Geri Stengel

 
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Equity Crowdfunding: Growing But Not Yet Of Age

Need less than $5 million to make your business dream a reality? Good luck with that! Banks regard startups as risky — unless you put your home up for collateral. A loan for growing your company? Not unless the bank thinks you can pay the monthly interest payments. And for most venture capitalists, a company raising less than $5 million isn’t worth their time.

Equity crowdfunding can fill the gap for those of us who don’t have any 5-percenters in our immediate circle.

Equity crowdfunding pools money from a group of investors via the internet, using social media. Currently, only friends, family, and accredited investors (a.k.a. wealthy people) in the United States can invest in a company for share is the company. They can do this through websites such as AngelList, CircleUp, Crowdfunder, and Portfolia. Equity crowdfunding has the potential to level the playing field for anyone raising and investing money, but its impact may be the greatest on under-represented groups, such as women and minorities.

 

Read all of Equity Crowdfunding: Growing But Not Yet Of Age on Forbes.com.

How Entrepreneurs Turn The Tide On Waterfront Erosion

Some people head for high ground when a storm is coming. Not Shimrit Perkol-Finkel and Ido Sella. Both marine biologists, they head for the sea. With climate change, extreme weather events like Superstorm Sandy are likely to happen with greater frequency and force. Finkel and Sella have a practical solution for coastline protection.

Their solution is to change the composition, texture, and design of concrete so that it fosters growth of native flora and fauna while increasing the operational life span and stability of the concrete structure. ECOncrete reformulated a product used to build marine infrastructures so that nature itself makes the structures stronger while reducing wave action along the coast. Marine plants and animals — oysters, barnacles and coral — deposit calcitic skeletons that add weight, stability, and longevity to the infrastructure.

 

Read all of How Entrepreneurs Turn The Tide On Waterfront Erosion on Forbes.com.

The Strategies Women Use to Rev Up Business Growth

In a year when sales for privately held companies grew at the slowest rate since 2009 -- 5.4% -- the fastest growing women-led companies grew astronomically faster.

Yes, that’s right. The 2014 Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO) 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/led companies racked up $4.9 billion in combined 2013 revenues and collectively employed 22,000 people. Compared with last year’s list, the combined revenue of the winning companies grew by a dramatic 53%.

6 Common Misconceptions About Equity Crowdfunding

Only a tiny percentage of wealthy people—less than 3%—who qualify to become angel investors actually do so. When people decide to claim their accreditation wings, angels are the most likely investors to focus on early-stage companies.

In 2014, angels invested $24.1 billion in 73,400 U.S.-based ventures, according to the Center for Venture Research. There is now a new way to reach angels that centralizes, streamlines and brings transparency to the financing process for both entrepreneurs and investors: equity crowdfunding. This is done using platforms like AngelList, CircleUp, Crowdfunder and Portfolia. Yet, only $787.5 million was raised via equity-based crowdfunding in 2014, according to Massolution’s 2015CF Crowdfunding Industry Report. What gives?

Read all of  6 Common Misconceptions About Equity Crowdfunding on QuickBooks.com.

Champion For Women Entrepreneurs Realigns For The Times

Help for women entrepreneurs who want access to capital and markets.

 

Forget the Glass Ceiling: Build Your Business Without One

Pundits and politicians praise the economic power of small businesses but what they don’t say is that six million jobs would be created in the United States over the next five years if women entrepreneurs had the same opportunities as men. That’s a lot of miles down the road to economic recovery. So what’s holding women and the economy back?

Expand Your Growth By Expanding Your Network

Don’t just meet people and make friends. Network wisely to make your business do well.

Read all of Expand Your Growth By Expanding Your Network on Forbes.com. 

 

3 Ways To Close The Self Confidence Gap

Women’s confidence gap is making headlines. We face a society that says we can’t do it as well as our own inner voice.

Entrepreneurship And Angel Investing Are Breaking Barriers For Women

Opportunities are growing for women to sidestep the glass ceiling and steer clear of the glass cliff, that corporate “opportunity” for leadership given to women and minorities when there is high risk of failure due to a crisis created by former leaders or because needed resources aren’t given.

Learning The Business Ropes Turns Filmmaker Into Entrepreneur

Some entrepreneurs are born that way. It’s in their genes. Others work hard to become one. While a film student at Pratt Institute, Aubrey Smyth worked the circuit: working at film festivals, heading the student film club, organizing student film festivals, and seeking teachers to mentor her. Talent and hard work paid off with awards and a paid gig: The Human Resources Department at Pratt hired her to make a film. It was so good that Pratt asked her to do more.



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