Geri Stengel

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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.


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4 Overlooked Ways To Minimize The Risk Of Starting A Company

Striking out on your own is risky business. Within the first five years, 50% of businesses fail. But you can increase your chance of success with planning and preparation.

I asked Candace Klein what entrepreneurs overlook that could increase their chances of success. Who would know better? Klein has been part of three start-up companies and, through her Bad Girl Ventures nonprofit, has guided many women as they start companies. Bad Girl Ventures  provides training, connections and access to capital to female entrepreneurs in Cincinnati and Cleveland. Klein started SoMeLend, which closed its doors, and she is now the chief strategy officer of Dealstruck. Both companies are online alternative lenders to small businesses. 

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Power Up Your Business By Focusing on ‘Why’

Focusing on “Why” your company does what it does powers up your passion and your business. Inspirational leaders understand this. Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King and the Wright brothers all started with why, according to Simon Sinek, an ethnographer and author of Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. Sinek’s TED speech offers specifics around how these leaders did began and how they applied their passionate “why” each step along the way.

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Profit Is Nice. Margins Are Even Better

Most people who own a company would say that a big reason they’re in business is to make money. There’s more to being successful, however, than the absolute dollar amount you bring in.

Revenue and profit are important, but alone they do not provide the full picture of a company’s overall health. Revenue shows how much you’ve earned and profits show how much money your company has made in absolute terms. Margin ratios, however, offer a look at your profitability by telling you how much you're making relative to your revenue. It's not an absolute metric, and that's a good thing.

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How Equity Crowdfunding Stands to Help Women in Business

By Clark Buckner

Female entrepreneurs face certain obstacles that their male counterparts may never have to consider. For instance, according to Ventureneer Founder and President Geri Stengel, women in business typically “start with about half of the capital” that male entrepreneurs do. In her upcoming report on equity crowdfunding for women in business, Stengel hopes to reverse that trend.

How To Ensure An Angel Or VC Is The Right Match For You

Like marriage, the relationship between an entrepreneur and her investor can go wrong. The relationship is more than just money and it’s important to know if you’re compatible. “You may not be getting married forever, but you are shacking up for a long time,” said Lori Hoberman, Chair of the Emerging Companies / Venture Capital practice, Chadbourne & Parke.

How To Learn To Speak 'Entrepreneur' Like A Native

Julia Pimsleur grew up speaking both English and French. No surprise, her parents developed the highly regarded Pimsleur Method of teaching foreign languages for adults. She knew the benefits of being bilingual — better memory, analytic abilities, and problem-solving skills. She also recognized the value of being multilingual in an increasingly integrated global economy.

Money's There If Small Businesses Know Where To Look

The number of women starting businesses is soaring — it’s 50% higher than the overall rate of startup businesses. But the percentage of women-owned businesses that break through the $1 million glass ceiling is less than one third the rate for  businesses led by men.

Does Entrepreneurship Need To Be In Your Genes?

As a consultant who helps small businesses grow and as a teacher of entrepreneurship (Kauffman FastTrac facilitator and former adjunct professor at The New School), I get asked all the time if entrepreneurs are born, made or accidental. Ruta Aidis, project director of The Gender Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (Gender-GEDI) and I are discussing whether U.S. high-growth women entrepreneurs are born, made or come apart through happenstance as part of the research she is doing. I’m helping her flesh out her quantitative research in 30 countries with case studies about how U.S. women lead their companies to greatness.

7 Lessons Finding Love Can Teach You About Business

It’s nearly Valentine’s Day so it only seems natural that I do a story about the business of love.

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