Thursday, December 28, 2006

Get It Straight In 2007: Four Myths Of Women Entrepreneurs

What does it take to be a successful women entrepreneur? If the first things that pop into your head are money, the willingness to take risks or even the right genes, Marnie Walker wants to set you straight. Walker, who founded Student Express Inc. in 1989 to provide bus transportation for special needs and French-speaking students in Ontario, says there are a number of misconceptions about successfully running your own company. She should know.

From a standing start in 1989, Walker grew her firm to 250 buses and revenue of $10 million before selling the company in 2004 to Toronto-based Stock Transportation. Speaking recently at the Rotman School of Management in Toronto, Walker dispelled some popular entrepreneurial myths.

From America to Ireland to Canada ... women are getting it straight in 2007: Entrepreneurship is the way to go.

Read the full story here.

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 17
Mary Cassatt

She has succeeded in expressing, as none of our own painters have managed to do, the joyful peace, the tranquil friendliness of the domestic interior. ~ Joris-Karl Huysmans

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Season's Greetings

With all good wishes for the holidays and a year of health and prosperity. And don't forget to take a visit to the North Pole to get some entrepreneurial ideas!

"We wish you a Merry Holiday, we wish you a Merry Holiday, we wish you a Merry Holiday and a Happy Entrepreneurial Year!"

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Happy Holidays. You're Fired! Love, HarperCollins

In case you have been living in a cave and haven't heard, Judith Regan (pictured), the controversial editor under the ReganBook imprint of publishing company HarperCollins, was fired Friday over her plans for an interview and book with O.J. Simpson.

What a shame that News Corporation, the giant media company which owns HarperCollins (run by Rupert Murdoch), thinks this move will make them look good, or better I should say, by sacrificing Regan.

Read more about it here.

And here.

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 16
Susan B. Anthony

There will never be complete equality until women themselves help to make laws and elect lawmakers. ~ Susan B. Anthony

Friday, December 15, 2006

Start A Business For Someone To Steal?

Debra Killian thought she was having a bad day when a backache forced her to stay home from work. Eager to see what was happening at Charter Oak Lending Group, the mortgage company she had started with her husband, Don DeRespinis, Killian logged on to her computer and checked the status of loans in the pipeline.

Within seconds it became clear that her back pain would pale in comparison to what was about to hit. Loan after loan popped up as "suspended." While that had occasionally happened in the past - a deal could fall through, or a client might not get approved for financing - it was highly unusual to see a large number of lost loans at the same time. Killian called DeRespinis. "Have you checked the system?" she asked. "What the hell is going on?"
Find out more here and learn how to protect your business to ensure it doesn't happen to you.

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 15
Florence Nightingale

And so is the world put back by the death of every one who has to sacrifice the development of his or her peculiar gifts to conventionality. ~ Florence Nightingale

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

She Is Thinking Of Starting Her Own Marketing Company

I love stories like this one, How a Highflier in Marketing Fell At Wal-Mart, because it is so close to home. Julie Roehm studied marketing at the University of Chicago's business school and was recently written up in their impressive alum catalog about how she is a person to watch or most likely to succeed. Hands down, she is an exceptionally bright and bold businesswoman.

And while I was reading the story about her last night in the WSJ, I was eager to get to the end knowing that this woman needs to get out from under, or better stated, exit corporate America now. She has way too much firepower and talent to let the big guys push her around.

Why did Wal-Mart fire her? Take a deep breath. Two reasons:

1. They accused her of having an affair with her protege, Sean Womack.
2. They accused her of accepting gifts from customers.

True or false? Hard to say but if No. 1 is false, she has a strong lawsuit case against either Wal-Mart or the WSJ for publishing that statement. By the way, she is married with kids. We will find out the facts soon enough or we can only hope.

Moving right along, here's what the final paragraph says:

"Ms. Roehm says she believes Wal-Mart decided it no longer wanted to pursue the approach embodied by the new advertising agency. "They had a change from a strategic point of view. That's their prerogative," she says. She adds that she is thinking of starting her own marketing company, perhaps with Mr. Womack."

And that my friends is what this blog is all about.

You can bet I will be calling her to see what she can do for my business once she is up and running.

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 14
Queen Victoria

She was a part of the establishment -- an essential part as it seemed -- a fixture -- a magnificent, immovable sideboard in the huge saloon of state. ~ Lytton Strachey, Queen Victoria

Monday, December 11, 2006


Practice makes perfect. And that's what this book is all about. Authored by management consultant and business blogger Lisa Haneberg, it offers business leaders a new way to direct their focus. For example, say you want to start a business. How do you do it fast, direct and on track? This book will help you find a way.

Focus Like a Laser Beam

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 13
Harriet Beecher Stowe

Does not every American Christian owe to the African race some effort at reparation for the wrongs that the American nation has brought upon them? ~ Uncle Tom's Cabin

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Does Your State Make An Impact With Woman-Owned Businesses?

Majority women-owned firms are growing at a rate nearly twice the U.S. average, contribute $1.1 trillion in revenues to the economy and create jobs for 7.2 million Americans.

The Center for Women’s Business Research today announced its biennial update of state and metro area figures for women-owned businesses. Drawing on the most recently available U.S. Census data, the research provides the most comprehensive statistical snapshot of today’s 7.7 million majority women-owned firms (firms at least 51% owned by a woman or women). The data released by the Center looks at the impact of these firms in individual states, regions and metropolitan areas.

Read more here.

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 12
Jane Austen

That young lady has a talent for describing the involvements of feelings and characters or ordinary life which is to me the most wonderful I ever met with. ~ Sir Walter Scott

Monday, December 04, 2006

Women Start Solo Businesses At Midcareer

A mentor's advice can be an asset to those starting their own business. V. Cheryl Womack, chairperson of the nonprofit organization Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World, encourages women business owners to provide guidance to others aspiring to entrepreneurial goals. Ms. Womack, who founded and sold five businesses in the trucking industry, joined the Kansas City, Mo., organization in 2002. asked Ms. Womack, a former school teacher, to share some tips -- one is to 'be' noticed -- for women seeking to start a solo business at midcareer.

Becoming Your Own Boss As a Woman at Mid-Career

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 11
Mary Wollstonecraft

"If the abstract rights of man will bear discussion and explanation, those of women, by a parity of reasoning, will not shrink from the same test: though a different opinion prevails in this country." ~ Mary Wollstonecraft

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Highlighting Female Entrepreneurs!

This is the first special report from on eleven successful women business owners who offer advice to women looking to start a business. They've singled out female entrepreneurs (from Bobbi Brown to Muriel Siebert) to highlight their accomplishments, while underscoring some of the obstacles they've faced. Their compelling stories offer all entrepreneurs a road map to success.

Inspiring stuff. Be sure to read it.

Ladies First

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 10
Catherine the Great

"I leave it to posterity to judge impartially what I have done." ~ Catherine the Great

Monday, November 27, 2006

Welcome to the New American Revolution

Brace yourself. We're in for an exciting ride. This is a very long commentary but worth the read. I'll give you the ending first:

"History will be made when Nancy Pelosi is sworn in as the first female President in American history."

Get ready for ... and the first female president of the USA. And to think this piece is written by a man.

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 9
Elizabeth I

"I have already joined myself in marriage to a husband, namely the Kingdom of England." ~ Queen Elizabeth I of England

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Making The Leap From Big to Small

Babson's Women Business Blog post.

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 8
Catherine de Medici

"In France, and at the most important period of our history, Catherine de Medici has suffered more from popular error than any other woman." ~ Honore de Balzac

Monday, November 20, 2006

No Glass Ceiling? Look Again.

Love the quotes:

They tire of hitting the glass ceiling and leave for smaller, private firms, said Judy Rosener, a business professor at University of California-Irvine, who has published books and articles on women at work.

Rosener said it could take years or decades for women to reach the top of traditional large, publicly held companies, which she recommends female college graduates avoid.

"A lot of really sharp women are saying their opportunities are better with fast-growing (private) companies," she said.

Erin Fuller, executive director of the 8,000-member National Association of Women Business Owners, said women run nearly half of all privately held businesses.

In the 1970s, it was less than 10 percent, she said.

She said women are becoming more entrepreneurial because they can exercise control of a business, and it has become easier to get capital.

Fuller said it wasn't until the mid-1970s that federal legislation guaranteed that a woman could have a credit card in her own name, and it wasn't until 1988 that Congress passed legislation that made it illegal for banks to withhold loans from a woman unless she had a man co-sign.

Women Still Struggling To Break Glass Ceiling.

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 7
Isabella I of Spain

"Tanto monta, monta tanto -- Isabel como Fernando." ~ Official motto: 'Isabella and Ferdinand are one and the same.'

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

12 Secrets of Success From Women For Women

What would accomplished women say if asked for one piece of advice about creating satisfying work that allows them to express who they are and allows for a life outside the office?

This question was asked of accomplished, university-educated women in their late 30s to mid-50s. Some held senior positions in business, government and the not-for-profit and cultural sectors. Some had left marquee jobs to pursue a passion -- start a business, write or follow other personal interests.

The women queried included 30 who completed a 75-question survey about life and work and 1,000 respondents to related online polls. Click here for a distillation of what they said.

No. 12 is Be (EXPRESS) yourself. Click here for Google Video break.

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 6
Joan of Arc

"I am not afraid. I was born to do this." ~ Joan of Arc

Monday, November 13, 2006

A New Push for Minority Entrepreneurs

Civil rights activist and Baptist minister Rev. Jesse Jackson (pictured) has long played a vocal role in American politics and social advocacy. In 1971, he founded the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition to fight for social change, and he was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988. Now he has announced another initiative, the Small Business Institute. Expected to launch in January in New York with satellites across the country to follow, Jackson's newest initiative will focus on giving entrepreneurial training to youth, immigrants, and minorities and help them access capital for their businesses.

Here's an excerpt from the interview:

Q: What about the recent approaches that have taken advantage of the growth and potential of minority-owned small businesses? For instance, 10 years ago Wells Fargo (WFC) recognized the growing financial needs of women entrepreneurs and set up its Women's Service Division, and has since given out $19 billion in loans. Last year, a group of Latino investors with $20 million capitalization announced a new California bank focusing on Latino family businesses that generate $1 million to $10 million in revenue.

A: Affirmative action has opened up the women's market. Women and people of color are a majority, not a minority. There are more skilled women [and] higher volumes [of them are] consumers. [But] many women were not on track for community loans -- now Wells Fargo sensed that and invested in them and the Hispanic and African American market. We want the Small Business Institute to combine this research and together search for the best practices. We need not be original with the idea.

Read more here.

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 5
Eleanor of Aquitaine

"I thought that I had married a king, but I find that I have married a monk." ~ Eleanor of Aquitaine and of her husband, Louis VII

Monday, November 06, 2006

Women Thrive in Importing

Here's what's relevant:

• Its owners say they have been able to thrive in what was once a male-dominated business by offering personalized service and competitive pricing.

• But the women noted that the challenges of owning a small business have changed significantly in 30 years. In the beginning, the sales industry was largely dominated by men, they said. "It was difficult to get loans from the bank," recalls Roz who still dresses as elegantly as her daughter.

• "Thirty years ago, the Fair Credit Reporting Act was enacted," says Cook. "Before that ... you needed a man to co-sign for a credit card, a loan or even a mortgage."

• "I deal with a lot of women even on the wholesale side of the industry," Jackie says echoing Kuc's claim. "There are a lot more women around than there used to be."

• ... and the top two concerns for women business owners now are business expansion and cash flow," says Cook. "They are not as concerned with how do I survive or how do I get a credit card. They are concerned with growth."

Read the article here: Irish Importers Thrive on Personal Touch

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 4
Hildegard of Bingen

With nature's help, humankind can set into creation all that is necessary and life sustaining. ~ Hildegard of Bingen

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Women Make Their Mark Through Entrepreneurship ...

... but what about the women who don't start businesses or become entrepreneurs? Could a tattoo, symbolic of one's defiance, be a stepping stone to eventually starting a business? Who knows but here's what the article says:

"She (a woman who is an executive headhunter and obviously has not escaped from corporate America) chose to get her tattoo in the small of her back for its sexiness and the feeling she was getting herself back. Meister says she and some colleagues recently compared notes and exchanged tattoo stories in the company lunchroom – revealing that even in her corporate setting, she is not the only mom at work with a tattoo."

Read more: here.

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World:"

Chapter 3

If you weigh well the strength of the armies, and the causes of the war, you will see that in this battle you must conquer or die. This is a woman's resolve; as for men, they may live and be slaves. ~ Boudicca

Monday, October 30, 2006

I feel the earth move, under my feet ...

A woman activist begging to be discovered!

And as she puts it ... "I'm a work in progress."

Separately and from the book "Women Who Changed The World"

Chapter 2
Mary Magdalene

Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached through the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of as a memorial of her. ~ Mark 14, 9

Friday, October 27, 2006

Women Who Changed The World

A couple of months ago I was making my usual weekly visit to Barnes & Noble and Border's bookstores to see what's new and different both on the periodical stands and bookshelves.

As I was heading out of the store, I stumbled across "Women Who Changed The World" and flipped through it quickly. Typically I don't buy books like this because there's just no need. I hang out with a lot of fascinating women (and men too!) but for some reason, WWCTW caught my eye. Plus the price was right -- U.S. $7.00 instead of what looked like a $25-30 priced book. How could I pass it up? I didn't it.

I bought the book, took it home and within an evening, finished it off. I thought it was so inspiring that I was going to journey back to the store and buy additional copies for my Mom, my sister, my nieces and my bestfriend but after I came to my senses, I just left it that I would enjoy it for what I learned (I'll let you read it to find out for yourself) and would share insights if the opportunity came up.

However, what I have decided to do here is ... over the next fifty blog entries, I will feature a quote from the book. There are so many good ones in it that I don't want to miss any. I hope you enjoy these as much as I did.

Here's a look at the book if you are interested. I noticed there are some good deals online as well. See what you think.

Women Who Changed The World: Fifty Inspirational Women Who Shaped History.

Chapter 1

"Had Cleopatra's nose been shorter, the whole face of the earth would have been different." ~ Blaise Pascal

Monday, October 23, 2006

Better the Lives of Women Across the Globe

Nest is a nonprofit organization dedicated to changing the lives of women in developing countries. Its mission is to support WOMEN artists and artisans in the developing world by helping them create sustainable entrepreneurial businesses.

Nest will do this by providing micro-credit loans to be used for the purchase of the supplies and materials necessary to begin and/or maintain art or craft-based businesses.

When you buy from Nest, you have not only have purchased a unique and beautiful item for yourself or your home, you have participated in a proven effort to better the lives of women all across the globe.

In the spirit of entrepreneurship, go there now.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Corporate America: Don't Even Go There

You are never too young to become an entrepreneur. Read the inspiring story of a teen fulfilling her version of the American dream.

Tech-savvy teen is CEO of $200k podcasting website.

Visit website here: Switchpod

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Leaving Jet-Set Lifestyle To Found Company

A great example of leaving corporate America to found an inspiring company. And since I know John, admire his work and my best friend served on his Chicago fund-raising committee, I felt it important to feature his work.

Back in the mid-1990s, John Wood was living large. As Microsoft's director of business development in China and director of marketing for the Asia-Pacific region, he was Bill Gate's point man in Asia. He traveled the world, was shuttled to meetings in chauffeured cars and wheeled, dealed and dined at four-star restaurants.

These days, Wood's meetings are held in developing countries over cups of tea with heads of villages. He left his jet-set lifestyle in 1999 to found Room to Read, a nonprofit that builds schools and libraries in developing nations.

Read more here: New Wealth, New Priorities

Monday, October 09, 2006

Get it done. Entrepreneurship starts today.

Dig deep within this new site. There are how-to guides featuring 1,000 business topics, ranging from start-up basics to advanced management techniques.

Each guide provides:

• An overview of the task.
• Step-by-step directions for accomplishing the task.
• Deep links to the Web sites recommended by the Guide’s author/expert as the Web’s best resources for getting the task done.

Read the news of the launch here: Launches to Help Small Businesses Tackle Their Most Important Business Tasks

Shortcut to getting something done with a new or existing business:

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Home-Based Businesses On The Rise, Especially Women's

Half of U.S. businesses are home-based and almost two-thirds are self-financed, according to a pair of new Census Bureau reports.

Nearly 2.5 million firms were interviewed for the two reports, which were released Wednesday as part of the bureau's ongoing 2002 Survey of Business Owners.

Home-based businesses collectively generated a remarkable amount of economic activity, especially for women and minorities, Louis Kincannon, the Census Bureau's director, said in a statement.

Read more here >> Most Small Businesses Start Without Outside Capital

Sunday, October 01, 2006

It's Easier To Run Your Own Business Than Climb Corporate America

That's what this article states and I agree. This week I attended the Women's Business Development Center conference in Chicago and had the pleasure of sitting in on Oprah's very amazing and inspiring keynote luncheon talk.

But after so much success in business, do women, including Oprah, still need special encouragement?

Find out what people think here: Women's Conference Still Relevant, Attendees Say.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Self-Employed Are a Major But Underappreciated Force

A new study from Massachusetts makes an important point about the 21st century American economy: the self-employed are a major but underappreciated economic force. While most people recognize that self-employment is growing, they don’t know that many measures of state or local employment don’t count sole proprietors. Instead, they simply track those workers who are paid as employees.

The report, by Salem State College’s Laurence Goss, details the numbers for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Within the state, there were more than 472,000 sole proprietors in 2004. This total accounts for 17% of Massachusetts’ total employment.

The report concludes that policymakers need to better understand the importance of this sector of the economy. They should also take steps to provide better support and encouragement to sole proprietors and other micro-business owners.

Data and analysis on sole proprietors in Massachusetts are available from the Enterprise Center at Salem State College. The Sole Proprietor Research Information Pack can be accessed here.

[Forgot to mention ... please let me know what you think of our new look, thanks!]

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Women in Business Newsletter

Women in Business Newsletter published by IFC -- designed to keep global women entrepreneurs in touch with key events, relevant research and, most importantly, each other.

This month's spotlight: Fatima Wali, Nigerian Entrepreneur.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Glass Ceiling Is Due To Intelligence, Not Discrimination?

You have got to read this to believe it! Here's the lead:

A recent study proves it is "very likely" that the reason women have difficulty rising to the top in their careers is because they are less intelligent than men (by 4 -- 3.63 to be exact -- IQ points), according to controversial University of Western Ontario psychologist J. Philippe Rushton.

To fully understand and appreciate the source of the material, read on:

The professor -- criticized for claiming whites are intellectually superior to blacks, and that higher AIDS rates in Africa are due to a more insatiable sexual appetite in the black community -- believes the "glass ceiling" phenomenon is probably due to innate ability rather than discrimination.

Read more here: Men smarter than women, prof claims and Sex differences in general mental ability.

By the way, when I watched Professor Rushton on CNBC moments ago, he was sweating terribly on his upper lip.

Babson Blogging Live At ...

9th Annual Women's Leadership Conference
Accomplishment for Women.
Advantage for Organizations.

Friday, September 15, 2006
Babson College

Presented by the Center for Women’s Leadership
in association with the Babson Association of Women MBAs

Featuring Keynote Speakers:Carly Fiorina (shown above)
Former CEO
Hewlett-Packard (1999-2005)
Addie Swartz
Principal Creator and CEO
B*Tween Productions

Catch the LIVE blogging here.

[Talk about escape ... ]

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Corporate America Without Dunn on HP's Board

I don't know if you have been tracking the Hewlett-Parkard debacle. I have -- every last little word because I wanted to see how the poor little powerful rich boy -- Tom Perkins -- got his ball (no pun intended) taken away during a board game and got very, very mad. In reaction, he quit the HP board (fully not expecting the board to accept his resignation). But he didn't stop short there. He went after Dunn on all legal fronts to take her down from the position of nonexecutive board Chairman of HP. And take her down he did. She will step down effective January, 2007 although she will remain an HP director.

In case you are not up to speed, Dunn led an investigation (see below) that led to the possible illegal procurement of phone records for board members and several journalists. Tom Perkins did not like the process. It's no wonder. His records were accessed.

Despite what appears to be a sneaky method to access those records, what we cannot overlook here is the fact that Dunn achieved results: She found the leaker. As the following article states, "Meanwhile director George Keyworth, who acknowledged that he was the source of news leaks that started the scandal last year, resigned from HP's board." I might add that George Keyworth is a very good friend of Tom Perkins.

And here's what Dunn said yesterday about her actions ... "These leaks had the potential to affect not only the stock price of HP but also that of other publicly traded companies."

If Dunn had to lose her chairwomanship on the HP board to find the leaker -- so be it. I just don't understand why it seems to always be a woman who steps up to the plate, faces reality and ends up paying a pretty severe price for watching out for the good of company shareholders. Need I bring up Enron?

Read more here >> HP After Dunn



The Smoking Gun


Monday, September 11, 2006

Leadership and Women Entrepreneurs

What does it take to be a leader? Six questions are addressed in this interview with Sheila Murray Bethel, author of four books, including the best-selling "Making a Difference: 12 Qualities That Make You a Leader."

Here's a glimpse at the first question and answer:

Q: When you were a child, what did you dream of becoming?

A: There wasn't a specific thing I wanted to do when I was a child but be very independent ... because that's what my mother always encouraged me to do.

Read the entire interview >> here.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Small Business, Big Opportunities

Women-owned businesses continue to grow at an amazing rate. According to the Center for Women's Business Research, the estimated growth rate in the number of women-owned firms was nearly twice that of all firms (17 percent vs. 9 percent). Nearly half of all privately held U.S. firms are women-owned. That means 10.6 million firms are at least half owned by women. These firms employ 19.1 million people and generate nearly $2.5 trillion in sales.

So what does this mean for women entrepreneurs, especially when it comes to using technology to grow a business?

Read more >>here.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Happy Labor Day

Labor Day is a celebration and a tribute to the contributions of workers who have made our country stronger. That's us. Enjoy.

P.S. This photo is taken a block from where I live.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Escape From Corporate World!

International entrepreneurship at its finest!

I just love this site and plan to order a couple of global handicrafts as holiday gifts for people this year. Check it out.


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Women are capable of leading companies ...

One of my favorite sister bloggers, Jory Des Jardines of BlogHer, wrote this excellent commentary relating to postings made here on August 7 and 15. I know you will appreciate it.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Women in Technology or Entrepreneurship?

I could not help but think that these same skills (below) for a career in IT are applicable to women in entrepreneurship!

What skills would you look for in young people that want a career in IT (or entrepreneurship)?

CB: I'd look for someone prepared to keep an open mind about the possibilities and with passion to make a difference through information technology.

AB: Understanding what the technology can do. It isn't an end in itself.

CE: Successful business is all about teamwork. As a result, when building a team I look to hire people who combine intellect and passion for their chosen field. BlackBerry is successful because of our people's energy, enthusiasm and commitment.

AJ: Energy, curiosity, dynamism, self-starter, eager to stretch themselves, intellect, emotional intelligence.

Read this interesting dialog between women executives who are enthusiastic advocates of women in business in the Women in Technology: ITWales Interview.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Proof Is In the Stats: Women-owned Firms Increase Nearly 20 Percent

Women-owned firms increased nearly 20 percent, while all U.S. firms grew by seven percent over the latest period studied (1997 and 2002), based on a report released by the Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

The report uses newly released U.S. Census and other data to describe women's contributions to the economy. Statistics documented in the report include:

• Women owned 6.5 million or 28.2 percent of nonfarm U.S. firms in 2002. More than 14 percent of these women-owned firms were employers, with 7.1 million employees and $173.7 billion in annual payroll.

• Women-owned firms accounted for 6.5 percent of total employment in U.S. firms in 2002 and 4.2 percent of total receipts.

• Of all women business owners in 2002, 85.95 percent were White, 8.43 percent African American, 8.33 percent Hispanic, 5.25 percent Asian, 1.23 percent American Indian and Alaska Native, and 0.18 percent Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander (total does not add to 100 due to some double counting across ethnic groups).

The report Women in Business: A Demographic Review of Women's Business Ownership was written by Office of Advocacy senior economist Dr. Ying Lowrey.

For a copy of this study (PDF file), click here.

Should you need further information, please feel free to contact Ying Lowrey at: (202) 205-6533.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Escape to Corporate America!

Asian Woman Named CEO at Pepsi!

PepsiCo has promoted its chief financial officer, Indra Nooyi, to become chief executive of the drinks manufacturer, making her one of the most powerful women in corporate America.

Ms Nooyi, who was born in India, will take over immediately in a surprise reshuffle, cementing her position after several years in which the board has fought to keep her from leaving for a senior job elsewhere.

Go Indra!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Women are a blogging powerhouse

As the article states ...

"Some people ask me, 'Aren't you worried you won't get hired because of what's on your blog?' On the contrary, she said, "I get hired because of my blog. It's my way to idiot-proof my life. If you don't like my blog, don't hire me!"

How is your business or blog changing the world? Read: Women tap the power of the blog.

Tip for the day: Make blogging your business.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Cherchez La Femme (WSJ, Aug 4): Read it to believe it!

Cherchez la femme ... translation can be found here.

It took me until now to track the following opinion piece written by Judith H. Dobrzynski and published by The Wall Street Journal Thursday, August 4. WSJ, thus far, has decided to release it only online to their subscriber base. Since I get the print edition, I don't bother with the online version. Please take a moment to read this thoughtful piece and forward it to whoever you think might find it interesting:

Cherchez la Femme

Here is a subsequent correction to the article posted in WSJ's Saturday (8/5) edition:

Patricia A. Woertz was named CEO, in April, of Archer Daniels Midland, ranked No. 56 on the Fortune 500. An opinion article by Judith H. Dobrzynski on Aug. 4, "Cherchez La Femme," said there were no women CEOs in the Fortune 100. (The number of women CEOs in the Fortune 500, however, was stated correctly as 10, and did include Ms. Woertz.)

And here is my response to the WSJ Opinion editor sent by email on Saturday, August 5:

"Cherchez la Femme" (OPINION, August 4) is right on target. But there is one person Ms. Dobrzynski left out in her investigation: former Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter and publisher of The Wall Street Journal, Karen Elliott House. House was among those considered for CEO of the WSJ but was passed over for Richard F. Zannino, who was the first to break with a tradition of journalists presiding over the company.

So instead of taking a chance by promoting a woman from within the ranks of The Wall Street Journal -- and one who was largely responsible for the launch of the Weekend Edition -- they brought in a man from the outside with no journalism experience but lots of fashion house and retail knowledge. How's that for a calculated risk?

WSJ decided to go with a man with no experience at the paper instead of a woman who brought the paper success and accolades. After that, Karen Elliott House announced she would retire after 32 years with the newspaper.

It's no wonder women are starting businesses at twice the rate of men. And they will continue to do so until parity is achieved in the corner CEO office.

Laurel Delaney

Since then, I have been in touch with Dobrzynski. Let's see if the WSJ is gutsy enough to publish my letter. What's your take on this?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Get ready, get set and launch ladies

According to the 2005 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report more than 340 million people worldwide tried to launch businesses in 2004. This is a significant increase from 2003 and 2004.

The United States ranked seventh in the number of start-ups and California has more documented start-up business than any other state. Unfortunately, statistically only one-third of those start-ups will get off the ground and survive past two years.

Here are some -- eight to be exact -- strategies to encourage start-up success or at least limit start-up failure.

Action strategies to launch your business.

Friday, July 28, 2006

More Women Are Starting Their Own Companies

Three years ago, flight attendant Sandy Stein was so distraught about the prospects of her and her husband's jobs that she prayed to her deceased father for guidance.

"Dad, what am I going to do?"

That night, the 55-year-old Reseda woman said, she dreamed of a small metal flower with a curved stem that hooked onto the outside of her purse. A clip dangling on the inside kept her car keys quick at hand. When she awoke, a childhood taunt popped into her head: Finders keepers. But this time, Stein heard it as Finders Key Purse.

Like more and more women are doing these days, Stein found the courage to start her own business, Alexx Inc., a company that makes functional and fashionable key-finders.

Read the full story here.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

SBA Could Help You Escape From Corporate America and Get Started Running a Business

Dear Professor Bruce: I feel stagnant in my current job. It's a road to nowhere. I am talented in my field and have some excellent background. Money is what I would need to really get going in my own business. Are there government programs available to help me?

SBA could help you escape form corporate America ...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

He, Once a She, Talks About the Mysterious "Journey"

Because this article is so unbelievable, I read it four times to completely grasp its key points. The second time around I wanted to spot anything that contradicted "the Larry Summers Hypothesis" and it's there. The third and fourth time, I was just feeling good about myself, taking it in and wanting to personally thank Ben for sharing his/her experiences. There is a lot to learn from this piece. After all, here is a woman, now a man, telling us how she felt when she was a woman in the academic science and math areas. Fascinating stuff and -- now-- so transparent.

Ben Barres had just finished giving a seminar at the prestigious Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research 10 years ago, describing to scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard and other top institutions his discoveries about nerve cells called glia. As the applause died down, a friend later told him, one scientist turned to another and remarked what a great seminar it had been, adding, "Ben Barres's work is much better than his sister's."

There was only one problem. Prof. Barres, then as now a professor of neurobiology at Stanford University, doesn't have a sister in science. The Barbara Barres the man remembered was Ben.

Prof. Barres is transgendered, having completed the treatments that made him fully male 10 years ago. The Whitehead talk was his first as a man, so the research he was presenting was done as Barbara.

Being first a female scientist and then a male scientist has given Prof. Barres a unique perspective on the debate over why women are so rare at the highest levels of academic science and math: He has experienced personally how each is treated by colleagues, mentors and rivals.

I urge you to carefully read the entire article and weigh in with your comments. Not sure how long it's available for free through the WSJ -- better hurry up.

He, Once a She, Offers Own View On Science Spat

Monday, July 17, 2006

Escape From Marriage?

I scanned the following article and asked myself, what does it have to do with this blog and entrepreneurship? Plenty. All I had to do was catch the word "escape" and I knew you had to read it too. Is there a difference between escaping from a company and escaping from a bad marriage? Maybe not. Here's the passage that stood out for me:

"Laura has now "escaped", as she puts it, a 15-year marriage -- though cynics could well point out that she decided to flee the marriage only after the Enron scandal erupted and the man who had supported her for so long looked likely to be bankrupted."

What's the likelihood of Laura starting a business? You tell me.

Read the crazy article here: Ex-wife speaks out.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Accidental Entrepreneur

If you're at all dissatisfied with your job, you've got a long, hot summer ahead of you. Plenty of time to sit and daydream about telling the boss to take a hike and making money doing what you love.

Many of you have personal Web sites you work on in your spare time, either blogs or little e-businesses or software-as-a-service applications. Wouldn't it be great if you could just make a living on that stuff and leave the paycheck-to-paycheck grind behind?
The subjects of this article on accidental entrepreneurs did just that.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Entrepreneurship Bug Done Bit Me

When I read the title of this article -- Entrepreneurial bug bites more college students -- I immediately thought of the lyrics from Diana Ross and The Supremes's song "Love Is Here and Now You're Gone." Here's why. All I did was substitute entrepreneurship for love:

The entrepreneurship bug done bit me
Didn't mean for him (her!) to get me
Woo, get up in the morning
And I'm filled with desire
No, no, I can't stop the fire
Entrepreneurship is a real life wire
Ooh, it's a burning sensation
Far behind imagination

Entrepreneurship is like an itching in my heart
Tearing it all apart
Just an itching in my heart
And baby, I can't scratch it
Keeps me sighing, ooh
Keeps me yearning

No, mama can't help me
No, daddy can't help me
I've been bitten by the entrepreneurship bug
And I need some information
To help me out this situation

Now, when you're ill
You take a pill
When your thirsty
Drink your fill
What you gonna do
When entrepreneurship gets a hold
A hold on you
Entrepreneurship is like an itching in my heart
And baby, I can't scratch it

Entrepreneurship is a nagging irritation
Causing my heart complication
Entrepreneurship is a growing infection
And I don't know the correction
Got me rockin' and areelin'
And I can't shake the feelin'

Entrepreneurship is like an itching in my heart
Tearing it all apart
Just an itching in my heart
And baby, I can't scratch it
Keeps me sighing, ooh
Keeps me yearning

Keeps me burning
Keeps me tossing
Keeps me turning
Keeps me yearning

I've been bitten by the entrepreneurship bug
And I need some information
To help me out this situation
Entrepreneurship is a nagging irritation
Causing my heart complication

I've been bitten by the entrepreneurship bug...

Friday, July 07, 2006

Sew ...

what do Sting, Elton John and Madonna all have in common besides being great entertainers? They each hired tech savvy female entrepreneur Megan Duckett who just earned her business -- Sew What? Inc. -- the 2006 Dell/National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) Small-Business Excellance Award.

Read more about the program here and visit Sew What? Inc. here.

(Note: From backdrops for Sting, Elton John and Madonna to red velvet curtains for the cover of Rolling Stone, custom theatrical drape maker Sew What? marries new technology with a centuries-old craft. "I never dreamed that the tiny business I started on my kitchen table would grow into the global business we have today," said Megan.)

On behalf of women entrepreneurs across the planet, we congratulate Megan and wish her continued success!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Birthday to America and Escape From Corporate America!

Happy Birthday America -- celebrating 230 years of FREEDOM -- and reminding us that the words engraved at the base of the Statue of Liberty bear witness to a noble truth: "For the tired, the poor, the world's huddled masses yearning to breathe free, America remains a powerful beacon of hope."

In addition to America's birthday, please join me in celebrating Escape From Corporate America's birthday No. 2. We started this blog on July 4, 2004 and had no idea that there would be such a proliferation of blogs created in blogosphere. It goes to show you that if you have passion, are tenacious and have something important to say, you can achieve great things.

I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your readership and support along the way because without it, this blog would not be possible. So I look forward to many more vibrant and insightful conversations with you in the future.

Now let me sprinkle some stardust of "hope" on you. Today, may you escape and start that business you've been dreaming about. Anything is possible!

Best wishes,

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Are Women Entrepreneurs Better?

"As the economy heats up, it’s sobering to think that the real competition for talent isn’t other firms -- it's the business and ideas incubating inside women’s minds." -- Margaret Heffernan

This is a fantastic commentary published in Forbes by Margaret Heffernan that supports this blog on every front as to why women are leaving corporate America in droves for entrepreneurship. Read it here and get ready to kick ... or I should say ... change how the world does business.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Meet Martha Burk, author of Cult of Power

Dr. Martha Burk is a political psychologist and women's equity expert who is co-founder and President of the Center for Advancement of Public Policy, a research and policy analysis organization in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Burk's book, Cult of Power: Sex Discrimination in Corporate America and What Can Be Done About It, unmasks how corporate America conspires to keep women down, and offers solid solutions.

I haven't read it yet but it sounds intriguing. For more information, please visit National Council of Women's Organizations.