Monday, October 13, 2014

News of Interest: Women Presidents' Organization 2014 Business Outlook Survey

A study released recently by the Women Presidents' Organization - 2014 Business Outlook Survey (sponsored by KeyBank's Key4Women Program - showed that 33% of women reported using their own money to start their businesses, with less than 1% saying they received venture capital or angel investing.
"The networks that are established by their male counterparts don't always include the opportunity for women to participate," said Dr. Marsha Firestone, founder of the WPO. "I don't say that in terms of being critical of men. That's just the way the networks work."
Other key findings from the study include:
  • The economic downturn has loosened its grip on women business owners.  Just eight percent of WPO members said they believe economic conditions are the biggest threat to their bottom-line growth, a dramatic drop from last year’s findings, when half of the respondents cited the economic downturn as their biggest worry.
  • Women-led businesses grew three times faster than the national average, a growth rate of 25% or more, compared to 5.4% average U.S. business growth.
Learn more:  Women at the top struggle for funding (CNN Money)

Monday, October 06, 2014

Article of Interest: Meet the New CEO of Life

Image source @STEMwomen
Imagine a life where every girl has an opportunity.  She speaks clearly and confidently.  She skillfully negotiates anything she wants.  She stands up to social pressures.  She builds a global network of mentors and sponsors.  Sounds like WPO members but in this case, meet the official Miss CEO, a website.

A little background:
In August 2014, Stanford professor of mathematics Maryam Mirzakhani became the first woman to win the Fields Medal, often described as the Nobel Prize of mathematics.

As the Stanford community celebrates Mirzakhani’s achievement, its members are also working to bring more young women into non-traditional fields like Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). In July and August this year, an organization called Miss CEO held a series of workshops sponsored by Stanford’s Department of Bioengineering, intended to equip young women with the skills necessary to thrive academically and professionally, particularly in STEM fields.
Now we get it.

Read the entire article:  Young women take the lead in STEM - The Clayman Institute for Gender Research

Monday, September 29, 2014

Article of Interest: Women Investors Fuel Women-Run Companies

Source:  Businessweek (9/10/14)
According to Karen E. Klein for Businessweek, "Women made up 23 percent of all entrepreneurs seeking angel capital in 2013, up from 9 percent in 2005. There were fewer than 20,000 female angel investors in 2005, but that number increased to nearly 58,000 by last year."

Read the entire article:  Angel Investing:  Rise of Female Investors Fuels Women-Run Companies

Related paper:  The Angel Investor Market in 2013:  A Return to Seed Investing

Screenshot:  Businessweek

Monday, September 22, 2014

News of Interest: Vickie Rock Wins the "Ready, Set, Grow Pitch Contest" 2014

Our very own WPO Chicago member Vickie Rock, President of Victoria Legal and Corporate Services, wins the "Ready, Set, Grow Pitch Contest" at the WBDC Conference 2014.

Watch the video here.

Congratulations to Vickie!  We are very proud of you.

Screenshot courtesy of:  Video

Monday, September 15, 2014

News of Interest: Best Ever WPO Chicago Summit 2014

©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
©2014 Laurel J. Delaney.  All rights reserved.
Our 11th Annual WPO Chicago Summit held September 11, 2014 at Google Chicago was a huge success largely due to our Steering Committee members  - Mary Bahr, Cheri McEssy, Susan Rossie and Lynn Sutton - who worked very hard to make our Summit the best ever.  A huge thank you to them and an even bigger shout-out of gratefulness to Julie Krueger, Hillary Renderman, Lisa Landsman and Matt Butler from Google for sharing their expertise with us.

Related post:  11th Annual WPO Chicago Summit (For Members Only) Hosted at Google

Monday, September 08, 2014