Saturday, April 27, 2024

Revisiting Women's Entrepreneurship: Breaking Stereotypes and Seizing Opportunities

Globally, one in six women reported an intention to start a business in the near future. The highest entrepreneurial intention rates were observed in low-income countries, where approximately 28% of women expressed intentions to start a business. 

Nearly one in every three entrepreneurs running established businesses is a woman. For start-up activity, there are .80 women for every 1 man. Globally, women were more likely than men to be solopreneurs (1.47 women solopreneurs for every 1 man).

These were among the findings presented in the GEM 2022/2023 Women’s Entrepreneurship report, entitled Challenging Bias and Stereotypes.

If you haven't read it yet, I suggest you do so now because women play a very important role in driving economic growth.

Note:  The report is sponsored by Cartier Women’s Initiative (CWI), the Frank & Eileen™ Center for Women's Entrepreneurial Leadership (F&E CWEL) at Babson College, the School of Management (HEG-FR) in Fribourg, Switzerland and the Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative (We-Fi, housed in the World Bank Group).

Saturday, April 20, 2024

What Would You Do If You Could Do Anything?

What would you do if you could do anything?  Back it up a bit, what would you do if you could have a months-long paid leave from work?  For me, as boring as it sounds, I would probably continue doing what I am doing.  For Rahel Mwitula Williams, it was climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.

The mountain, which is 5,895 meters (19,340 feet), and is the largest free-standing mountain rise in the world, took Mwitula six days to climb. But the journey was worth it.

So you know Rahel's job, by day she works as the Director Of Innovation for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and by night she runs her own socially responsible fashion brand ILAVA.

When she was approved to take a three-month sabbatical from her day job earlier this year, instead of taking a staycation, she set her sights on tackling one of the most challenging treks in the world as an emotional reset.

And that she accomplished.   

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Nancy Geenen Says Connecting With Leaders on a Human Level Creates a Trusting, Empowering Work Culture

Nancy Geenen.  Used with permission.  All rights reserved.
Accomplished entrepreneur, author, leadership coach and strategic facilitator Nancy Geenen spent many years “trying to be someone else, in so many ways.”

What she discovered in her journey is that when a woman leader connects with employees on a human level by being vulnerable and inviting in-depth conversations without judgment, other differences are not as significant, and the leader builds trust as people feel more comfortable being themselves.

Here are Nancy's 5 key thoughts about how a leader showing vulnerability and accessibility can create a trusting, empowering work culture:

  1. Being accountable and permitting others to hold everyone accountable. “Invite that open, honest, and vulnerable communication that is built on trust,” Geenen says. “And if you behave in a way that’s unreliable, own up to it.”
  2. Asking for advice and committing to do better. Geenen says it’s common for team members to have numerous ideas about how a leader can improve their leadership skills. 
  3. Knowing your people and letting them get to know you. Geenen says it’s a leader’s responsibility to model relationship-building. 
  4. Being empathetic, not judgmental. Geenen says when check-ins with employees are done with a mindset of positivity, curiosity and empathy, not judgment and criticism, it earns the team’s trust because they feel seen, heard, and supported.  
  5. Showing you care. When a leader directly pitches in to help one of their teams, be it problem-solving on a complex project or customer-service issue, or performing a tedious task like changing the toner in the copy machine, it establishes common ground with the workforce, showing the leader has humility and sincerity. 

These are among some of the many golden nuggets Nancy shares in her book, "The Advantage of Other:  A Leader's Guide to Building an Equitable, Dynamic, and Productive Workplace."

Saturday, April 06, 2024

The Power of Exposure and Leading By Example for Women Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneur Vanessa June says the representation of women in entrepreneurship is critically important, emphasizing the power of exposure and leading by example to create a stronger, more diverse ecosystem.

“If we don’t start businesses, then other women aren’t going to see that as a possibility,” said Vanessa, the founder and CEO of Leva, an app-based community that educates and empowers mothers and parents of babies aged 0-12 months. 

This representation — in entrepreneurship and at all levels of business — matters because women are going to tackle problems with new and different solutions than previously explored.

Learn how we can all build a bigger bandwagon for women entrepreneurs so it's not a lonely journey.