities are enormous.

When will businesses get clued in?

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Ex-IBMer Launches Her Own Firm

In StartupJournal

And it can happen to you! Caryl Parker spent 16 years calling on customers for International Business Machines Corp. After it stopped being fun, and four children were well on their way, she left the work force for nearly a decade. But she wanted to get back, so last year she launched a tennis-equipment company in her dining room.

What a racket.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Women Make Up 20 Percent Of All Entrepreneurs in China

The Christian Science Monitor

As I have said before, it's not just American women escaping corporate life, it's women everywhere. Take a look at a few of the comments that were made by Chinese women entrepreneurs in "Four Women Who Shape Beijing." And as you scan, think about "what women want" or rather "what you want" from your professional life.

• She leapt at the chance, as she puts it, to influence a new generation of Chinese consumers.

• "It's rare to get a project that is heart and soul, as well as brains."

• "Women like to put their love into their products and services. They're determined."

• Like so many Chinese, women entrepreneurs are leaving behind any qualms about capitalist enterprise. Many have studied abroad. And as they set up shop, they're acutely aware of their role in shaping a new China -- changing corporate culture, encouraging creativity, and striving to operate by international standards in a country where a weak legal system means that copying is rampant and business figures are often fuzzy.

• Few have a sense of limitation. "I believe knowledge is power," says restaurant owner Zhang Lan, echoing the sentiments of many businesswomen. "I don't have people to rely on, so I have to be self-sufficient."

• "But the true lesson is that you have to cater to the market, not yourself."

• "Every day I told myself, 'You have to keep kicking the ball before the referee blows the whistle."

• "I have a punk heart -- this means breaking old styles," she says.

• "Most people define success as money, getting something big. For me, it's to do what I like."

• "Though I'm female, I have a male personality," she laughs. "If a chef doesn't listen, I'll tell him to move over and I'll do it. So I set up a strong model from the start."

• Most of the time, she says, she doesn't think about being a woman in a male-dominated profession. "But sometimes I get comments like, 'Your projects don't look like a woman's.' "She thinks for a minute. "They think they're being complimentary, but they're not."

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Women Entrepreneurs: The Backbone of the Economy

In DITonline: For Students || By Students

As reported in South Africa, entrepreneurs are fast becoming the backbone of the economy and women play a significant role. Our very own Aretha Franklin belted out the song that inspires and gets to the heart of independent women. Yes, ‘sisters are doing it for themselves.' Females are facing up to challenges. Women have always had the mettle to do anything but had to overcome obstacles and prove that gender is not an issue.

So whether you conduct business in America, Japan, Argentina or even South Africa, women entrepreneurs make a significant positive impact on our world economy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Women Entrepreneurs Share Blueprint For Success

In the Chicago Sun-Times

Creating a successful business is fraught with challenges and opportunities. And after attending the Women's Business Development Center's 19th annual conference yesterday and today, I realize it more than ever.

The event, co-sponsored by the Chicago Sun-Times, is designed to help women launch and expand their businesses, and panelists at the conference's forum luncheon, moderated by Sun-Times columnist Terry Savage, heard words of advice from the women owners of young and mature businesses.

Here's a snapshot of the entrepreneurs and advice they offered.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Happy Labor (Entrepreneur) Day!

I hope all of you are resting and enjoying your time off.

All the best,

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Top Career Women Are Dropping Out

In Buzzle.com

Escape, drop out, call it what you wish. But the truth of the matter is that the women mentioned in this article are asking, "Couldn't there be another way?" Remember these key words: "opt-out revolution."

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Sexism, celebrity and the glass ceiling

In RawStory.com

The Economist published a particularly depressing article about the position of women in high-level business jobs. The piece begins by noting that twenty years have passed since The Wall Street Journal coined the phrase “glass ceiling” to refer to the invisible (yet seemingly effective,) barriers to women’s advancement to the top echelons of managerial success in corporations. It has also been ten years since the Glass Ceiling Commission, created by Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, issued its fact-finding report, “Good for Business: Making Full Use of the Nation’s Human Capital,” describing and explaining the dismal status of women and minorities within the corporate world.

Read the entire article here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Divorce (Escape), corporate American style

In Rutland Herald


When Jeffrey W. Greenberg was forced out as chief executive of Marsh & McLennan, the big insurance broker, amid a bid-rigging investigation of the company last year, journalists raced to call his ex-wife, Nikki Finke, a journalist herself.

Eager for any insights into the dynamics of Greenberg's highly secretive family -- his father, Maurice, was then the chief executive of the American International Group, the giant insurer, and a brother, Evan, is the chief executive of Ace Ltd., another big insurance company -- they found that Finke was one of the few people willing to talk.

[Laurel here ... What's the point? Not sure. Here's what I got out of this article: "In other words, women are often putting up with less and going for more."]

Monday, August 08, 2005

Charting a new course

In STLtoday.com

Photo caption: Islanders on Banam Bay at Malekula, the second-largest island in a chain that comprises the Republic of Vanuatu in the South Pacific. Photo by Capt. Daniel Moreland.

It may seem a little odd that I am featuring the article, Set Sail For The World, but when you read it, I think you will understand. It reminds me of what people go through when they are about to embark on a big change in their life. Read it. See if you need to put your career on hold to set sail for the world. It might be just what the captain ordered to give you a new perspective and help you start that business you have been thinking about for years. If nothing else, going on a voyage like the one the author writes about will allow you to routinely solve complex problems. Not a bad outcome considering it can be applied elsewhere in your life.

Each person who decided to go on the year-long voyage, had a different reason. Take a look at these two:

• After spending 14 years in the corporate world looking at a computer screen, Bruce realized he "wanted a job that did not plug into anything."

• Ivan Klok, 41, of Taber in Alberta, Canada, also began looking for something "that just doesn't happen very often," he says. "I didn't want to end up in a rocking chair on the front porch when I am 75, saying, 'I wish I would have.' "

Fascinating stuff.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The conundrum of the glass ceiling

In ICEVED (original source: The Economist)

It's been at least a week since I posted only because I could not find anything worthwhile relative to women escaping from corporate America! Then came this. Here's the lead paragraph:

It is 20 years since the term "glass ceiling" was coined by the Wall Street Journal to describe the apparent barriers that prevent women from reaching the top of the corporate hierarchy; and it is ten years since the American government's specially appointed Glass Ceiling Commission published its recommendations. In 1995 the commission said that the barrier was continuing "to deny untold numbers of qualified people the opportunity to compete for and hold executive level positions in the private sector." It found that women had 45.7% of America's jobs and more than half of master's degrees being awarded. Yet 95% of senior managers were men, and female managers' earnings were on average a mere 68% of their male counterparts'.

And so it goes. Here's my favorite part -- get ready to applaud:

Chris Clarke, the America-based CEO of Boyden, a firm of headhunters, and a visiting professor at Henley Management College in England, argues that women are superior to men at multi-tasking, team-building and communicating, which have become the essential skills for running a 21st-century corporation. Maria Wisniewska, who headed a Polish bank, Bank Pekao, and is an international adviser to the Conference Board, says: "The links between the rational and emotional parts of the brain are greater in women than in men. If so, and if leadership is about making links between emotion and intelligence, then maybe women are better at it than men."

Read the entire article here.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Institutionalized bias against female-owned businesses by banks (U.K.)?

In Management-issues.com -- at the heart of the changing workplace.

The boardroom glass ceiling may finally be starting to crack, but for women who want to get on in business it is becoming increasingly clear there is another significant gender imbalance to be tackled -- finance.

[Laurel here ... check out this snippet from the article that will compel you to read the entire piece: "She recounts one example of a woman who went to a bank for funding and was disdainfully turned down, only for the banker to tell her husband all about it when they next met at the local Rotary Club."

Securing finance -- the next glass ceiling?

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Ain't no glass ceiling here, only stars to reach for

In San Antonio Express News

This is a wonderful article so if you need a boost, you'll find it at "Nearly 40 percent of all business owners are women."

In a hurry? Below are the highlights:

• There's no glass ceiling at Crystal Ward Darby's home-based public relations consulting business in Leon Valley. Darby works as hard and as long as she pleases. She takes on only those projects that interest her.

• ... where success is measured by a feeling of contentment and not an artificial bottom line designed to please shareholders.

• "If I'm happy when I wake up in the morning, that's good enough for me."

• "There came a time where I knew that I needed to call my own shots and be my own boss," ... "I knew I could do this because my son, who was 18 at the time, told me I could do it."

• [Laurel here ... "Yeah and my favorite part!"] -- Darby is one of a rapidly expanding breed of women -- those leaving corporate headquarters and venturing into self-employment.

• From 1979 to 2003, the self-employment rate for women increased 33 percent, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Women now represent almost 40 percent of all business owners.

• More than 10 million female business owners employ 19 million workers and generate $2.5 trillion in annual sales, according to the Center for Women's Business Research.

• Between 1997 and 2004, women-owned businesses in the nation's top 50 metropolitan areas grew at almost twice the rate of other firms in those areas.

• [Laurel here ... "Another great comment!"] -- "But it's accurate to say that more women than ever before are stepping up, taking that risk of going out on their own."

• "Just say what you need, and we can find a woman who does it," said Margot Dorfman, who heads the U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce. "Business is no longer just a man's profession."

• [Laurel here ... "Check this out too!"] -- The reasons so many women are choosing to be their own bosses are as diverse as the women and the businesses they run. Many are fulfilling lifelong dreams. Others simply want out of the corporate rat race. Some know they can do it better than incompetent bosses they've suffered.

• "I love every part of this business, and I mean that. I love to see a plan work," Salvatore said. "It's beautiful, like a birth."

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Where Have All The Women Gone?

In internetnews.com

It appears women are leaving the American IT workforce faster than male executives can say, "Go fetch me a beer, darlin." But apparently, in the Silicon Valley, "You go, girl!" means "We're outta here.'"

[Laurel here ... where do you suppose they are all going?! Ahem ...]

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Official: Women's businesses likely to continue growth trend

In Las Vegas SUN: Business headlines

Women-owned businesses are not only here to stay but their numbers are likely to increase dramatically.

"Women are in fact transforming the face of business," says Executive Director Sharon Hadary of The Center for Women's Business Research. "It is a defining economic and social trend today. I expect that trend to continue into the next few decades."

Read all about it here.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Happy Independence Day!

This week we celebrate our one-year anniversary of both our
Escape From Corporate America website and blog! Thank you for your kind readership. We look forward to spending more time with you in the future.

And as we all gather today to celebrate this Fourth of July, let's remember the Declaration of Independence (freedom) and one of it's famous lines: "the pursuit of happiness" because it ties in nicely here. After all, our Founding Fathers encouraged it and we do too! Thomas Jefferson conceived of the pursuit of happiness as an "unalienable right" and a "self evident truth." We can all interpret it different ways because happiness ultimately lies in the eyes of the beholder.

Freedom is a choice. Go find your freedom and happiness today. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

An Accidental Dream Job

In the Star (Kuala, Lumpur, Malaysia)

Vincent Tam seemed to have it all. An Australian accounting degree, work experience in the United Kingdom, and within a few years of his (yes -- we are featuring a male entrepreneur who can teach us a lesson or two on following bliss in life and he even takes the time to share his favorite poem with us!) return to Malaysia, he was made branch manager of a prominent bank. And then he left all of that (Escape From Corporate Malaysia!) five years ago to become . . . a yoga teacher! 

“Breathe out . . . relax your shoulders . . . bend forward towards your toes . . .”  

As the writer of the article followed his class, soothingly orchestrated by Tam’s sonorous voice amidst serene background music, it seemed like he had found his true calling in life. 

Yet, he got into it almost by accident.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Removing Obstacles for Self-Employment


I stumbled upon this information and thought it offered a fascinating parallel to what we are experiencing in the United States. Escape from corporate Europe? You bet. Here's the lead which, if you click on the link below, includes a final report on a comprehensive study among the EU 15 countries on the obstacles that dependent employees face when they try to become self-employed.

Knowledge of markets and technologies is a key factor for the success of a start-up. In spite of this, the entrepreneurial potential of experienced dependent employees has as yet not received much attention. Special support to become self-employed is largely concentrated on young people (e.g. university graduates) or groups whose members might face special problems in finding adequate dependent employment (unemployed, minorities, women). As a result only a comparatively small number of new enterprises are founded by persons who have more than 10 years of experience in the sector in which they finally establish their own business.

Read on here.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Women's Business Centers Drive Entrepreneurship

Babson College -- Center for Women's Leadership (CWL)

New research shows that Women's Business Centers nationwide are driving entrepreneurship among economically and socially disadvantaged women. Access the full report here.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

For All You Hard-working Businesswomen

"Let the beauty you love, be what you do." -- Rumi

Take a moment for yourself and explore this new magazine. You will be glad you did. They offer a free trial issue and e-newsletter:

breathe. Enjoy.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Escaped America and Visited Tunis!

Laurel Delaney reports.

I just returned from a trip to Tunis, Tunisia (May 21-28). For those of you who don't know where Tunis is, it's in North Africa. I participated in a businesswomen's Summit which helped train more than 200 women entrepreneurs in the Middle-East and North Africa. What an incredible experience.

Back at work, my email inbox is overflowing with a constant stream of messages from many of the dynamic businesswomen who attended the conference. I know that these communications are just the beginning of forming a lasting business (and friendship) connection. I could not be happier.

To learn more about the Summit and what took place, visit Women Entrepreneurs, Inc., where President and CEO Karen Kerrigan features a write up. In addition, feel free to visit The Global Small Business Blog where information (press release), blogging entries, and Summit participants' comments are posted.

All in all, it was a mind-opening experience. Now, I just have to figure out how to keep the dialog going and energy moving forward in a productive manner.

Hope all is well with you! Be back with you soon.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Female business owners gain more political clout

In USAToday.com

Politicians are casting a wider net in a shifting of the economy where women are taking control of more businesses, boosting their financial might, the USA Today article states. It also talks about President Bush's appointment of Tami Longaberger for a top advisory post on women's entrepreneurship.

Women's riches are being pumped into politics.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Girls Guide To Leaving Your Corporate Job

In EURweb.com (Black Entertainment | Black News | Urban News)

Los Angeles, CA – TV Personality and Life Coach, Bianca Alexander is quickly becoming the “it girl” for television programming aimed at entertaining with a purpose.  She joins the TV One network as Co-Host of Can You Dig It, a home and garden improvement show. 

Bianca Alexander is a trailblazer by all accounts. A prominent entertainment attorney for nearly a decade, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and French language and literature from Princeton University and the Sorbonne, and a Juris Doctor from the University of Virginia. Answering the call to direct her own path and empowering others to do the same, she resigned from a prestigious executive level position in corporate America five years ago WITH NO REGRETS.  Inspired by her success and the overwhelmingly positive response to her life-changing career move, Bianca wrote the much anticipated “Girls Guide to Leaving Your Corporate Job and Living the Life of Your Dreams,” due out this Fall. 

Read on here.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Liberty is important to women worldwide

In The Financial Express (India)

Interesting perspective on how women in India view American business women. Here's a clip from the article that talks about why American women are leaving corporate jobs:

• And, if many companies have found that women are leaving their jobs, for what many considered 'family priorities,' then the true reason that emerges is that they got bored and frustrated with the work allotted to them. That their jobs were not challenging enough.

Check this out too:

• Consider Zara Larsen, 48, who had four major assignments in 10 years at United Technologies. Last year, feeling that her career had reached a plateau, she quit her job to pursue a doctoral degree in management. "I was no longer getting the intellectual stimulation I needed," she said.

An "irresistible" offer from Raytheon Missile Systems wooed her back to the corporate world: Take time to pursue your degree, the company said, but also be our director of enterprise effectiveness, responsible for shrinking costs, speeding up processes and otherwise changing the culture."

Here's my question: Is Zara happy and satisfied she went back into corporate America or would she have been better off doing her own thing after she finished her doctorate? Only Zara can answer that.

If you are interested in reading the full length article, visit:
But, they say it's 'boring'.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Women Set To Shift The Balance of Power in Business

In the UK Times Online

Whether it's women entrepreneurs in the UK or USA -- it sounds all too familiar.

" ... that women in businesses across the country [world] were more innovative, better at networking, more open to ideas, more proactive on the export sales front and more willing to introduce new services and products than male counterparts ... "

We just need to reach out and share ideas and expertise with one another more often.

Monday, April 25, 2005

"Here," she said, "if it makes money and you're a gorilla, you're in."

In The New York Times

I just love this article. If you cannot escape from corporate America, at least get the Batman duo on your side. Only in the movies!

... "But it was not only women who nurtured the new generation of female executives. Two men at Warners, Peter Guber and his partner, Jon Peters -- the producers of "Batman" - proved to be unlikely mentors. Although known for slash-and-burn machismo, Mr. Guber and Mr. Peters, who both eventually moved to Sony, regularly filled their staffs with tough, talented women. "

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Corporate America never worked for me ...

In the Pittsburgh Business Times

"Corporate America never worked for me," said Dr. Mary Riebe, founder of the Center for Women Entrepreneurs and Entrepreneurship Education at Metropolitan State University in Minneapolis in 2002. She is leaving that post to become executive director of Chatham College's undergraduate and graduate business programs. In doing so, she'll also head a new organization at the college, Chatham Center for Women's Entrepreneurship.

She added, " Women grow businesses differently than men. Women are naturally more collaborative and men are competitive. Corporate America is very hierarchical. Men are comfortable with titles, assigned parking spaces ... knowing their rank."

To read the entire article, visit:
Chatham names entrepreneur center head

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Women Are Opting Out Of Business?

In Fast Company (May)

I just received my FC issue and re-read the article "25 Top Women Business Builders." I had read it first while attending the Women Presidents' Organization (WPO) annual conference in Toronto last week where FC gave out complimentary pre-sale copies to everyone who attended the conference. As an added treat, many WPO members (for example, Taryn Rose) were featured in the article so it was a nice tie-in to the event.

Here's an interesting clip from it:

"You know the party line about women today: They're "opting out" of business, fleeing the confines of the corporation in droves, unwilling (or unable?) to make it in the big leagues. But if all these smart, ambitious, experienced women are leaving, we wondered, where are they going?"

The author of the article goes on to say:

"We think women, and their accomplishments, will inspire you: Each one's story offers lessons -- whether it's how to spot a marketable idea, how to distinguish yourself from the competition, how to hire and train the right people, or how to put customers front and center."

Here's the clincher:

"They haven't really left corporate America behind. They're just building their own version."

What's your take?

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Delray business center to encourage women to start businesses

In PalmBeachPost.com

Women are starting businesses everywhere and they need help. The SBA opened its new Florida Women's Business Center -- which will be one of three -- earlier this month to encourage women to take the plunge, that is, start a business.

"This is a great day for the women of Southeast Florida," Sabelhaus said. "With the launch of the women's center, the impact on your local economy is going to be absolutely sensational."

Monday, April 04, 2005

Refresher Course

Ahhhh, just as you can smell spring in the air, you can also sense many people in the mood to try something new. The following article serves as a refresher course on why women are leaving corporate America for entrepreneurship.

Corporate Veterans Strike Out On Their Own

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Does She Need a Corner Office?

True, women are scarcely represented at the pinnacle of Corporate America. Now it can be told why that is.

The assisted departure of Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) chief Carly Fiorina earlier this year reduces the number of S&P 500 female CEOs to eight. In other words, women have about the same representation on America's business A-team that red-headed, Capricorn, Latvian lefties enjoy on the rosters of big league baseball clubs. So, you may ask, why don't more women lead major companies?

Read CEO of online networking organization WorldWIT Liz Ryan's commentary presenting four great theories here.

P.S. As for yesterday's posting wondering how fast women are starting businesses ... is it every six seconds, six minutes or six hours? In an eight hour day, it's about one (1.2) every minute! Ms. Ryan makes note of this fact too in her commentary:

"In the U.S., women start some 400 new businesses a day. And why? Because a lot of them have foolishly walked away from corporate careers so they can build their own empires, often from home and on a shoestring. I can't imagine more incontrovertible evidence that women are quitters."

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Women In Business Champion of the Year

In Charlotte Business Journal

It seems that every six seconds, six minutes or six days -- who knows how fast it's happening -- a woman who has left corporate America is awarded for doing something extraordinary in a business she creates and owns. In this case, Mary Elizabeth Murphy, managing director of Charlotte-based consulting firm S.T.A.R. Resources, has been named the Small Business Administration's 2005 N.C. Women in Business Champion of the Year.

Read all about Mary's accomplishments right here and, in celebration, let's give her a round of applause!

And remember this: All women who start and run businesses are champions!

Thursday, March 24, 2005

5 Women Who Escaped Corporate America Are Recognized as Top Business Owners in Nation

U.S. Small Business Administration Deputy Administrator Melanie Sabelhaus announced today five outstanding women entrepreneurs who will be recognized as the top women in small business in 2005. The women will receive their awards at SBA Expo '05 in Washington, D.C., during National Small Business Week, April 26-28.

As stated in the release, "These ladies will leave no doubt in anyone's mind that women are the economic powerhouse of the 21st century. They are innovators and job creators and they make clear why women are the fastest growing segment of our economy."

Congratulations to all!

Saturday, March 19, 2005

No Holding Back: Women Sue Small Business Administration Over Missed Goals

In AccountingWeb.com

Whether it's corporate America or entrepreneurship, there's no holding women back.

Upon viewing the disturbing results of a recent U.S. Women's Chamber of Commerce national survey of women business owners which found a remarkable 62 percent unable to access capital they need to be competitive -- despite their preparedness and available collateral --, the leaders of the USWCC decided to take dramatic action.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Women Hold Steady In Businesses

In TimesDispatch.com

Women entrepreneurs are taking care of business.

A look at trends reported recently in releases from the National Women's Business Council and Women's eNews, an independent nonprofit news service, support that premise.

The NWBC, a bipartisan federal government council created to serve as an independent source of advice on economic issues related to female business owners, said women-owned firms continue to show strength.

But in a survey conducted by the business council, nearly half of the African-American women business owners said they had encountered obstacles or difficulties when trying to obtain business financing in the past, compared with 28 percent of white women, 27 percent of Latinos and 22 percent of Asian women business owners.

Any ideas? Staff writer of article Gail Kelley can be reached at (804) 775-8137 or gkelley@timesdispatch.com. Send her your thoughts!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

30 Million Women Entrepreneurs Are Poised To Take On The World!

New Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Report On Women's Entrepreneurial Activity Released Today (3/8/05).

Forty-one percent of entrepreneurs are women, according to a cross-national study of thirty-four countries. The first Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) report on women’s entrepreneurial activity was released today by The Center For Women’s Leadership at Babson College.

The GEM 2004 Report on Women and Entrepreneurship provides an in-depth global look at women’s entrepreneurship and highlights the important role that women play in developing and developed economies.

”The GEM study on women’s entrepreneurship emphasizes the critical role women have in new venture creation and provides insights to inform policies focused on increasing and extending the scope and reach of their entrepreneurial activities,” said Dr. Nan Langowitz, Director of the Center for Women’s Leadership at Babson College. “These findings support our goal of understanding, featuring and supporting the entrepreneurial efforts of women worldwide. ”

To download the powerful report, visit:

GEM on Women's (Global) Entrepreneurial Activities

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Women entrepreneurs are emerging as a major force in the U.S. economy

In BusinessWeek.com

BusinessWeek Online reporter Stacy Perman recently spoke with Marilyn Kourilsky, a professor at UCLA's Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, director of the Institute for the Study of Educational Entrepreneurship and author of "The New Female Entrepreneur," about barriers female entrepreneurs continue to face and the ways in which they can break through them. Here are two important clips from their conversation:

Q: Why then, do you find that so many women want to start their own companies?

A: They have a real passion, and they don't want to work for someone else. It's the only way to really make it. Even with all the new successes cropping up the ladder, they still perceive that there's a glass ceiling and that the best way is to start a business of their own.

Q: What are the biggest male misconceptions about female entrepreneurs?

A: They don't think women are in for the long haul, like they are. They're seen as doing something as a hobby rather than something they need to do for their family. There's this whole culture: For instance, if you're in a group and a woman comes up with an idea and then a male rephrases it, it's accepted as his idea. I don't think women support women the way men support men.

The whole attitude toward gender is not changing as fast as it could, but we're still making progress. There was a time when women said they wouldn't go to a woman doctor. Now they make sure they do. I foresee a time when women entrepreneurs say they'd rather deal with a female vendor or entrepreneur.

Well ... what do YOU think? Agree? Disagree?

Friday, February 25, 2005

Others want out of the corporate grind and it ain't just a woman thing

In CareerJournal.com

Others want out of the corporate grind and see a chance to gain greater flexibility and potentially make more money, especially as companies continue to squeeze raises for permanent staffers.

To read the entire article, visit: More Senior Job-Seekers Focus on Contractual Work

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

It just makes sense right now for a woman to be an entrepreneur

In HispanicBusiness.com

Tricia Hensley had a good job keeping the books at her husband's granite countertop company, but it wasn't her passion.

The former accounting major wanted more in a career -- she wanted her own business. After looking into several franchising opportunities, she turned to her passion for fitness and opened Figures! Fitness for Women, a women-only gym on Evans to Locks Road.

"I had helped my husband's business for three years, but that was his. I wanted something that was mine," she said.

Ms. Hensley personifies a national trend -- more women are seeking their business independence and starting their own ventures.

Read the complete inspiring article here.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Roadmap To A Million Dollar Business: Marsha Firestone, Ph.D.

In E-magnify's newsletter, Seton Hill University, The National Education Center For Women

Every day in the United States women start 424 new enterprises, more than double the amount began by men. The Center for Women's Business Research reports that over the last decade, 65 percent of these women have left corporate America out of frustration at limited promotion opportunities, confining work hours, and the potential to make a better product in a lucrative market. In essence, women took advantage of the training provided by their employers to hone their entrepreneurial skills, learning the ropes as executives and mid-level managers before branching out on their own.

Marsha Firestone, Founder and President of the Women Presidents' Organization (WPO), recognized a need to assist these businesses as they continue to reach toward greater levels of success. Dr. Firestone established the organization to bring together women whose businesses annually gross over two million dollars to share their expertise and experience as an informal "board of directors" in 1996, after she herself was denied career advancement. Her vision ...

Read this great interview with Dr. Marsha Firestone.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Go For It: Let the Year of the Rooster Wake You Up!

In The Small Business Advocate

Last year was the Chinese Year of the Monkey -- a year filled with movement, discussion, and the exchange of ideas. But we are about to turn out the lights on the Monkey. Wake up on February 9, 2005 to the Year of the Rooster! The Eastern zodiac is the oldest known horoscope system in the world, and can reveal amazing insights into your character, lifestyle, and emotional makeup. But even if you don't believe that your destiny is written in the stars, be open to the possibilities that the New Year of the Rooster brings. Wake up to the business potential around you (hint: entrepreneurship). Let the Year of the Rooster be the year you go for it!

Friday, February 04, 2005

Inspiration to Realization

In Palisadian-Post

When Christine Kloser heard over and over that women in her Network for Empowering Women Entrepreneurs (NEW) networking organization wanted to become published authors, she thought that there must be an easier way for them to achieve this goal.

So she published a compilation of 41 of their essays on topics ranging from 'Roadmap to Retirement,' 'How to Be Your Own Best Matchmaker,' 'Overcoming Overwhelm' to 'How to Stay in Your Pajamas All Day ... And Still Run a Business' and 'Financial Alchemy.'

The result is "Inspiration to Realization," a self-published compilation of women's essays on personal, business, financial and spiritual fulfillment.

For her essay, 'Follow Your Heart: The Only Path to Fulfillment,' Kloser relates her own personal journey. 'I'm happily married, preparing to start my family in a matter of weeks, and started a business that helps a lot of people. I was willing to follow my own heart, say no, swim upstream and stay true to what felt right to me. I knew that was what I had to write about.'

Palisadian Kathryn Tull, a certified domestic violence counselor who has a master's degree in clinical psychology and a clinical practice, wrote about 'The Path to Personal Resiliency,' which talks about the resiliency she had to build as a survivor of domestic violence. 'It was an opportunity to be able to express my message about family violence -- what my children and I lived through, and what it took to be able to come out from that and rebuild my life,' says Tull, who is working on two books of her own.

Deborah Koppel Mitchell, who leads a women's circle, wrote 'Coming Full-Circle Into Your Ideal Life.' She describes a women's circle as 'When two or more come in the space of a circle to listen and be heard while being fully present. 'Being in circle can serve as an important reminder to each of us to tap into that 'Goddess' part of us, and not get lost or caught up in the hectic pace we have created in our lives,' she writes.

The writers (entrepreneurs) range from being in their 20s to their 70s. 'There's something for every woman in this book,' says Kloser, who is married to PaliHi JV baseball coach and author David. 'Women who pick it up find they're drawn to something that strikes them.'

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

When It Comes To The Talent Of Women In Business, The Glass Is More Than Half-Full

In The Center For Women's Leadership

While corporations worry about how to keep women in their leadership pipelines, they might do well to take a cue from the women who are running businesses for answers. 

The 2003 Woman-Led Businesses in Massachusetts survey -- conducted by The Center for Women's Leadership at Babson College and The Commonwealth Institute -- of more than 250 women chief executives found a rich pool of leadership role models.  These women CEOs lead firms generating more than $7.5 billion in revenues across an array of industries; from high tech to apparel, from construction to office products, from professional services to manufacturing. 

A couple of highlights from the survey:

• Woman-led companies are growth oriented.
• Further, the focus on growth takes a long-term view. 
• To support that growth focus, woman-led businesses have built organizations that look a bit different. 
• The talent pipelines at these firms are full and succeed in advancing women.

• Women CEOs have been highly successful in weaving together their business careers and private lives.

√ Note: Companies questioning how to enhance the pool of women managers ready to take on senior management positions might do well to take a cue from women chief executives. A few suggestions are clear.  Focus on building collaborative value, seek consistent growth through customer focus, and be sure there are at least a few senior executives to model the ways in which women successfully lead.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

A taste of freedom

In Arizona Republic Online

This article on 15 Afghan women visiting the Valley to study business makes you really appreciate the freedom we have here in the United States to pursue just about anything, including entrepreneurship.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

A New Class of Global Entrepreneurs: Americans Under 50!

In Forbes.com

My goodness ... are we contradicting ourselves? Today, Forbes reported in an article, "Home Grown Seed Money," that most entrepreneurial activity is carried out by people aged 25-34! The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor released a survey that was conducted by Babson College and the London School of Business. The survey concludes:

• Most entrepreneurial activity is carried out by people aged 25-34 regardless of the income level of their home country. Low-income countries have the most entrepreneurial activity across all age groups, followed by high-income countries. Most people launching a business are already employed.

If you are thinking about starting a business, you might want to check out the article. It finishes up by stating that self-funding and informal investment fuels development of 99.9% of new businesses.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

A New Breed of Entrepreneurs: Americans Over 50

In USAToday.com (1/18/05) and WSJ (3/18/04)

Interesting how it took USA Today ten months to catch up to the WSJ's article, "Over-50 Set Minds Its Own Business." In that article (link unavailable -- I am referring to a clip I saved), it claims that the over-50 set are switching the word retirement for entrepreneurship. What I mean by that is instead of retiring, people over 50 are hell-bent on starting their own businesses. Hurray! It goes on further to support that claim with research conducted for AARP, a Washington-based membership group of people age 50 and older, by Rand Corp., a think tank in Santa Monica, CA.

What's the upshot: People are "doing this (practicing and then engaging in entrepreneurship) as a transition to retirement, or they tend to be working longer than those who are in wage-and-salary jobs," said Lynn Karoly, a senior economist with Rand and co-author of the study.

Now USA Today indicates older workers are coming to entrepreneurship's rescue, chasing self-employment because of:

• Corporate layoffs. Boomers want the security of being their own bosses when corporations are slashing payrolls, tossing fiftysomethings into a dicey labor market.

• Shifting values. Older workers want more flexible schedules to spend time with aging parents or on hobbies while easing into retirement.

• Aging Americans. The number of Americans age 50 and up will soar by 31 million by 2020, to 118 million, the Census Bureau predicts.

• Innovative technology. Many start-ups by older entrepreneurs are one-person ventures in home offices with a dizzying array of technology that didn't exist or was too pricey 20 years ago.

• Business savvy. Many corporate workers, entering their 50s, leverage management skills and retirement benefits to invest in start-ups.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Stereotypical "Old White Guys" Still Serve On Most Corporate Boards

In The Idaho Statesman

An interesting article entitled, Albertsons leads the way for women, explains why there are not more women serving on corporate boards. Here are a couple of snippets from it:

• Larry Johnston, chairman, president and CEO at the grocery chain Albertsons, said putting more women in charge of large companies makes economic sense.

• "Women have insight into our customers that no man -- no matter how bright, no matter how hard working -- can match," said Larry Johnston, chairman, president and CEO at Albertsons. "That's important when 85 percent of all consumer buying decisions made in our stores are made by women. As we pursue a customer-focused approach to growth, the insight, knowledge and expertise of women is invaluable -- at every level in the organization."

• "It was a bunch of old white guys making erroneous assumptions and erroneous conclusions about women and the multi-cultural consumers that make up the majority of Albertson's customers," Flickinger said.

• "Companies must broaden their requirements for board directors," she said. "The number of women ENTREPRENEURS has skyrocketed — over 44 percent of the privately-owned firms are now owned by women. The problem is that current board directors aren't in the networks where women business achievers gravitate."

• There also continues to be a "glass ceiling" in corporate America where women can only progress so far in a company and many aren't given the opportunity to reach the executive ranks (... which brings us back to the reason for this blog!).

When you read the article, be sure to check out the right sidebar which highlights the top 5 largest companies and what percentage of women they have on the company's board as well as the snapshot at the impact women have on business.