Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Publication of Interest: Harvard Business Review OnPoint

Over the weekend I bought the new executive edition of the Harvard Business Review and read it cover to cover. It's packed with all sorts of novel ideas and approaches on how best to grow an enterprise, including:

• how to reconceive your business's profit drivers
• how to stake out new market space where competitors haven't ventured
• how to expand your core business into related markets in predictable, repeatable ways
• how to execute a great strategy
• how to use the specific management tools that are tied to long-term growth

You can find it online below (for purchase) or visit your local Borders or Barnes & Noble; they both carry it on their periodical stand.

"Growing Your Business: Strategies That Work for Small and Midsize Companies."

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Event: The Executives' Club of Chicago Women's Leadership Breakfast (September 26)

We are proud to be a partner on The Executives' Club of Chicago Women's Leadership Breakfast series. The next one is Tuesday, September 26 (7:00 a.m. registration) and hosted at the downtown Chicago Hilton. The theme is: "Executive Presence: How Savvy Are Your Business Skills?"

To learn more about the program and to register: Download invite here (PDF file).

Online registration closes September 22.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Event: Women's Summit (October 17)

The Women Presidents' Organization has agreed to partner with the University of Chicago Women’s Business Group to support the second annual Women’s Summit, to be held on October 17, 2006 from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m. This year's theme is: "Creating a Shared Vision."

The Women’s Summit will provide a venue for diverse leadership from corporations, law, medicine, economics, public policy, education, journalism, science, technology and non-profit organizations in the Chicago area to join together. In addition to celebrating successes and connections, we will develop a collective vision for increasing the contribution and success of women and minorities to the community in which we live and work.

In honor of this occasion, Cherie Booth, QC will be the featured speaker at the event. Her husband, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Tony Blair, has given his wife credit for being "... an enormous source of strength and an extraordinary person in her own right. I never know how she manages with all the different things she does -- the work, the family." ~ The New York Times.

The Summit will start with facilitated visioning sessions to explore important topics for women today. Each session will have a thought leader with expertise on the topic and a professional facilitator. You are invited to share your thoughts and ideas and get involved. Our goal is for the community to come together, create a shared vision, and shape our future.

The breakout sessions will be followed by a networking opportunity, and by dinner and the keynote address.

"The Women Presidents' Organization is delighted to be a part of the UCWBG's Women's Summit. And with the United Kingdom being such a strong and loyal ally to the United States, we are thrilled to have Ms. Booth share her wisdom with us." -- Laurel Delaney, Chicago Chapter Facilitator

All Women Presidents' Organization members will be entitled to the member rate ($125), so please click the appropriate option -- Friends of the Summit -- when registering.

For more information and to register please visit:
the UCWBG's website.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

News: 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.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Article of Interest: Business Plan For Your Bright Idea Must Be Clear, Not Long

Question: How long should a business plan be for a subscription content Web site that already has some advertising revenue?

Answer: It is said that Mark Twain once apologized for the long length of a letter to a friend. As the story goes, if he had had more time to improve the clarity of his writing, the letter would have been shorter!

The same holds true for business plans. It's not the length that matters, but the quality of the content that keeps reader attention. Straightforward, hyperbole-free prose is the way to go.

Read on for a few other suggestions.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Study of Interest: U.S. Leads In High-Potential Entrepreneurship

As first reported in the Babson Women's Business Blog.

U.S. entrepreneurs are in a league of their own when it comes to building innovative businesses that keep the economy dynamic and productive, according to the seventh annual U.S. Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM). GEM is directed by Babson College and London Business School.

More than in any other nation, U.S. entrepreneurs are motivated by opportunities in what GEM researchers call ‘high-potential entrepreneurship’ -- fast growing, new ventures involved in the latest technologies and knowledge-transfer businesses.

High-potential entrepreneurs (HPE) are the innovators who keep the U.S. economy competitive in the global marketplace. HPEs increased U.S. productivity levels more than 100% in recent years.

Who are U.S. HPEs?

• Young males
• From upper income groups
• Motivated by opportunity
• Have almost no fear of failure
• Social beings who benefit from a deep network of entrepreneurs and angel investors
• Skillful in choosing opportunities from the business, not the consumer sector
• Believe they have no competitors
• Think differently than the general population.

Are you an HPE?

Find out here and learn more about the study's findings.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Survey of Interest: Small Business Owners Happier On Their Own

Sole proprietors, who make up three-fourths of all small businesses, lack the time and resources to focus on generating new business, according to a new survey from Visa USA and SCORE, a nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneur education.

At the same time, the vast majority says they are happier now than they were at their previous employer, despite working as hard or harder.

Find out why here.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Article of Interest: SCORE Programs Educate Small Business Owners

When we hear the word "business," most of us tend to think of giant corporations and Fortune 500 heavyweights like IBM, Ford or GE. While these large high profile companies account for billions of dollars in this country's gross domestic product, the fact is that small businesses make up a sizeable and vital component of our nation's economy.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, small businesses employ half of all private sector employees, pay more than 45 percent of the total U.S. private payroll and have generated anywhere from 60 percent to 80 percent of net new jobs annually over the past decade. They also contribute to more than half of the U.S. nonfarm private gross domestic product (GDP).

But why is it that a significant number of these small businesses don't make it past the first few years of existence?

Find out here: SCORE programs educate small business owners, help them avoid failure

Visit SCORE's website.