Saturday, December 29, 2018

Happy New Year Escape From Corporate America Friends!

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
Be strong, fierce and independent in 2019!  Hugs and Happy New Year from your Escape From Corporate America team.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Two Holiday Tips For Women

Two holidays tips -- one an article and another a site that features only women-owned or women-led businesses.

15 (Mostly) Local Holiday Gift Ideas For Feminists

Feminist, mom, sister, entrepreneur, woman business owner -- there's something for everyone here and from mostly local women-made products, women-led businesses, or women-centered experiences.

Purse Power

Can you imagine a world where women and girls are safe and equal?  Let's use our purchasing power to create one -- and that's what this site has done.

Saturday, December 08, 2018

Focus on Female Founders

Beer maker Constellation Brands plans to invest $100 million over the next ten years in businesses led or founded by women. Why?  Because they are betting that female entrepreneurs will help it grow.
The strategy is designed to help Constellation Brands make and market products that resonate with women, partner with sector disruptors and enhance its talent pipeline.
The project is called Focus on Female Founders.  So far, Constellation has invested in two women-led startups through the new initiative: Austin Cocktails and Vivify Beverages.

Learn more about how CB is investing in female entrepreneurs to help sell its alcohol.

Interesting related article:  Female founders deserve to be funded for their talent, not their gender.

Saturday, December 01, 2018

Women Entrepreneurs Are Stepping Up to the Plate With Personal Investments in Startups

While raising money is still hard for almost every entrepreneur, there's a growing sense that it's getting easier for women at long last.
Notably, women entrepreneurs are stepping up to the plate: In a survey of 279 U.S. women entrepreneurs conducted jointly by Inc. and Fast Company, a surprising 42 percent say that in addition to running their own companies, they make personal investments in startups. On the flip side, of those who have raised outside capital, 38 percent said they specifically sought out female investors. 
As of November 2017, according to the Angel Capital Association, 22 percent of angels are female.

Read more about how more female founders are going from raising cash to backing other startups as angel investors.

Photo screenshot of ThirdLove's founders.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Joy to Your World from Escape From Corporate America

©2018 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
"This is my wish for you: peace of mind, prosperity through the year, happiness that multiplies, health for you and yours, fun around every corner, energy to chase your dreams, joy to fill your holidays!” -- D.M. Dellinger

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Why You Should Start a Business in 2019 No Matter What

Starting a business isn't easy and it isn't a decision you should jump into blindly. You'll need savings and a solid plan to make your dream a sound reality. But if you're prepared financially and logistically, there's a good chance you'll wind up more than satisfied with your choice.

The article below provides you with 6 reasons to move forward.
  1. You get to call the shots
  2. You can control your income
  3. You can pursue your passion
  4. You can set your own schedule
  5. You can make a difference
  6. You can shape your destiny (mine)
Read the entire on why you should start a business in 2019.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

State of Women: The Bad, the Ugly, and the Good

Below is a snapshot of a big and complex story on women’s rights and the women’s movement.
It doesn’t come close to capturing the full breadth of women’s experiences, challenges, or achievements this year—no summary could. But no matter how closely you follow the news or how much you already know about women’s progress, there’s research in here that will surprise you.
The presentation (snapshot) is fashioned into three categories, the:
  1. Bad
  2. Ugly
  3. Good
Here's to facing harsh truths and ending with hope in our hearts.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

How SHE Got it Right

According to the latest State of Women-owned Businesses report from American Express, four in 10 businesses in the U.S. are now majority-owned, operated and controlled by women.

Last year alone, 1,821 new women-owned businesses opened in the U.S. each day.

How can women entrepreneurs make sure their company goes the extra mile to become successful?

Below is advice from a handful of women business owners.
  1. Take a step-by-step approach
  2. Don't sell yourself short
  3. Learn to embrace rejection
  4. Give back to get back
  5. Learn from your team
  6. Create a culture of solution seekers
  7. Keep the end goal in mind
  8. Find a role where you own a P&L
Read the entire article about how these women business owners got it right.

Saturday, October 27, 2018

A National Conversation on Board Diversity in Chicago 11/15

Where can you find all of the following individuals -- 4 CEOs and 40 corporate board directors -- in one place at one time?  At the 2020 Women on Boards Chicago 7th Annual National Conversation on Board Diversity, November 15, 2018, 4:30 PM-8:30PM (Central time), The Mid-America Club, Aon Building, Chicago, Illinois.
  • Anne Pramaggiore, CEO, Exelon Utilities; Board Director: Motorola Solutions, Inc., Babcock and Wilcox Enterprises—both NYSE-listed companies; Chair, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
  • John W. Rogers, Jr., Founder, Chair, & CEO of Ariel Investments; Board Director: Exelon, McDonald’s, NY Times—all NYSE-listed public companies
  • Ilene Gordon, retired CEO, Ingredion; Board Director: International Paper, Lockheed Martin—both NYSE-listed public companies
  • Jennifer Sherman, CEO & Board Director, Federal Signal—NYSE-listed public company & Board Director, Franklin Electric—NASDAQ-listed public company
  • Donna Zarcone, CEO, The Economic Club; Board Director: CDW—NASDAQ-listed public company, CIGNA—NYSE-listed public company, & The Duchossois Group—private company
  • Kapila Anand, retired KPMG Partner; Board Director: ESH Hospitality—NASDAQ-listed public company & Extended Stay America, Omega Healthcare Investors, & Elanco Animal Health—all 3 NYSE-listed public companies
  • Sally Blount, former Northwestern University Kellogg dean; Board Director: Abbott & Ulta Beauty—2 NYSE-listed public companies
  • Adela Cepeda, Managing Director, PFM Financial Advisors; Board Director, BMO Financial Corp, a Bank of Montreal—TSX/NYSE-listed public company—& The Mercer Funds, The UBS Funds—2 private mutual funds
  • Carol Ward, Corporate Secretary to the Board, Mondel─ôz International—SWX/NASDAQ-listed public company
  • Rodrigo Garcia, Chief Investment Officer & CFO, Illinois State Treasury; Board Director: The Thirty Percent Coalition
  • Diane Aigotti, CFO, Ryan Specialty Group; Board Director: GATX—NYSE-listed public company
  • Holly Bailey, President, Howell Paving; Board Director, First Mid Illinois Bancshares—NASDAQ-listed public company
  • Dan Bayston, Managing Director, Cognient Advisors; Board Director: Prime Line Products, Besser Company, KLJ Solutions—all 3 private ESOP companies
  • Carrie Bienkowski, CMO, Peapod; Board Director: ConforMIS—NASDAQ-listed public company
  • Barbara Bowles, retired Chair, Kenwood Group; Board Director: WEC Energy Group—NYSE-listed public company
  • Donald Carley, SVP, GC, Chief Compliance Officer, & Corporate Secretary to the Board, Horace Mann—NYSE-listed public company
  • Lynn Clarke, former CEO for 3 companies; Board Director & Chair: Nielsen-Massey Flavorings & Talalay Global Mattresses & Board Director: Abarta Coca-Cola & Top Notch Distributors—all 4 private companies
  • Candace Duncan, retired Partner, KPMG; Board Director: Discover Financial Services—NYSE-listed public company, FTD Companies—NASDAQ-listed public company, & Teleflex—NYSE-listed public company
  • Vicki Dudley, CFO & Treasurer, TTX—largest NA railcars owner; Board Director: Seacube Container Leasing (owned by Ontario Teachers Pension Plan); Raffles Insurance & EPIC—2 captive insurance firms—all 3 private companies
  • Venita Fields, Partner, Pelham S2K Managers; Board Director: Derry Enterprises, LifeSpace Communities, VSA Partners—all 3 private companies
  • Jill Goodman, Managing Director, Foros; Board Director: CBOE Global Markets—NASDAQ-listed public company
  • Judy Greffin, former EVP & CIO, Board Director:  Allstate; Board Director: Associated Bank—NYSE-listed public company
  • Gail Durham Hasbrouck, retired SVP, GC, & Corporate Secretary, Advocate Health Care; Board Director: Advocate Health Care—largest IL health system
  • Linda Jojo, Chief Digital Officer & EVP, Technology, United Airlines; Board Director: Exelon—NYSE-listed public company
  • Barbara Klein, Board Director: Cabot Microelectronics—NASDAQ-listed public company & Ingredion—NYSE-listed public company
  • Delores Kunda, former CEO, Leo Burnett Puerto Rico; Board Director, Finish Line—NASDAQ-listed public company recently sold!
  • Alice Peterson, COO, Curadux; Board Director: SP Plus—NASDAQ-listed public company & Williams Partners—NYSE-listed public company
  • Cynthia Plouche, Mutual Fund Director: Northern Institutional Funds/Northern Funds & Barings Funds—all private mutual fund companies
  • Donna Smith/Wanda Baum/Linda Lin/Anna Maria Viti-Welch; Board Directors: First Bank of Highland Park—one of 5 largest privately held Chicago banks, Crain’s named 2018 Top 100 Best Places to Work in Chicago
  • Dany St-Pierre, one of World’s Top 100 Most Influential Women in Wind Energy; Board Director: Boralex—TSX-listed public company
  • Jane Warner, retired EVP, Illinois Tool Works (ITW); Board Director: Brunswick, Regal Beloit, & Tenneco—all 3 NYSE-listed public companies
  • Michelle Warner, GC and Corporate Secretary to the Board, USG Corporation—NYSE-listed public company
  • Mary Westerhold, CFO, Madison Communications; Board Director: First Mid Illinois Bancshares—NYSE-listed public company
  • James Wooten, Jr, Board Director:  Hyatt Hotels—NYSE-listed public company & Morae Global Corporation—a private company.
2020 Women on Boards is a national campaign to increase the percentage of women on U.S. company boards to 20 percent or greater by the year of 2020.  Check out their progress and register your support at

To learn more and to register for the November 15th program, visit here.  Better get on it fast for tickets are selling like hotcakes.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

5 Ways to Handle Bias as a Female Entrepreneur

How do you blow bias right out the window?  It's easier said than done but below are some pointers.  Remember, you never know when bias is going to creep up on you so power up and use any or all of these when you need to.
  1. Don’t show your anger.
  2. Consider it a blessing.
  3. Marshal your facts.
  4. Be and act confident.
  5. Get some support and training.
Read the full article on how to handle bias here.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

36 Chicago Resources for Women Entrepreneurs

As a sweet home Chicago kind of gal (born and raised in Chicago), I found the list below of Chicago resources for female entrepreneurs pretty darn good, with the exception of Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global, a nonprofit I founded and manage, being left out.

The population of women-owned startups in Chicago is growing.

Women business owners have opportunities to thrive in Chicago, especially if they happen to be in tech.

Check out the list here.

Saturday, October 06, 2018

Women Entrepreneurs Can Thrive

Dr. Nashawna Joseph (pictured), for the Shreveport Times, says, "It’s no secret that women have been making power moves and shaking things up in the business world for years." She calls these women 'boss women.'  She's all in for taking control of your mind and positioning yourself for success.

Below she offers up five surefire ways that you can thrive in any area of your life by committing to having a Plan Be.
  1. Be intentional
  2. Be uncomfortable
  3. Be committed
  4. Be proactive
  5. Be victorious
Learn more about each way you can thrive here.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Starting a Business As a Route Into a Career in Music

Taking place at Nottingham’s brand new venue Metronome on Wednesday, October 10, leading female entrepreneurs will share valuable insights into starting a business as a route into a career in music.

There will be an impressive all-female line up of speakers running successful businesses across the music industry who will be looking to inspire the next generation at Women In Music’s next event.
“Music is about creating something new and celebrating that creation. Having more women in music would breathe new life into the industry, so encouraging females to choose our path is something I personally get passionate about and that is why I am part of setting up our Women In Music activities such as this," [says Katie Muckle, DHP Family’s Head of HR].
Read more here.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Being Wrong in Business Is Not Only Inevitable, It's Vital

To illustrate his point during a lecture he was giving that failure breeds success, Henry Petroski, Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor at Duke University and the author of dozens of books, including, To Forgive Design: Understanding Failure, pointed to a classic century-old engineering disaster: the sinking of the Titanic on April 15, 1912.
“Imagine that the Titanic had not struck that iceberg,” Petroski said to a standing-room-only crowd in McCormick’s Ford Motor Company Engineering Design Center. “That would have just reinforced the misconception that it was unsinkable. And every time it went across the Atlantic, it would further confirm that hypothesis.”
Well I won't leave you just with that.  Read more here and meanwhile:  "It’s the failure that leads to success,” Petroski said, “while prolonged success leads to failure.”

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Network with Everyone

Nicole Wipp, guest writer for Entrepreneur magazine (online) says, "Women are escaping from their corporate jobs to go out on their own, stay-at-home moms are looking for ways to make money and in general, women seem to be very attracted to the entrepreneur path. Indeed, there are 114 percent more women-owned businesses in the U.S. than there were 20 years ago."

We know a thing or two about escaping from corporate America because due to the massive female entrepreneurial movement we launched this blog in 2004.

When it comes to the topic at hand, networking, I've always worked a room no matter who it is filled with -- men or women.

The question asked in the article below is:
But should we, as women, solely focus on these [women] gender-specific groups to take our career and entrepreneurial journey to the next level?
Find out here.

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Julie Smolyansky: Empowering Women Entrepreneurs Worldwide on 9/12 in Chicago

Listen and learn from Julie Smolyansky, President and CEO, Lifeway Foods, as she talks about why it is important to empower women entrepreneurs worldwide.  She will be speaking at Bank of America's facility in Chicago, 135 S. LaSalle Street at 9:00 a.m. Central time on Wednesday, September 12.

Tickets available here ($40; students $20) and include a goodie-bag and continental breakfast.  The value price is due to the wonderful sponsors of nonprofit wegg®:  UPS, Bank of America, IBM and GlobalCare Clinical Trials.

See you there!  Full disclosure:  I serve as the President of Women Entrepreneurs Grow Global (wegg).

Saturday, September 01, 2018

Women Entrepreneurs Tend to Earn Less Than Male Entrepreneurs in the Same Field

The result of new research by the online accounting company FreshBooks, which surveyed more than 2,700 working people in the United States, both those who worked for employers and those who were self-employed, found that female business owners or solopreneurs are earning less than male entrepreneurs in your same field.

Why is that?
In large part because the same gender discrimination that leads employers to pay women less and give them fewer promotions also affects women entrepreneurs' dealings with customers. 
Read more about why women entrepreneurs pay themselves less than men.

Meanwhile, go give yourself a raise.  You're worth it.

Saturday, August 25, 2018

A Word From Wikipedia About Female Entrepreneurs

The word entrepreneur, especially female entrepreneur, has been around for a very long time.  According to Wikipedia:
Before the 20th century, females operated small businesses as a way of supplementing their income. In many cases, they were trying to avoid poverty or were replacing the income from the loss of a spouse.
They go on to say, "The term entrepreneur is used to describe individuals who have ideas for products and/or services that they turn into a working business. In earlier times, this term was reserved for men."

Well what do you know about that?

And then they talk about example from Finnish entrepreneur Armi Ratia (1912–1979), founder of the Marimekko textile and home decorating company and, of course, our very own American entrepreneur, television host and media executive Oprah Winfrey, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from US President Barack Obama in 2013.

We've come a long way baby!

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Follow Your Gut

Whether you start a business, form a joint-venture or take a business global, there are two ways to make your decision.  You can conduct research and think a long time about something or you can simply follow your gut.  

Join us on September 12 (downtown Chicago!) to hear Julie Smolyansky, President and CEO, Lifeway Foods, when she talks about how she has learned to follow her gut for the right way to go on the following:
  • How global factors influence company values and mission
  • Why we should empower women entrepreneurs around the world
  • How to channel inspiration from travel experiences into marketing initiatives 

I'll be there.  Hope you will too! To learn more and to register, visit:

Saturday, August 11, 2018

2018 Top Franchises for Women Report

Franchising is a great way to start a business without all the risks.  Typically a franchisee pays an initial fee and ongoing royalties to a franchisor. In return, the franchisee has use of ongoing support, a trademark, a designated geographic territory, and the right to use the franchisor's processes and systems.

The Midwest-based coffee franchise Scooter’s Coffee, for example, has experienced incredible growth this past year and was recently named a top franchise by Franchise Business Review in its 2018 Top Franchises for Women Report.

Might be worth a look.

Saturday, August 04, 2018

How to Look Bigger at an Affordable Price: Virtual Office Space

A virtual office or co-working space offers small business owners an official address, communication options and flexible working space.  It can also help women have a professional edge.

Even if you run a home-based business:
... business owners can use a virtual office space for conferences, mail delivery, customer service and as part-time dedicated work space.
Read more about how virtual office spaces can be a good option for female entrepreneurs.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Black Women Vintners Are Changing the World of Winemaking

Indianapolis, Indiana-based women wine makers from Sip and Share Winery and Wine and Candles differ from other wineries.  While both women enjoy making and sharing their wines, they also love educating consumers on wine etiquette, different wine varieties and the winemaking process.  And the two owners are Black women.
In her research, Kearney [owner of Sip and Share] said she’s found about 100 Black and Latino winemakers throughout the country. The wine industry is ripe for more people of color to get into winemaking. Revenues from wine sales are $62.7 billion worldwide.
Read more about how these Black women entrepreneurs are changing the world of winemaking.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Amplifying the Voices and Work of Women

The Women’s Equality Coalition (WEC) of Linn County is getting ready to celebrate Women’s Equality Day scheduled for Aug. 26, and they are currently seeking nominations from the community for their Woman of the Year award, which is presented at the event. The last day to submit a nomination is July 25, and nomination forms are available on the WEC website,

According to WEC, role models are key to changing perceptions, and bettering lives.  But if their goal is equality, the first steps must come in their communities, by amplifying the voices and work of local women.

So, please, nominate a woman you value in Linn County -- a positive female role model so she can be honored and everyone can learn from.

Read more about looking for a few (more) good women.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Women Have a Lock-Down on Entrepreneurship

From trucking titan to the immigrant taking on Elon Musk in space, here is the annual Forbes ranking of the 60 richest self-made women.
These 60 women, who have a record combined net worth of $71 billion, up 15% from $61.5 billion in 2017, have shattered [glass] ceilings and scaled new heights, making fortunes in everything from genetic testing to slimming shapewear. The minimum net worth needed to make this year’s list is $320 million, up from $260 million last year.
Find out who made the list.  You won't be disappointed.  In fact, you even might be surprised!

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Women-Owned Businesses Are Growing Five Times National Average

According to a survey by the National Association of Women Business Owners, the number of women-owned businesses is growing five times the national average, with 1 in every 11 women being an entrepreneur.
"To be able to support a woman-owned business is just the icing on the cake," said Katelyn Perry, a shopper at the Sequin Siren [on Popps Ferry Road in Mississippi].
A woman-owned business is something other women have no problem supporting.  Read more here.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Are You a Hair-Care Entrepreneur?

If you are running a hair-care business, this post is for you because beauty-supply company Sally Beauty recently launched a business-accelerator program specifically designed to help female beauty entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
Women is actively seeking out the next line of innovative hair-care products, offering one phenomenal female-owned brand entrepreneurial mentorship, $25,000 in financial support and distribution through Sally Beauty’s website.
Do you have the next best hair product?  Go get your opportunity now.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Ready to Launch? Have the Right Mindset.

Author Canyon Siang radiates a sense of possibility for women entrepreneurs.  After all, she wrote the book, The Launch Book: Motivational Stories to Launch Your Idea, Business or Next Career (as of this writing, 53 reviews on Amazon).

When launching a business, what is most often overlooked?  Having the right mindset.  Siang says:
"Whether you are a 20-year-old entrepreneur or a 70-year-old entrepreneur, what is critical is your mindset."
Read more and discover several mindset strategies that will help you with a successful launch.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Saluting the Notable and Visible Women in Business

Let's take a moment to salute and congratulate the notable and visible women in business.  As Deborah Levine (pictured), editor of the American Diversity Report, writes at the Times Free Press:
The national number of women-owned businesses grew 45 percent between 2007 and 2016, five times faster than the national average. Their flight to entrepreneurship may be a rejection of corporate dead ends and closed doors to the executive suite. But their entrepreneurship is driving our economy to the tune of 3 trillion dollars.
Read more to learn what this growth means for women and how venture capital is still, sadly, hard to come by for women business owners.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Likable Female Power Entrepreneurs

Here are three business lessons entrepreneurs can learn from women with ambition who are challenging what it means to be likable -- and succeeding.  Meanwhile ...

Flaunt your success.  Trust your instincts.  Don't ask for permission.

Saturday, June 02, 2018

Newfound Respect for Female Entrepreneurs

Since quitting her day job and founding her own brewing company Lineup Brewing, Katarina Martinez (pictured) is one of the most-watched women on New York's bar scene.  In addition, she has developed a newfound respect for female small business owners.

Over the last year, the demand for her craft beers has grown so immensely that she is planning to open a new space — including a brewery with a 15-barrel system, an outdoor area, and a bar.

After she was disenchanted with the work scene, she decided to quit her job and launch her own business.
“I was just like ‘I want to start my own company, I don’t want to work for ‘The Man’ anymore,’ ” she remembered. “It was that moment when it clicked that I could do my hobby and my passion as a real-life career.”
Read more about how Martinez achieved success pursuing her passion, despite the fact that she won’t ever forget the hard work that comes with being a woman taking a risk.

Note:  You must read some of the media articles on how Martinez named one of her beers, 'Bieryonce' and how Beyonce came after her.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Make Something Out of Nothing

Pink-haired Therese Tucker's company, BlackLine was born in 2001 as a software company handling accounting tasks.
"I cashed out my nest egg from my options, I maxed out my credit cards, I took out a second mortgage on my house," Tucker says. "If I could have figured out how to get into my kids' college funds, I would have taken that too." Tucker was a single mother of two at the time.
Learn more about how Therese went against all odds, broke through a glass ceiling, and started her own $2 billion tech company.

And the pink hair?  It started as a dare and now has become a magnet for all things social and interesting at her company.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Everything You Need to Know About Podcasting to Grow your Business

We just love the work of Kathrin Bussmann over at Verbaccino.  Kathrin is considered the queen of podcasting and when you read the following article, listen to her WEGGinar™ and go over her SlideShare deck, there isn't anything you won't know about podcasting.  Tune in.  Learn a ton.

Kathrin Bussmann Offers Tips and Advice on Global Podcasting

Screenshot courtesy of Verbaccino.  Kathrin Bussmann's podcast setup.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Lessons From Mom

A Mom plays a big role in everyone's life, especially for people who go on to become successful entrepreneurs.  Here's what 14 leaders said they learned from their mother.

Follow your gut.  S'well founder Sarah Kauss left her career in commercial real estate after her mother asked her what she wanted out of life. When Kauss brought up a fashionable-reusable water bottle, her mother pushed her to take the plunge
14 Lessons Learned From Mom and Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 05, 2018

Striking Out On Your Own in the Porn Industry

Women have always capitalized on technological change to find a way into the male-dominated industry. Enter the zone of porn as earning a living.
“Doing porn, in the beginning, was never about politics,” Ms. [Kelly] Shibari said. “I wasn’t trying to break any barriers. I just wanted to have a good time.” And make some money, too. She found that both were more attainable by striking out on her own.
With technology, performers can now run their own shows. The rise of webcam work has opened up a style of performance that can be totally controlled by the model in her bedroom.

Read more here.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Your Best Coach is the One Who Cares Enough to Give You Feedback

How does one start a business called Project Gravitas?  Easy.
When Lisa Sun (pictured) was just 22 years old and starting out in her career, her boss at global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company told her that she lacked gravitas. “When I asked her how to get confidence, she said, ‘go get a new dress, big jewelry and great shoes,’” Sun said. So, Sun went out to purchase a new outfit and embraced the larger message.
"Feedback is a gift; your best coach is the one who cares enough to tell you,” says Ms. Sun.

Read more bout Lisa's new company and discover her best tips -- as shown below -- for putting the best foot forward when traveling for business.
  • Never pack a bag
  • Leave a pair of sneakers and workout clothes in another city
  • Double up
  • Stay organized
  • Plan one thing fun for yourself on each trip

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Bias Against Female Founders on VC Funding

My colleague, Devishobha Chandramouli (pictured), Founder and Editor of Kidskintha, authored two really good articles that will give you can idea of the bias that still exists -- even after the #MeToo campaign -- when women entrepreneurs go after VC funding to grow their business.
As Devishobha says:
"The more women we bring to the decision-making side of the table, the more the skew of the male VC ecosystem is offset. VC firms with more women determined to see women entrepreneurs succeed are the need of the hour."

Saturday, April 14, 2018

How One Idea Can Lead to Another When Starting a Business

What does Birmingham, U.K-based Katjes Magic Candy Factory do that no other factory can:  make customer-designed sweets using a specially engineered 3D printer.

Here's the scoop.  The idea came to Melissa Snover while she was in the process of growing her first confectionary startup, Goody Good Stuff, a pioneer in the market for vegan sweets.
The company started as a business-to-business model leasing the 3D printers, licensing software, and ingredients that would allow customers in stores to design bespoke gummy candy. It has since added two more revenue streams: consulting about 3D food printing and marketing to the entertainment industry (which included an appearance at an after-party at last year’s Grammy Awards). The company turned a profit by the 18-month mark, and revenues are forecast to double annually.
How about that for a turn of events?  It goes to show you how one idea can lead to another when starting a business.

Saturday, April 07, 2018

Apply for a Grant from the San Francisco Women's Entrepreneurship Fund

San Francisco launches $135,000 women's entrepreneurship fund!

The Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD) and the Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), announced the launch of the San Francisco Women’s Entrepreneurship Fund, which will provide mini-grants to local, women-owned small businesses. 

To qualify for the grants, businesses are evaluated based on financial need, a strong business plan, future growth potential and community impact.

To learn more about eligibility requirements, applicants are encouraged to visit OEWD's website or MEDA for more information.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Why Women-Run Businesses Make the Most Money for Kevin O'Leary

Who's Kevin O'Leary (pictured)?  He's one of ABC's 'Shark Tank' stars.  Here's what he says.
"I've been investing now for over 10 years on things like 'Shark Tank' deals — and other deals that are brought to me because of 'Shark Tank' — and the majority of my returns come from the companies run by women," O'Leary tells CNBC Make It of his portfolio.
Read why that is here.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

What I Wish I'd Known When I Started a Business

Ready to start your business?  Good.  Today we look at a few factors to consider before you launch.

MPR News host Kerri Miller asked three women entrepreneurs to share what they wish they'd known when they started their own businesses.  Here's a snapshot of what came out of the discussion.
  1. Go with the flow.
  2. Have some risk-taking in you.
  3. Look at the big picture, not the day-to-day stuff.
There's more.  Read the entire interview about what you should know before taking your idea and turning it into a business.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Ireland Wants Women Entrepreneurs to Lead and Succeed

It's only fitting on St. Patrick's Day to blog about what's going on in Ireland for women entrepreneurs.

Enterprise Ireland and women’s business organization Network Ireland, in partnership with Entrepreneurs Academy, recently announced details of the annual nationwide Fueling Ambition Roadshow, which aims to encourage the ambition of women entrepreneurs at a national level.
The roadshow will included a leadership masterclass and an elevator-pitch competition with a cash prize of €2,000 sponsored by Facebook at each location. Additional prizes include 10 sessions with Enterprise Ireland mentors, annual membership of Network Ireland and attendance at Enterprise Ireland’s Excel at Export Selling training program.
Read more about how Ireland is driving support for women entrepreneurs to take on the o'world.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Enlightenment Now

Dr. Steven Pinker of Harvard University, has authored a new book, Enlightenment Now.  It's a long book but a joy to read because he is an exceptional writer.

In the latest Rule Breaker Investing podcast, Motley Fool co-founder David Gardner brings his listeners a special treat with an interview with Dr. Pinker.  He's a psycholinguist, award-winning researcher, and, according to Time magazine, one of the "100 Most Influential People" in the world today.

Here's an excerpt of my favorite part of the interview because it has to do with women:
"Societies that give more power to their women also tend to be democratic. They also tend to have low rates of crime. They tend to have moderate-to-high levels of social spending. They tend to have less inequality, and they also tend to be richer."
Learn more here.

Saturday, March 03, 2018

Standout Women Entrepreneurs

What's the definition of standout?  According to Merriam-Webster:
:one [woman entrepreneur] that is prominent or conspicuous especially because of excellence
For the 2018 iteration of Forbes' annual 30 Under 30 list of game-changing young entrepreneurs, they highlighted 600 rising stars across 20 different industries. Many of the standouts this year -- across categories as varied as venture capital and entertainment -- happen to be women.

Figurine credit.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Best Leadership Advice? It's Not What You Think

Contrary to what you might think, leadership is not mysterious. As leadership expert Adam Grant says:
If you understand how people and organizations behave, you'll have a pretty good idea how to maximize the performance of both. Fortunately, we're sitting on about a century's worth of research that reveals how leaders should manage, motivate, and develop employees, and how to improve their own decision making. There's no good reason to get this stuff wrong.
Got it?  Well let's find out what we can do right.  Here are seven important leadership insights.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Badass Entrepreneurial Women Share Their Top Tips for Aspiring Entrepreneurs

I just love these tips.  Be sure to read them all.  Bottom line: Obsession matters.  That is, when it comes to your brand.  Here are the five tips.
  1. Don’t just listen to your customers, act on what they tell you.
  2. Just because you fill a void in the market, doesn’t mean others can’t, too.
  3. Admit when you need help—and get it.
  4. Live and breathe your brand.
  5. Don’t underestimate your customer’s intelligence.
Read more here.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

In Business, Complexity Kills

Effective strategic guidelines get three things right. They link to the corporate vision, identify critical vulnerabilities, and focus on what matters most.

This MIT Sloane Management Review article states:
Strategy is not about choice, it’s about choices. Few companies succeed based on a single big bet. They win through a series of trade-offs — about target customers, product, scope, and resources — that reinforce one another to create value. Attempting to describe every important choice in detail, however, leads to information overload. 
What do you need to know?  When it comes to execution, complexity kills.  Keep it simple.

Read the article to find out the three things you should focus on that matter concerning strategy and execution for your business.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

Giving Women Resources To Succeed

While determination can fuel a company’s growth, other resources can aid women business owners: Programs aimed at women business owners.

Since 2014, Sonabank’s POWER (Potential of Women Entrepreneurs Realized) program has focused on connecting women entrepreneurs and giving them resources to succeed in a male-dominated field.
While the POWER program is run by a bank, helping with loans and other financings, the program has more to offer: A female-focused support system made up of more than 800 other women.
“She [Michelle Simon, senior vice president of Sonabank] told me about the bank and how they supported women,” Brumfield [Michelle Brumfield, CEO of BedCrafters] said. “I know how difficult it can be to run a business and run a house.”

Read more how women lift each other up.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Meet the Microloan Modernization Act

United States Senator, Kirsten Gillibrand, announced the Microloan Modernization Act, a new bill to help minorities and women start small businesses and succeed.
She says the bill will help provide loans and technical assistance to women and minority business owners who face problems getting loans from banks to start or improve their small businesses.
More good news. Gillibrand says the Small Business Administration will set more money aside as an extension of their Microloan Program.

Read more about the new bill to help small businesses start businesses.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Future is Female

Women march on.
More than 120,000 protesters attended the march in New York on Saturday, according to a senior adviser to Mayor Bill de Blasio, who cited the figure as the official count but did not explain the methodology behind it. Thousands also turned out in Washington, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, Rome and hundreds of other cities and towns.
Read more about how a year after millions of people turned out for the Women's March and took the streets en masse in a variety of USA cities to make herstory.