Geri Stengel

 
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Vistas: Geri Stengel’s Blog: Analysis

Need Quiet? Optimize Your Office for Improved Focus

Introverts often get a bad rap, especially in entrepreneurship. Investors, employees and vendors who provide goods and services at a discount to startups are attracted to people who have the gift of gab. Even our work environment has been optimized for extroverts. Open space design, for example, has been heralded for optimizing collaboration and nurturing a strong culture while saving on rent.

While that sounds smart on the surface, it’s a shame when you consider that one-third to half the population are introverts, according to Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Introverts do their their best work in quiet. Introverts are just as likely to contribute to a company’s success, but they need an environment with fewer distractions. In quiet spaces, we can listen to our own thoughts and that can be very productive, even for extroverts.

Read all of Need Quiet? Optimize Your Office for Improved Focus on myturnstone.com.

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.

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.

 

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.

5 Powerful Ways to Use Your Purse to Help Women and Girls

Women have a powerful tool for improving the lives of girls and women — money. Finance can be used to advance change around issues as diverse as women on corporate boards, sex trafficking, bias in the media, the wage gap, equitable health access and the gap in funding women-led companies, according to The State of the Field of Gender Lens Investing: A Road Map for the Field, a report by Criterion Institute. Criterion is a think tank focused on reinventing the economy.

“Gender is the most powerful determinant of how we see the world and everything in it,” writes fellow Forbes contributor Bridget Brennan, an expert on marketing to women. “It’s more significant than age, income, ethnicity, or geography.”  Here are five ways women can use their purses to not only bring women’s and girls’ issues front and center, but also change the way things are done.

Film Eliminates Gender Stereotypes From Entrepreneurship

Even with the dramatic rise in the number of women entrepreneurs, men still are more likely to start companies and more likely to grow them big.

“Being an entrepreneur is associated with being a man,” said Nora Poggi, director and producer of She Started It. One way to change this is by showing that women are taking the leap and succeeding.

7 Tips For Making Necessity The Mother Of Success

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the dramatic rise in women of color starting businesses. On the surface, that might sound like good news but only if these women are choosing to start a business as an opportunity. If starting the business was a necessity because they couldn’t find a job, the news is not so good. Necessity entrepreneurs are less likely than opportunity entrepreneurs to be successful.

As I read Whitney Johnson’s book, Disrupt Yourself: Putting the Power of Disruptive Innovation to Work, I realized how appropriate her advice is not just for women, but for any necessity entrepreneur. The book will be released on October 6, 2015.

One piece of advice not in the book may be the hardest to hear for someone trying to put food on the table but it is critical. Johnson mentioned it when I spoke with her. That is, the process takes time. It takes about six months to morph an idea for a business into a viable business.

 

Read all of 7 Tips For Making Necessity The Mother Of Success on Forbes.com. 



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