Geri Stengel

 
Search Vistas Blog by Category

 

Geri Stengel's blog

Why The Force Will Be With Women Entrepreneurs In 2016

What’s good for women is good for the economy.

Economists and academics agree women entrepreneurs are an under-tapped force that can rekindle economic expansion. Women are becoming more entrepreneurial. Women own 36% of all businesses, according to the 2012 U.S. Census ‒ a jump of 30% over 2007.

My 10 reasons the force will be with women entrepreneurs are a mix of marketplace trends, expanding financing options, and the growing recognition that support is needed and is effective. The biggest challenge women face when starting and growing their businesses is access to capital, especially equity financing, as I was reminded by Sharon Vosmek, an economist and CEO of Astia ‒ a nonprofit that identifies and propels high-potential women-led companies with expertise and money. Female entrepreneurs start companies with 50% less capital than male entrepreneurs, according to Access to Capital by High-Growth Women-Owned Businesses, research commissioned by the National Women’s Business Council (NWBC). So no surprise, money is a large focus of the article. I’ve also included resources in case you want to go deeper into a topic.  

Read all of Why The Force Will Be With Women Entrepreneurs In 2016 on Forbes.com

Photo credit: © Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.

Stress: Friend Not Foe

Several months ago, I stumbled across a Ted talk called How to Make Stress Your Friend by Kelly McGonigal. It’s been viewed 9.7 million times so I’m not the only who is impressed by the content.

McGonigal is a Stanford psychologist and author of The Upside of Stress: Why Stress Is Good for You, and How to Get Good at It. She specializes in providing practical strategies for health, happiness and personal success.

For most of her career, she advocated eliminating stress to be healthier and happier. She believed that stress increased your risk of getting everything from the common cold to cardiovascular disease. However, several research studies changed her view of stress. These studies suggested that if you embrace stress, it can make you stronger, smarter and happier.

With the added stress that the holidays can sometimes bring and our desire to make resolutions for the New Year, I thought this was a particularly good time to share the reasons for resolving to befriend stress in 2016.

Read all of Stress: Friend Not Foe on Forbes.com.

Diverse Angels Breed Innovative Companies

Innovation doesn’t just happen. It is the result of making unexpected connections based on things we already know. This is as true for investors as it is for entrepreneurs. Investors are more likely to invest in things they understand first hand.

Natalia Oberti Noguera understood that the way to increase the number of successful innovative companies was to increase the number of women angels funding them. These investors recognize investment opportunities that white guys don’t. That’s one of reasons she started Pipeline Angels in 2011. Back then, only 12% of angel investors were women and 13% of all angel-backed companies women-led, according to the Center for Venture Research, which tracks angel investments. The percentage of women angels has more than doubled to 26% and so has the percentage of angel-backed companies that are women-led — 28%.

To read all of Diverse Angels Breed Innovative Companies go to Forbes.com.

4 ways to control rising real estate costs

Good news! The United States is adding jobs. The bad news is that the competition for office space is driving the cost of real estate up. This is especially true in places like the Bay area, New York City, DC, Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago. 

“People, followed by real estate, are a company’s most expensive assets,” said George Grace, managing partner of Mohr Partners, a commercial real estate firm. “Your location plays an important role in attracting people.” By being strategic, you can determine ways to control real estate costs. Here are four suggestions.

Read all of 4 ways to control rising real estate costs on Myturnstone.com. 

 

Accelerator, incubator or coworking space: which is right for my company?

Startups know that connecting, networking and collaborating are key to success. Accelerators, incubators and coworking spaces all facilitate interaction in different ways. So how do you know what is right for you? The answer is, of course, it depends.

To start your evaluation process, you need to know how each works and what value they offer.

Read all of Accelerator, incubator or coworking space: which is right for my company? on myturnstone.com.

Cross Cultural Opportunity Leads To Business Growth

To create a long-lasting bridge between Jordan and America, 20 women from both countries attended a week-long cultural and entrepreneurial training. They learned from each other and built relationships.

The program is a partnership among Open Hands Initiative, which creates programs that build mutual understanding, open communication, trust and goodwill between people in the United States and emerging countries; the Women First Enterprise, which helps women become successful entrepreneurs and investors; and Oasis500, a leading early stage and seed investment and business accelerator based in Amman. The culmination of the week-long program was a Demo Day and Pitch Competition. Companies competed for $100,000 in prize money.

To read all of Cross Cultural Opportunity Leads To Business Growth go to Forbes.com.

 

How Mindfulness Will Improve Your Business and Your Holiday

Whether your company is still recovering from the recession or experiencing growing pains, Thanksgiving is a perfect time to pause and take control. Not of your business, take control of your mind by using mindfulness techniques. It will help you become a more self-aware leader who understands yourself, your motivations, your values and the purpose of your leadership. Over time, you will find that you have become more effective and satisfied in your work.

To read all of How Mindfulness Will Improve Your Business and Your Holiday go to Forbes.com.

Equity Crowdfunding on Its Second Birthday: A Look Back and Ahead

Title II of the JOBS Act recently passed its second birthday, which makes it an opportune time to take a look at the sector to date, as well as attempt to chart where it is going.

The Floodgates Didn’t Exactly Burst Open

Over the course of the past two years, nearly 5,600 companies have sought capital publicly, and nearly 1,400 succeeded in raising money, according to Crowdnetic, which aggregates data from 18 equity crowdfunding platforms.

This success rate of about one in four companies is similar to the success rate in the offline world. These companies raised more than $600 million combined, averaging about $447,000 per company. While these numbers sound impressive, only a tiny percentage—2%—of money raised from accredited investors has been raised via equity platforms using 506(c) in 2014.

What’s Holding Equity Crowdfunding Back?

Several reasons have contributed to equity crowdfunding’s slow start, but many are fading out of rear-view as the movement gains momentum.

Read all of Equity Crowdfunding on Its Second Birthday: A Look Back and Ahead on QuickBooks.com.

Women And Nature: A Powerful Combination For The Planet And Business Growth

Want to unlock innovation? Diversity is the critical factor in market growth, according to Diversity and Market Growth, research undertaken by The Center for Talent Innovation.

More women in any field will lead to more innovation and better products and services — and will get the economic engine steaming along.  “If we hope to accelerate growth in the global economy, we cannot afford to leave out half the population,” said Cindy Padnos, founder and managing partner of Illuminate Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm.

Padnos gave me the quote for my book Forget the Glass Ceiling: Build Your Business Without One, but it resonated loudly as I started to write an article about two women, Amelia Baxter of WholeTrees Architecture and Structures and Sarah Bellos of Stony Creek Colors. Both are shaking up the sleepy agriculture industry with products that use sustainably grown plants and trees to replace highly polluting materials.

 

Amelia Baxter and her cofounder, Roald Gundersen, developed a process for turning waste trees (small trees routinely discarded during forest thinnings) into a replacement for steel, concrete and milled lumber used for beams, columns and trusses in building construction. “Round timber that hasn’t been milled is as strong as steel,” said Baxter. “It also mitigates the huge amount of waste created in the manufacturing of steel and milled lumber.”  WholeTrees also developed a methodology for grading the round timber to classify its strength. Round timber is plentiful and a renewable resource.

Read all of Women And Nature: A Powerful Combination For The Planet And Business Growth on Forbes.com. 

How An Army Veteran And Saffron Are Building Peace

When you think of Afghanistan, you probably think war torn and desolate. Not high quality produce.

When Kimberly Jung was stationed there as an Army captain, she tasted some of the best fruits, vegetables and spices she had ever eaten. Equally as impressive to her were the people whom she found to be optimistic despite their circumstances as well as loyal and hospitable.

When Jung came back to the U.S., she went to Harvard Business School expecting to be a management consultant At McKinsey in San Francisco. The job didn’t materialize. Instead, while on the phone with Keith Alaniz who was still deployed in Afghanistan, a spark for an entrepreneurial venture took shape. Alaniz told her about Haji Yosef, an industrious farmer who had plenty of saffron but no buyers.

Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. It sells for six to seven times the amount of opium poppy. Both Jung and Alaniz knew that selling a high-value crop like saffron would undercut drug trade, which fuels the Taliban.

Read all of How An Army Veteran And Saffron Are Building Peace on Forbes.com.

 



Syndicate content