TIME:Why More Women of Color Than Ever Are Starting Their Own Businesses

 By Rosalie Chan

Images for Hispanic magazine of Nely Galan
Images for Hispanic magazine of Nely Galan

Latina women are the fastest growing demographic of entrepreneurs in the U.S.

Nely Galán faced many obstacles when she started her Latino-focused television production company in 1989, including executives who didn’t believe TV shows geared toward a Latino audience could succeed.

But Galán proved them wrong. Her company, Galán Entertainment, incorporated in 1994, went on to produce 700 episodes of original programming, including the hit reality series The Swan. Galán ultimately rose to become Telemundo’s president of entertainment.

A Cuban immigrant, Galán later decided she wanted to offer support for other Latina entrepreneurs. Five years ago, she founded The Adelante Movement, which provides tools, training and events for Latina women who want to start their own businesses.

“I wanted all women to see themselves under this new light,” Galán said. “It’s about getting your own chips, getting your own money.”

The Latina women Galán aims to help are now part of the fastest growing demographic of entrepreneurs in the U.S. For every 10 women-owned businesses launched since 2007, eight were started by women of color, according to the 2016 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report. In the past nine years, there’s been a 137% increase in Latina-owned businesses, a larger rise than that among any other demographic group in the U.S., the report found. (3.5 million women-owned businesses were founded during that period, according to the report, compared to 1.6 million firms owned by men.)

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Prudential: Helping To Protect The Future Of Your Business Part II

The Prudential Insurance Company of America and its affiliates offer a wide range of insurance products that can help your business continue successfully in the event of your death or disability. Insurance is a vitally important business tool that is often overlooked.

Whether your business is a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a limited liability company, or a closely held corporation, Prudential can help. Purchasing life insurance for business needs may prove to be one of the most important decisions of your life.

 

Evaluate your business risk.

If your business is structured as a …

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Continue to join Prudential in raising awareness for life insurance during the month of September!

 

*WPO would like to thank Prudential for providing this week’s sponsor blog content.

Rolling Out: US Small Business Administration helps female entrepreneurs start and grow

By

Georgia is “a very dynamic place for entrepreneurship. I always tell people it is the most entrepreneurial of all the places I have worked with the SBA [Small Business Administration]. That holds true for women entrepreneurs as well,” shares Terri L. Denison, the district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Georgia District office. “According to American Express Open, their annual survey, Georgia leads the nation in the rate of growth … in terms of the number of women-owned businesses. A lot of that growth resides in the Atlanta metropolitan area.”

Denison’s stats were welcomed at the “Atlanta, A Trailblazing City: The Importance of Diversity & Innovation in Entrepreneurship” open meeting which was held at the Georgia Tech Scheller College on Aug. 2.

Here, are tips from Denison, a key player in Georgia’s ecosystem.

How can the SBA help women who are seeking to start a business or grow their existing business?
There are three pillars, the 3Cs.
1. Capital – “We provide that assistance primarily through loan guarantees. We also have a micro-loan program that provides financing. In 2015 in the state of Georgia, we had $203 million in SBA-backed loans. These were commercial loans that SBA guaranteed, which was an increase of 56% over the previous year. We would like to see that number continue to grow.”
2. Counseling and training – “We are very grateful that we have two women’s business centers here in metro Atlanta: The Edge Connection and Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs, or ACE, which is also a micro-lender and one of our community express lenders. We also have the Small Business Development Center network that provides counseling and training for startup and existing entrepreneurs. We partner with the University of Georgia to deliver that program. And, we have SCORE, our volunteer partner organization.”
3. Contracting, specifically federal government contracting. “We have a variety of resources and programming to help women-owned small businesses that would like to enter the market. One of the SBA’s responsibility is to oversee the Women-Owned Small Business  Federal Contracting Program. Just as a matter of statistic, in FY ’15, we had a $551 million of Georgia’s federal contracting dollars go to women-owned small businesses which is about 9 percent of all the federal contracting dollars that was issued to Georgia-based contractors. Keep in mind the national goal is 5 percent.”

How can women-owned businesses access these resources?
“I always tell people to go to our website as a starting point, http://www.sba.gov. It lays out in detail our various programs and resources. It also offers online training on a variety of topics for those who are thinking about starting a business, in the process of starting a business or have had a business for awhile and are trying to figure out the next step to take. The online video training prepare you for discussions with our resource counselors and to help prepare for those meetings at the SBDC and women’s business centers.

“We also have the Emerging Leaders program with about 50 plus locations around the country. It is a seven-month program, like a mini MBA, geared specifically to those businesses that have been around at least three years, have a certain level of revenue and are looking to scale up. As you know, it is one thing to have the number of women-owned businesses grow, but to scale them up so they are employing people and really becoming entities, a part from the owner, is always the ultimate goal.”

WPO Guest Blog: Create a website analytics measurement plan in 5 steps

  By: Kelly Borth

If your business runs online sales or marketing campaigns, it’s important to know which activities are working and which aren’t. Accurate data is key in making smart decisions, and the power of online analytics comes into play.

Website analytics tools such as Google AdWords often include key metrics — the number of website visitors during a given time period, the average time spent on the website and the number of views for specific webpages. The tools may also provide interesting data: the percentage of website traffic from different sources, the percentage of new versus returning visitors or the visitors’ geographic locations.

In order to view the data that best suit your business needs, you may need to tailor it.

You must develop a website analytics measurement plan to decide what you need to measure and implement the data. Follow these steps to begin building an analytics infrastructure:

Step 1: Determine your business goals

To obtain meaningful data, your analytics measurement plan must integrate with the business’s goals. This step must involve the decision-makers in your company. Ask some important questions: “What are our business needs right now?” “Where are we headed?” “What obstacles are in the way of us getting there?”

Step 2: Define your digital strategy and tactics

Depending on your goals, the website’s purpose(s) may vary. Websites often exist: to sell a product or service, increase brand recognition and engagement, inform or entertain visitors, drive sales leads or publish content that encourages return visits.

Tactics are the steps you take to achieve your goal. This may include a blog to help drive engagement or frequent website visits, a website or mobile app to sell products or a video to help demonstrate a product or tell a story.

Step 3: Identify the data that matter most

What are the key performance indicators that are most meaningful? What numbers help determine the campaign’s success? If you have an e-commerce website, a KPI is the amount of revenue generated. If you have a lead-generating website, you may be interested in the number of forms or inquiries submitted.

Step 4: Decide how to segment your data

Properly segmented data is more relevant to your business and enables you to make wiser decisions.

Segmenting analytics by marketing channel shows which source sends the most website traffic or drives the most conversions. Segmenting by geographic regions shows the visitors’ locations. This information can help determine success if you’re running a campaign specific to a certain region or looking to open a new brick-and-mortar store.

Step 5: Determine your targets

Once you select the KPIs and data segments, identify your target metrics. If online form submissions are important, what’s the value of each submission and how many per month (or quarter) are considered a success?

 

*WPO would like to thank Columbus II member, Kelly Borth for contributing this blog content

AVIS: Commit to Planning Ahead for Road Safety

Big business trip planned? A special level of attention to detail is needed when preparing to drive. No matter how much planning goes into ensuring a safe trip, no one ever plans to be in a crash. Take the time to be prepared and be safe.

Big trip:

  • Do your homework – know your route and set your navigation before leaving.
  • Check the oil, tires, air pressure, windshield wipers and fluid.
  • Check the weather forecast.
  • Make sure every person in every seat wears a seatbelt.
  • Remember to take breaks.
  • When riding in a taxi or using a car service, never let safety take a back seat. Crashes happen in all types of vehicles, with all levels of drivers at any time in any place. Always buckle up – no matter who is doing the driving.

Will your teenage driver be using the car while you are away on business? Teens look to their parents for driving advice. Always lead by example and make sure to give them the right tips.

NHTSA reminds parents to set the rules before they hit the road with “5 to Drive”:

  • No cell phones while driving.
  • No extra passengers.
  • No speeding.
  • No alcohol.
  • No driving or riding without a seatbelt.

If you are planning to bring small children with you on your business trip:

  • Know your state’s requirements.
  • Car seats and booster seats – know the difference.
  • The National Safety Council recommends that all children 12 and under should ride properly restrained in the back seat.
  • Always read your child restraint manual on properly using the restraint.
  • If you have questions check with your local community’s Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician.

 

Visit avis.com/wpo to save up to 25% off your rental on your next business trip.

 

*WPO would like to thank Avis Budget Group for contributing this week’s sponsor blog content. 

Walmart: What Walmart Learned About Empowering Small Producers

Through a variety of business and philanthropic initiatives, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation seek to empower small producers – many of them women – around the world. For example, Walmart’s purchase orders can support economic development in agriculture or manufacturing, while also diversifying and strengthening our global supply chain. Philanthropic investments in training programs and access to services can enhance the scale, scope and skill of small businesses, helping to alleviate poverty, while strengthening the resilience of the consumer and supplier base for retail in general across markets.

Recently, we engaged The William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan, who worked with Oxford University Consulting to analyze our engagement with small producers in developing countries. The researchers focused on two types of initiatives: first, our efforts to incorporate smallholder farmers into Walmart’s agricultural supply chain over the past decade; and second, Empowering Women Together, a platform designed to help very small artisanal producers sell their handicrafts via Walmart.com . The Empowering Women Together platform has been one part of our Women’s Economic Empowerment initiative, which includes sourcing over $20 billion from women-owned businesses and training 1 million women in retail supply chains around the world.

The resulting report provides recommendations to retailers and others who would like to similarly use their purchase orders and philanthropy to elevate small producers. For example:

  1. Retailers should assess the feasibility of sourcing from particular producers using criteria including the capabilities of the supplier organization, nature of the product, market characteristics, and the state of the surrounding market ecosystem. The researchers identified 18 specific factors that influence the success of initiatives involving sourcing from small producers.
  2. Organizations interested in accelerating economic development in a particular region or category should engage stakeholders including retailers, governments, and civil society to build an enabling environment for small suppliers to succeed. The report describes in more detail when and how to do this.

We look forward to sharing additional information over the next year, as we draw near the end of our Women’s Economic Empowerment initiative and deliver on our $20 billion sourcing commitment and our 1 million women training commitment. Stay tuned for more news about that, and what we have planned for the next five years to help empower women and other underserved populations around the world.

Click here to access the full report.

Huffington Post: 3 Ways We Can Empower Women Entrepreneurs

By Sabrina Parsons

It’s true that starting your own business isn’t for everyone. It takes more than just
time and effort, but sacrifice, commitment, and passion. With all that I’ve seen and
learned as a CEO, I can contribute my knowledge to and build up the next
generation of female leaders. For women thinking about building their business,
here are my top three tips:

1. The revolution in technology gives you more tools and power to run your
business.

A wealth of tools and resources exist to help us build our vision. The incredible
plethora of tools for start-ups and small businesses that exist and are affordable
and easy to use (no developer needed) is unparalleled. Tools that used to cost
hundreds of thousands of dollars a year and require heavy tech support to
implement have been replaced by SaaS apps that anyone can use, and cost
hundreds of dollars versus hundreds of thousands of dollars. I encourage all
women to jump into these tools, and really spend time understanding how their
business can be optimized and better run with the power of these new tools. You
can put together a suite of tools to run sales, customer service, accounting and
financial management and pay less than $1000 per month.
Although it is 2016, women still face bias in the business world. People will still
assume we don’t know things, or are not for financial or tech-savvy. Our business
expertise gets challenged. Our commitment gets challenged. Have a child, and
then have your commitment challenged again, both as a business owner and as a
mother. Challenge those bias’ by doing your homework, and using all the best of
breed tools to run your business. You will benefit, and your business will be better
off. You will run a better business than the average owner. You will succeed and
have a better growth rate and survival rate than the average entrepreneur.
One of the reasons I launched LivePlan, the product my business sells, is because of my passion for helping entrepreneurs and making people succeed in business. I
love what I do, and if I can help women be more successful, and change the
statistics, hurrah!

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