Why Golden Seeds is stepping in to ShoulderUp

By Peggy Wallace, Managing Partner of Golden Seeds

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of speaking about financial empowerment to women leaders from around the world with economic and personal influence. This took place during the Journey to Legacy simulcast which launched ShoulderUp, co-founded by EY Entrepreneur of the Year, Phyllis Newhouse and Academy Award winner, Viola Davis. This dynamic movement is dedicated to connecting and supporting women on their journey to bring about change where and when it is needed the most.

It was inspirational to see so many powerful leaders come together in an effort to raise the influence and economic position of women. As I listened to Phyllis and Viola discuss their personal journeys and all the factors that made them who they are today, I was completely in awe. They told their stories in an honest and raw way to help all of us see that everyone has struggles. The live event provided numerous other examples of women recounting their experiences. Still, this was about more than inspirational stories; we all left with a greater understanding and determination to make a difference.

The following recaps some of what I covered, which hopefully gives you an idea of why Golden Seeds is stepping in to ShoulderUp — and why you should, too.

Women entrepreneurship is growing but there’s an investment gap

When we started Golden Seeds in 2005, our goal was to change the limiting corporate cultures we, as women, experienced on Wall Street. In short, we felt women needed to own businesses in order to help increase female leadership and parity.

Read more here.


Profile of Millennial Women: The Future of Entrepreneurship in America

By NWBC Council

Millennial women, those born between 1982 and 2000, represent the future of entrepreneurship in America. According to 2015 Census Bureau data, there are 83.1 million millennials in the United States. By the year 2025, millennials will comprise 75 percent of the American workforce, and many will become entrepreneurs.

At the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC), we recognize the importance and necessity of empowering the next generation of women entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurship is vital to the U.S. economy. As of 2012, there were 10 million women-owned firms in the U.S., and 1,343,554 millennials women entrepreneurs.

Millennials are widely considered entrepreneurial in nature. The media portrays millennials as transforming the economy and spurning traditional forms of employment. However, upon closer review, studies show that millennial entrepreneurship is on the decline. While 66 percent of millennials surveyed by Bentley University want to start a business, less than 5 percent of American millennials are currently running a business. Only 3.8 percent of millennial women, compared to 5.0 percent of millennial men, indicate entrepreneurship as their primary occupation. Millennials are starting fewer businesses than older generations did at the same age. When examining the most recent primary employment activity, less than 4 percent of 30-year-old millennials reported self-employment compared to 5.5 percent of Generation X and 6.7 percent of Baby Boomers at that same age. Since the 1980s, the percentage of individuals under age 30 who own a business has declined by 65 percent.

Read more here.

How to Shape Your Online Personal Brand

By Lindsey Carnett, CEO and President of Marketing Maven & WPO Member 

Your online personal brand is as important as the first impression at a meeting. We all Google a new contact, relying on their digital footprint to form what we think of them as a potential client, employee or connection.

Creating a personal brand requires thought, research and planning. It’s not something that can be created overnight, but instead takes shaping and crafting. Structure and strategy are key to creating and nurturing your personal brand, and for business professionals, it is important to determine the objectives you want to reach.

Similarly, it is important to identify your audience – this is key to shaping and delivering your tone of voice, scheduling of updates, which sites to use and the type of content you want to create.

The identification and nurturing of relationships will help you to enhance your brand and build your following long-term. Remember, social media is supposed to be social!

If you are looking to build your online personal brand or refresh your approach to using social media, then our top tips can help.

Review what has gone before: Use analytical data and native platform tools to analyze what has worked and what could be improved. Think about the types of content you enjoyed creating and sharing. Did live tweeting help you to reach new audiences? Have videos cemented your reputation as a thought leader? Look at each to determine which types of content can help strengthen and shape your brand.

Indicators such as impressions, engagements, views and clicks are vital to determining which of your updates have been successful.

Tailor your updates for each platform: each social media platform has a different audience, each hungry for a specific type of content. The one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work, and for a strong online brand, the user must adapt and tailor their content accordingly.

But how does this work in practice? Take a new client acquisition for example. Visual content, such as a behind the scenes photo or a stylized quote image would work well for Instagram. A traditional press release or link to media coverage would be at home on LinkedIn. And a short video announcing the good news would be a good fit for Twitter. Experiment with different types of content for your audiences, and monitor its performance to influence future strategy and updates.

Demonstrate your area of expertise: A strong online brand must exhibit the individual’s area of expertise and experience. What you are known for? And what are the strengths and notable areas of your work that you want to promote on social media?
Going niche is a successful way to demonstrate what you are good at. Create content that solidifies your credentials as a thought leader and an expert on a particular topic. For example, at Marketing Maven, just one of our services is influencer marketing. Through blog posts, case studies and social media updates we provide examples of our work and spotlight our employees, providing a personal insight into our company ethos. This strategy is one that can work for individuals and small business owners too. Try experimenting with different types of content to demonstrate your adaptability and find what your audience likes.

Become part of a community: Get involved with an online community where you can share your expertise and network with other professionals to strengthen your brand. Join relevant Facebook groups, comment on LinkedIn threads and be active in professional networking forums. Use these venues to participate in and generate discussion, sharing your work through content updates like blog posts and press mentions to cement your brand and areas of experience. Spending a little time doing this each day can be useful later down the line when looking for new clients or a recommendation.

Be brand consistent: shaping and nurturing your personal brand can help to control people’s perceptions and goes a long way in positioning you as a trusted and reliable source. Stick to sharing updates and engage with topics that you have expertise in to create a strong brand and expectations for your audience. And for social media, choose a tone of voice and a style that will be present across all updates – e.g. the same filter on Instagram, a consistent posting schedule and a tone of voice that is genuine and interactive.

These tips can help you create and build a long-term personal brand that is authentic and engaging, boosting your visibility online and carving out an expectation and relationship between you and your followers.


Lindsey Carnett is CEO and President of Marketing Maven, an Inc. 5000 ranked integrated marketing firm. She specializes in PR, social media marketing, influencer marketing and reputation management. Lindsey is a 2017 PR News Top Woman in PR, FOLIO Magazine 2015 Top Women in Media Honoree and a WPO member of the LA1 chapter. Lindsey@marketingmaven.com

How did she do it? A Q&A with Maggie Louie, CEO and co-founder of DEVCON

By Karen Zimmerman, Managing Director at Golden Seeds and Lead Investor in DEVCON

How catching an ad fraud thief who stole $1 million inspired one founder to create an anti-fraud software company for publishers:

After working with law enforcement to facilitate the first-ever conviction for online ad theft and money laundering, Maggie Louie knew she could help solve this costly problem for publishers. Her passion to do so was driven by deep roots in journalism and a commitment to preserving independent reporting.

Prior to developing DEVCON, a cybersecurity software company for news media publishers, Louie created digital products for the Los Angeles Times, E.W. Scripps and American Public Media. It was during this time her interest in protecting digital revenue grew as she saw how much damage ad fraud was doing.

Below, I speak with Louie about the impact of her software and how she’s moving the industry forward.

KZ: Tell us about the origins of your company.

ML: I started the company in 2017 after catching a hacker who had exploited a publisher site and stole an estimated $1 million. After helping win the first-ever conviction for these crimes, I realized ad fraud wasn’t going away; it was a huge issue that publishing and journalism needed to solve.

In recent years, the publishing and advertising industry has come under siege from ad fraud. An estimated $19 billion is stolen each year by advertising cyber criminals, and by 2020, researchers suggest that will rise to $44 billion. We launched our proprietary anti-fraud technology to stop this number from growing. Already, we’ve blocked more than six million exploit attempts and stopped $18 million from getting into the hands of these online fraudsters.

Read more here.

How to Handle a Personal Crisis as a Female CEO

By Sue Hawkes, CEO of YESS! and WPO Chapter Chair

Female business leaders are seen as tough, confident women who can handle anything. This is true, but what happens when a true catastrophe happens in your life? I had this experience in 2008. The economy had crashed so my two businesses were failing, my house was in foreclosure, my marriage was falling apart and in quick succession my mother, brother and father passed away. My grief was affecting every aspect of my life, including my work. This is quite common; the “Grief Index: Hidden Annual Costs of Grief in America’s Workplace” study found that 85 percent of management-level decision-makers surveyed said that their decision-making ranked from “very poor” to “fair” in the weeks or months after a grief-inducing event.

Dealing with circumstances like these can feel especially difficult as women because we are often also the ones who run the household. In fact, a new study by Springer journal found that “Canadian women of all ages still tend to do more household chores than their male partners, no matter how much they work or earn in a job outside the home.” As I worked to get through these situations, I realized that I couldn’t perform at my best while my personal life was in turmoil. Leaders must be at their best mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually in order to bring their best to the workplace.

When I was in my darkest place I realized that I needed to make some serious changes in my life or they would start happening without my consent. The practices below helped me conquer my catastrophe and get back to a whole, healthier self.

Lower the bar.

We’ve all heard over and over again that we should exercise three times a week. But, does anyone really do this when they have a family and big career? I started to question this advice, and that is when the philosophy of lowering the bar first came to me. It may sound trite, but as someone whose identity is wrapped up in achieving and always raising the bar, this was a foreign concept. Life was giving me more than even I could handle, and I realized I needed to pare back to a goal I could actually hit, even if it meant doing less than the suggested amount.

Read more here.

Style Over Substance: How VCs’ Perceptions Of Female Founders Is Slowing The Economy

By: Geri Stengel, Forbes Contributor

If you think tech founders are motivated to start their companies by money, you are wrong. Only a small percent of male founders (15%) and a tiny percentage of female founders (2%) are motivated by money, according to Gender Differences in Entrepreneurship: Voices of Founders and Funders conducted by Illuminate Venture, a venture capital firm. For most, their primary motive is to bring their ideas to market: 70% of women and 60% of men have this goal.

The higher motivation among women is consistent with The 2017 Kauffman Index of Startup Activity: National Trends, which found that women are more opportunity-driven than men.  Kauffman is the largest nonprofit researching entrepreneurship

And yet, only 15% of US venture dollars in 2017 went to teams with a female founder, according to All Raise, a nonprofit that wants to increase the percentage of venture funding going to companies with a female founder. The 15% number differs from the often cited 2%, which refers to all-female founder teams. The reality is that homogeneous teams perform less well, so having a diverse team improves the performance of venture-backed companies, according to research conducted by Paul Gompers and Silpa Kovvali of Harvard Business School. This is consistent with research by First Round Capital, which found that companies with at least one female founder performed better than those with all-male founding teams.

Read more here.