Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Report of Interest: OPEN Small Business Network Monitor (3/29/05)

In OPEN Small Business

Small business optimism has risen sharply, according to the OPEN Small Business Network(SM) 2005 Semi-Annual Monitor from American Express.

Eighty-five percent of small businesses report seeing growth opportunities for their companies over the next six months, up significantly from 72% in the spring of 2004 and 56% in the spring of 2003.

Here's what else the report states:

"Women entrepreneurs face unique challenges to starting and growing their companies," said Sobbott. "For example, our findings show that women respondents are more likely to report cash flow concerns. So they're turning to a variety of sounding boards for strategic guidance. Mentors, as well as networking organizations (Laurel here ... WPO is one!), serve as powerful resources who are helping women find the right answers."

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Article of Interest: Best Practices For Driving Business Growth

In e-magnify

Members of the Women Presidents' Organization (WPO) are highly successful women presidents who have guided their companies to at least $2 million in gross annual sales (or $1 million for a service-based business). Four Pennsylvania WPO members shared some of their best practices for driving business growth during a panel discussion moderated by WPO President Marsha Firestone at Seton Hill University's annual Building a World-Class Business Conference held March 15, 2005 in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Book of Interest: Bad Leadership

I decided to start sharing some of the business books I have read lately that have enabled me to develop and to help others advance both personally and professionally.

First though, I want to explain how I learned of the book I'm about to recommend. I was looking for a good speaker on leadership for the WPO Chicago chapter members and emailed the ultimate leadership guru Warren Bennis to ask him for a recommendation. He came right back and suggested Barbara Kellerman -- Research director of the Center for Public Leadership and lecturer in public policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government -- and also indicated she had just (October, 2004) authored a good book called "Bad Leadership."

I bought the book, read it and found it fascinating. Kellerman was a keynote speaker at last year's WPO annual conference and she's no stranger to fierce intellect and a strong sense of purpose. I hope to bring her to Chicago soon to talk about leadership principles but in the meantime, read on.

"Bad Leadership" is an intriguing book for its explanation of why we have bad leaders, how you recognize them (seven types) and how to rid ourselves of or from bad leadership. It's an easy, fresh read. I highly recommend it.

To learn more or to order "Bad Leadership," visit our national partner, 800-CEO-READ.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

News of Interest: On Leadership and Entrepreneurship

From the Women's Bureau at the U.S. Department of Labor

Below is an excerpt -- and a great tip -- from the National Women's Leadership Summit, which was sponsored by the Women's Bureau and We, Inc. (one of our national partners):

... To become a profitable entrepreneur, it is important not only to market a quality product or service, but to develop a network of people -- including bankers, lawyers, and accountants -- to assist the business. One way to make contacts is to serve on corporate boards, including the paid Boards of Directors of Fortune 500 companies. The panelists encouraged women to gain strong leadership, organization, and communication skills, as well as the ability to analyze financial data in order to be good entrepreneurs and corporate board candidates.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Article of Interest: Whatever the business, hard work is a keystone

In The Christian Science Monitor

Sometimes, when Ada Torrado unlocks the door of the bakery that bears her name -- Ada's Creations -- she thinks about how far she has come since leaving the Dominican Republic and immigrating to Providence, R.I., with three small children. Ms. Torrado is among a growing number of female immigrants starting businesses in the US and just take a look at what they are focusing on:

• Koreans often open dry-cleaning establishments, green grocers, or nail salons.
• Chinese women might open a restaurant or a gift shop.
• Some Latinas operate beauty shops or run child-care and elder-care centers.

In 2000, 8 percent of employed immigrant women were business owners, compared with 6 percent of employed native-born women, according to a report from the Immigration Policy Center in Washington. The largest group -- 41 percent -- comes from Latin America and the Caribbean. Thirty percent come from Asia and the Pacific Islands.

To read the entire article, visit: Her American Dream ... "Comes True"

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Report of Interest: The First GEM on Women's Entrepreneurial Activities

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

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

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

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

To download the powerful report, visit:
GEM on Women's (Global) Entrepreneurial Activities

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Event and New Partner ... POWER: Opening Doors For Women (5/26/05)

We are pleased to announce our new partnership with the Women's Networking Community (WNC) and it's right in time with their upcoming event, "POWER: Opening Doors for Women," celebrating an evening of networking opportunities for Chicago-area women of all ages and business levels on Thursday, May 26th. Information is as follows:

Marshall Field's
Narcissus Room, 7th Floor
111 North State Street

5:30 - 7:00 p.m. -- Kick-off networking reception.
7:30 p.m. -- Fifteen (15) simultaneous, topic-specific dinner parties in private homes/venues.

$180 Reception, dinner and sponsorship of a College-student.
$130 Reception and dinner.
$80 Reception.

The evening begins wtih a kick-off reception, followed by fifteen (15) simultaneous dinners in private homes/venues around the city hosted by some of the most influential women leaders.

For information call: Deirdre Joy Smith 312-985-7773 or register here.

The Women Presidents' Organization (Chicago) is a proud partner of the event. I hope to see you there!