The Foundation of the Women Presidents’ Organization: Join The Movement and Give Back

Giving Tuesday Graphic

By: Roz Alford, Foundation of the WPO Board Chair

This year,  The Foundation of the Women Presidents’ Organization (FWPO) introduced a unique educational program called “Leading High Growth Businesses.” We  partnered with Lynda Applegate, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and other Harvard professors, for a four-day program generously sponsored by Prudential. 

It focused primarily on WPO members with annual business revenues of $3 – $10 million, who did not yet qualify for WPO Platinum membership or the Harvard Owner President Management program, to grow their businesses. Topics, included: innovation, leading through growth, and aligning strategy and sales. All 58 participants who were unanimously enthusiastic in assessing the positive impact of this amazing program.

This holiday season, FWPO is participating in  #GIVINGTUESDAY, a global day of giving, fueled by the power of social media. It kicks off  tomorrow, Tuesday, November 28th. We hope it will build awareness about FWPO and its programming, and encourage year-end contributions by sharing some of the passionate testimonials we received from participants at the “Leading High Growth Businesses” program.

You can become an active “social media” participant by:

  • Following the Foundation on Twitter @FDNWPO
  • Following the Foundation on Facebook @TheFWPO
  • Using #GIVINGTUESDAY and #FWPO in your Facebook posts about giving

The Foundation was formed to support, benefit and assist the WPO’s mission to accelerate business growth, enhance competitiveness, and promote economic security for women entrepreneurs and women-led businesses. In an effort to stay true to this mission, we encourage you to make a tax deductible contribution.

Click here to make your tax deductible donation.

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The Role of Entrepreneurship in the She-conomy

Special Guest Blog

By Intuit

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Of all the trends shaping the future of the global economy, the role of women has proven to be a key driver for growth. An excerpt from the Intuit 2020 Report, co-authored by Emergent Research, envisions a She-conomy where women will attain greater leadership roles in the workplace, politics, health and education.

By 2020, women around the world will enter the workforce at an unprecedented rate. Close to 1 billion women, many of whom have either never worked or worked at a subsistence level, will be contributors in the world economy. Because of urban migration, increased access to education, mobile technologies, micro-credit and low market entry costs, women will create work and start businesses more readily than ever.

Between 1997 and 2009, the number of majority women-owned firms in the U.S. grew at nearly twice the rate of all privately held U.S. firms. Throughout this decade, the trend will continue as more women choose entrepreneurship.

By 2020 :

  • Globally, about 870 million women who have not previously participated in the mainstream economy will gain employment or start their own business.  Most of these women – 822 million – will come from non-industrialized countries, while roughly 47 million will come from North America, Western Europe and Japan.
  • In countries with limited support services, such as viable childcare, many women will start their own businesses to provide flexibility for their families and avoid traditional constraints that once kept them out of the workplace. Others may choose a hybrid solution where one spouse works for the benefits and job security while the other starts a business.
  • Women will overcome the legal or traditional barriers that prevented them from participating in some regions by using virtual, mobile and Internet technologies to run businesses without having to be physically present.

And when it comes to second stage entrepreneurs – women whose businesses have reached the million dollar revenue mark and who qualify for membership in the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) – the news is equally impressive. According to the Growing Under the Radar study, commissioned by American Express OPEN, the number of million-dollar women-owned firms has grown 31 percent over the past decade.

This trend will likely accelerate as a greater proportion of women entrepreneurs continue to accelerate their business growth.

Intuit is an annual WPO Corporate sponsor.

Seven Reasons To Set Goals

Special Guest Blog

By Lorin Beller, Owner, Lorin Beller & Co

We all have things we want to accomplish in both our professional and personal lives. Yet getting from point A to point B isn’t always as easy as it seems.  Here are seven reasons why you should set your goals today – not tomorrow, next week, or next year – to get you one step closer to living the life you want to live:

1.  It builds confidence:  If you set a goal – and reach it – there’s no question it will boost your self-confidence.  You won’t always meet every goal you set, of course, but if you set reasonable, measureable goals, you’re likely to see big accomplishments.  And for the goals you may not be able to meet? Use them as a learning tool for next time. Learning from your mistakes – and then overcoming them the next time around – is just one more way to boost your confidence!

2.  It provides a sense of accomplishment:  You know that feeling when you put a goal on the table and meet it? It feels good. Very good. It doesn’t matter if it is big or small, personal or professional, just doing something makes you feel productive.  This is especially important in today’s world, where we are busier and busier, but can’t seem to get anything done!

3.  It perpetuates more activity:  When you set a goal and accomplish it, it generates more energy to get even more done.  For example, let’s say you set a goal to call three potential clients/customers, and the first call goes really well. This will make the rest of the calls feel like a breeze!  But remember to ride that positive energy wave!  So many times, we stop and talk ourselves into a ‘break’ and then lose the momentum.

4.  It moves us:  Too many of us spend all day, every day on email and social media – making us feel like hamsters on their wheels at the end of the day.  No one wants to feel like that. Setting and achieving goals keeps you off the wheel.  It will leave you feeling so much more in charge!

5.  It makes us happy:  When we are feeling in charge of our life, we are happier.  It is that simple!

6.  It creates success, one step at a time:  We all have a vision, and by writing down goals and actively working towards them, you will be well on your way to making that vision a reality!  There is nothing more powerful and rewarding than creating the life that you know you can have.

7.  It creates a BUZZ!  Everyone wants to work with the ‘hot, buzzing’ company in town. By setting and accomplishing goals, you will create a natural buzz around you and your company.  Success creates more success – like magic!

If you are reading this article and would like our special ‘Big Fish One Page Goal Sheet’ to help you set your goals,  please email me at Lorin@bigfishnation.com

Happy Goal Setting!

Lorin Beller

www.lorinbeller.com

Gender Stereotypes and Entrepreneurship

Last month at our annual conference in Atlanta, Geena Davis shed light on the drastic under representation of women in the media and other spheres of influence within society. Her research found that while females made up 50 percent of the population, and the current workforce, only 19.5 percent of characters in G-rated movies from 2006-2009 were female. Of this small group of female characters, many fell into unfair stereotypes or were overly sexualized. She also noted that women pervasively make up 17 percent of the represented population in a number of areas including congress, film narration, and crowd scenes. If media, the voice of society, under represents women while promoting false stereotypes, what does that mean for you?

An international study examining the role that gender stereotypes play in the perceptions of male and female entrepreneurs, offers some insights. Researchers “found that entrepreneurship is typically seen as a masculine field; both men and women see entrepreneurship as a male-typed occupation.” This perception deters women from entrepreneurship “because resource providers (e.g., lenders, suppliers, customers) and men in their lives (their partner, husband, father, and/or sons) do not associate entrepreneurship with feminine characteristics and, consequently may not support them in starting their own business.” Despite these hurdles, there were 8.1 million women-owned firms (13.1 million with the inclusion of equally-owned firms), a 50 percent increase since 1997, according to American Express OPEN.

The success of WPO members should not just be measured in revenues. These outstanding women have succeeded despite constricting financial and social limitations. Their success serves as a testament of just how wrong stereotypes can be and why organizations such as Geena’s are so important for future generations of women and girls.

Global Entrepreneurs

A recent study of 59 economies by the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) found that there were roughly 187 million women starting and running businesses across the globe in 2010. Over 1,550 of these women are members of the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) and contribute $17 billion towards the global economy. While the majority of firms examined in the GEM study were small to medium sized, WPO members on average generate $13 million in revenue and provide 94 jobs. Hailing from North America, South America, Europe, and Africa, WPO members have a combined 28,000 years in business and employ 113,500 individuals worldwide.

Click here to learn more about WPO membership.

The Entrepreneurship Gender Gap by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Click on the image to view important statistics from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation regarding the gender gap in entrepreneurship.

Interestingly, some numbers on this chart can be a bit deceiving due to the fact that it does not include women-owned businesses that are 50% owned by women, or that have investors.  Women-owned businesses in the US are growing at twice the rate of all other firms, with more women taking the leap into entrepreneurship and learning the benefits of owning a business.  The Women Presidents’ Organization boasts 1,500 members on 4 continents, averaging $14 million in annual revenues, with an aggregate of $16 billion.  WPO members are creating jobs, and strengthening our economy, together employing 110,000 people!

To read more from Fast Company and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, click here.