Posts Tagged 'women entrepreneurship'

Meet wegg®’s Design and Technology Lead, Laura Fairman

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I am in pursuit of global reach and purpose. I’m continually asking myself… Is my work helping our world become a better place?” 

-Laura Fairman, Design and Technology Lead for wegg®

Meet wegg®’s Design and Technology Lead, Laura Fairman! She has had the pleasure of being involved with our organization since wegg®’s inception in 2008. Our Communications Intern, Lucy Brooks, sat down with Laura to interview her. Check out our feature on Laura, to learn more about her, and what goes on behind the scenes at wegg® .

Lucy Brooks: How would you describe your position at wegg®? What do you oversee and do for the organization?

Laura Fairman: I have a unique relationship with wegg® because I work for wegg® as a contractor for design, art direction, project management and technology support. I am also a founding board member, serving on the board since 2015. My goal as a board member is to be the voice of design, guiding the organization toward supporting key design initiatives, like rebranding and launching a new website. At the same time, I’m always looking to strengthen the organization’s visual cohesiveness and continuity across their many print and digital offerings.

LB: What has your professional background been like? How did you come to work for wegg®?

LF: I’m a creative through and through. I graduated from Vanderbilt University as a Fine Arts major with a double minor in music and European studies. I began my career in the arts as a portrait painter, but swiftly moved into graphic and web design to supplement my passion with consistent work. In 2001, I began my own small business, Blue Canvas (bluecanvas.net). 17 years later, I’m still creating print and digital work for small- and mid-size businesses across many industries: medical practices, nutraceuticals, health and wellness, financial advisors, law firms, technology, trade shows and events, engineering, publishing, restaurants, and nonprofits.

Through a shared client, my path crossed with wegg®’s founder, Laurel Delaney. My earliest project with Laurel Delaney dates back to August of 2007, with the redesign of the Globe Trade website. This early site was developed entirely in html, and content management systems had not yet become the norm. A lot has changed in the digital space in the last decade! Clients are managing their website content entirely on their own, and they are constantly pushing new information to their audiences. To achieve this, they are relying heavily on social media outlets, creating video blogs, online community groups, and organizing live webinar presentations with 100s of attendees online. Websites used to be simply an extension of a business card. They have become the digital handshake for a company, where making a great first impression is paramount. It’s fun to see the evolution of the digital space, and Laurel is consistently folding the current trends into her businesses, particularly with wegg®.

LB: What part of wegg®’s mission, “To educate women business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide on how to go global, so they can run healthier businesses, and create a new future for themselves, their families and their communities,” resonates with you, and how does your work connect with, or support this mission?

LF: I am in pursuit of global reach and purpose. I’m continually asking myself… Is my work helping our world become a better place?

I have found joy working with non-profit organizations because they are doing good things, and because the leaders are so passionate about what they are trying to achieve. In wegg®’s case, the mission is to educate, and they are meeting this goal with the production of free monthly wegginars® on a variety of topics designed to help women business owners and execs improve their businesses, their communities, and their lives.

I have created the outreach graphics and participated as an organizer on over 30 wegginars®. Truth be told, I have been actively involved in every single wegginar®. I’m proud to be able to say that. Each of these wegginars® are available to watch on the wegg® website, so the work is continually giving back (and hopefully inspiring!)…and that feels great.

LB: What moves, projects, or strides do you hope wegg® takes in the coming year?

LF: wegg® is still in its founding years, and we have big plans ahead. In recent months we have been focusing on sharing expertise, and we are continually meeting this intended goal. What I’d like to see in the months to come is a focus on the women of wegg®. Let’s share the stories of those women that have been measurably impacted by the resources wegg® has provided them. I’d like to see wegg® do focus features and videos of these success stories.

The second part is to see this piece realized globally. Is there a woman-owned factory in India producing woven textiles and is now exporting these products globally because they’ve learned how to do so from wegg®? Has a woman from Bangladesh achieved success for her family and community because of a business connection she made through wegg®? We want to meet these women! And, I’d like to share these global stories of impact visually.

LB: What has been your most meaningful project to take on, event you have been apart of, or moment you have had during your time here?

LF: My personal goal was to help wegg® rebrand and build a global digital platform to aid them in achieving their education mission. Under my art direction, we launched the new logo at the beginning of 2018, and we are very close to realizing our goal of launching a new education-driven website. These two projects have been the most meaningful to me, because rather than stepping in and creating a brand, I helped guide and direct the process of wegg®’s new identity. I was able to connect wegg® with an incredibly talented designer from Seattle, Gabriel Lopez. Bringing the visual goals for wegg® to fruition has been a laborious process, but when you have great people on your team, like Gabriel and Laurel, who are willing to collaborate and put the time in, it makes the work worthwhile.

wegg® thanks Laura for sharing her story with us. She is an integral part of our team, and has helped our organization thrive. To learn more about what wegg® can do for you and your business, visit our website.
Registration is open and free for our 12/5 talk with Andrew Molinsky, Ph.D. He will talk about how, “if you are not outside your comfort zone, you won’t learn anything.” Register here.

Girlboss to Launch New Social Network for Young Women Entrepreneurs

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A recent Wall Street Journal article reports that, “Girlboss, a media company targeting women entrepreneurs, plans to introduce a paid, professional social-networking site called Girlboss Collective in January.” This new platform will be structured for the ever evolving career paths of millennial women, with profiles highlighting users’ character as opposed to work experience.

GirlBoss Collective will, “fit the professional networking needs of young women, many of whom have multiple part-time jobs or career gaps that look out of place on a traditional résumé. Girlboss Collective is being designed with women in mind, although it will be open to people of any gender, the company said.”

Membership for the site will reportedly be less than $15 a month, and users will have access to video footage of notable female speakers in high offices of various industries.

The WSJ article goes on to detail,

“Ms. Amoruso envisions a community of subscribers helping one another on professional matters both trivial and large, from negotiating raises to finding an intellectual property attorney in their area….Girlboss has prototyped the concept of its private social network with a Facebook group called “Girlboss Gang” that has more than 5,700 members, Ms. Amoruso added. She said more than 15,000 users are already on a wait list to join Girlboss Collective, which will be an invite-only, U.S.-based network in its testing phase.”

Everyone here at wegg® is excited by the mission of Girlboss Collective, and we hope to partner with Amoruso and her company in the future. wegg® knows that the key to female entrepreneurial success is connecting with each other, to build an unstoppable global network.

wegg® keeps energizing women entrepreneurs the world over. We can help you build confidence, find great resources and show you the steps you can take to go global. Join us for our FREE wegginar® on 11/7 with Cristina Bandal. You can find all of the details, and register for the event, here.

Make Your Global Online Shoppers Feel at Home Wherever They Are

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Registration is still open for our FREE November 7th, 2018 wegginar®, with presenter Cristina Bandal, Industry Segment Manager of Retail and Consumer Goods for UPS.

Cristina has an extensive career with UPS, working within the marketing functions. She has worked with merchants in the retail and high tech industries. Cristina makes customer experiences valuable, by improving the shopper’s experiences. Her most recent assignment helps enable merchants to sell outside the US through UPS technology.

If 95% of the worlds population lives outside the US, why are some merchants still only selling to the domestic market? Complex rules, costly risks and high transportation costs make it difficult for small businesses to merge into new markets. UPS i-parcel not only offers a solution to these merchants, but provides a frictionless experience to international consumers.

wegginar® participants can expect to learn how to…

  1. Offer international consumers the same shopping experience on your website that you offer to shoppers in the US.

  2. Avoid complicated and costly international shipping that will ultimately improve your conversion rate.
  3. Enable new international markets with just a click and reach a world of consumers.
  4. Make your online shoppers feel at home anywhere

wegg® aims to make resources for going global accessible to all women entrepreneurs, and our wegginars® are free thanks to our sponsors. To register for the event, visit this link: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/8810009934736118275 

The Rise of Women ‘Millennipreneurs’

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The Female Entrepreneurs Institute has reported that there is a new generation of wildly successful business owners, who are all under thirty-five years of age. The ‘millennipreneur’ model of business has proven to be advantageous worldwide. The Institute explains,

“[This new] approach to business differs from that of their elders in terms of their ambitions, results and leadership style. Among the successful business owning millennials studied in this research, some 78% come from families with a history of running their own businesses. As a group, each has already established on average 7.7 companies, compared with an average of 3.5 among the 50-and-over Baby Boomers.”

A contemporary and forward-thinking entrepreneurship can be seen in this new generation’s most lucrative areas of business. The top three sectors of wealth for millennipreneurs were listed as: retail (12.5%), professional services (8.5%), and technology (7.3%).

This new generation of business owners has paved a way for women business owners, specifically. The proof is in the numbers…

“89% of women entrepreneurs surveyed expecting growing or stable profits in the next 12 months. Female millennipreneurs are aiming even higher with close to 75% expecting business profits to increase in the next 12 months…”

wegg® knows that the future of entrepreneurship is women entrepreneurship. We can help you start your business, or show you the steps you can take to go global. Join us for our FREE wegginar® on 10/3 with Katie Kollhoff, founder and CEO, NUMiX. You can find all of the details, and register for the event, here.

Women Entrepreneurship in the EU: The Numbers

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On a global scale, women are less likely than men to start their own businesses. This is evident from the above graph, taken from the “Policy Brief on Women’s Entrepreneurship.” The data shows that in every EU country, from 2010-14, there were significantly less female owners of new businesses, than male.

Why is this the reality?

The OECD SME and Entrepreneurship analysis proposes that a:

“…key factor in explaining the gender gap is the social and institutional context [of the countries]. Paradoxically, national-level gender equality is negatively associated with women’s self-employment choice compared to men’s (Klyver et. al., 2013), suggesting that gender equality policies in the labour market may cause women to prefer employment over self-employment (Nielsen et. al., 2010). Similarly, more supportive work-family institutions are associated with larger gender gaps in terms of business size, growth aspirations, innovativeness and use of technology. This appears to indicate that it is important to look beyond simple proportions of women and men entrepreneurs to the motivations and quality of the business, with the hypothesis that greater gender equality may improve good quality businesses and business creation based on positive choices by women, while reducing poorer quality business creation based on lack of choice.”

One of the economic reasons that women might choose employment over the entrepreneurial self-employed path, is that self-employed women make less money than self employed men, on average. This finding is displayed in the graphic below:

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Other factors, such as lack of resources and training for women in business, are consistently cited as justification for the lack of women entrepreneurs in the global . market. This apparent neglect of a business education for women is highlighted in the graph below:

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As displayed by the image, at least thirteen out of the twenty-two countries in the EU showed a significant gender gap in perceived accessibility to business training. This is where wegg™ can help. Our mission is to educate, inspire and nurture women business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide on how to go global so they can run healthier businesses and create a new future for themselves, their families and their community.

We provide monthly resources for women entrepreneurs to become educated on current business strategies in order to go global. If you are interested in entering business, or growing the business you already have, wegg™ can help you. Please check out our website, to discover possibilities you did not even know existed.

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JOIN us for our morning wegg™ workshop on September 12th and hosted by Bank of America (135 S. LaSalle Street, 44th Floor).  Julie Smolyansky, President and CEO, Lifeway Foods, will present “Follow Your Gut,” covering:

  • How global factors influence company values and mission
  • Why we should empower women entrepreneurs around the world
  • How to channel inspiration from travel experiences into marketing initiatives

Tickets $40 ($20 for students); includes Continental Breakfast.  To learn more and to register, visit:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/weggtm-workshop-follow-your-gut-presented-by-julie-smolyansky-tickets-48655708534
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How Mastercard is Investing in Women Entrepreneurs in Developing Nations

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In Michelle Martin’s recent Forbes article, “How Mastercard Could Close A $300 Billion Credit Gap For Women Entrepreneurs,” she reports,

“As of 2017, 70% of women-owned MSMEs [micro, small and medium-sized enterprises] in the developing world lack access to adequate financing, representing a $300 billion credit gap each year.”

This major finance inequality stems from MSMEs not having access to a digital record of transactions or the resources required by banks to obtain credit. Because of these issues, women entrepreneurs, in places such as Nairobi Kenya, are not able to gain the capital needed to purchase inventory in order to expand their enterprises. Expanding a business is critical to the success of a business, and makes it possible for the entrepreneur to potentially achieve success on a global level.

Thanks to Mastercard, this $300 billion credit breach is about to change. The corporation is launching technology, through the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, to aide women owned MSMEs in these countries. Martin explains,

“In partnership with Unilever, Mastercard recently launched the Jaza Duka program in Kenya, where they created a first-of-its-kind digital lending platform. The unique platform tracks how much Unilever product a store owner has purchased over time and combines that data with an analysis by Mastercard. The results are used to provide a micro-credit eligibility recommendation to Kenya Commercial Bank, who can then provide an interest-free credit line.”

The venture is already being met with success. In one instance, a Kenyan entrepreneur named Lucy Njoki, has been able to increase her sales at her shop by twenty-percent, thanks to the Jaza Duka program.

To read Martin’s full piece, and an interview she conducted with one of the executives of this Mastercard program, Shamina Singh, click here.

This support of global women entrepreneurs is the kind of change that we here at wegg™ are proud to watch. If you or a woman entrepreneur you know is trying to “go global,” we would love to help you, too.

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JOIN us for our morning wegg™ workshop on September 12th and hosted by Bank of America (135 S. LaSalle Street, 44th Floor).  Julie Smolyansky, President and CEO, Lifeway Foods, will present “Follow Your Gut,” covering:

  • How global factors influence company values and mission
  • Why we should empower women entrepreneurs around the world
  • How to channel inspiration from travel experiences into marketing initiatives

Tickets $40 ($20 for students); includes Continental Breakfast.  To learn more and to register, visit:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/weggtm-workshop-follow-your-gut-presented-by-julie-smolyansky-tickets-48655708534
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Unlocking the Full Potential of Women- led SMEs in Indonesia

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In a recent East Asia Forum article, “Unleashing the capabilities of women-led SMEs in Indonesia,” author Naimah Talib reports that 43 percent of the 26 million small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) in Indonesia are women led or women owned (WSMEs). Not only do these WSMEs make up for ten percent of the country’s GDP, they also lead to social development of the culture by empowering women economically. Besides these major benefits, support of WSMEs aids Indonesia in achieving the UN’s “Sustainable Development Goals”, specifically the tenets of ‘gender equality,’ ‘decent work and economic growth’, and ‘reduced inequality’.

The advantages of backing WSMEs are clear, but why are there limitations on the growth of these organizations? This is the question that Talib proposes. She illustrates just some of the difficulties women who head businesses face. Talib explains,

” …common difficulties for expansion [for WSMEs] include limited access to information about financial support, lack of business and entrepreneurial skills, lack of professional networks and limited government support and services at the local level. Financial support is available for WSMEs, but female entrepreneurs tend to lack information about these options. Female entrepreneurs find that information about government funding programs is often limited, difficult to access or unclear.”

One of Talib’s main arguments suggest that Indonesian policymakers fail to effectively provide WSMEs with the necessary resources to solve these issues. Talib writes of the necessary reform,

“Three areas require greater attention: increasing the accessibility of information, strengthening the institutional capacity of the Creative Economy Agency and improving government services at the local level.”

To read more about the specific solutions posed to the pressing issue of the neglect of Indonesian WSMEs, read the article here.

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JOIN us for our morning wegg™ workshop on September 12th and hosted by Bank of America (135 S. LaSalle Street, 44th Floor).  Julie Smolyansky, President and CEO, Lifeway Foods, will present “Follow Your Gut,” covering:

  • How global factors influence company values and mission
  • Why we should empower women entrepreneurs around the world
  • How to channel inspiration from travel experiences into marketing initiatives

Tickets $40 ($20 for students); includes Continental Breakfast.  To learn more and to register, visit:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/weggtm-workshop-follow-your-gut-presented-by-julie-smolyansky-tickets-48655708534
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Closing the Confidence Gap is Key for Female Entrepreneurial Success

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In a recent Forbes article entitled, “What It Will Take For Women Entrepreneurs To Take Over The World,” author Carrie Kerpen explores what disadvantages women entrepreneurs face in our current market. Kerpen interviews Margaret Donnell, chief marketing officer of Capital One’s Small Business Bank, on how women can subvert the obstacles in their way, in order to succeed. Kerpen’s thesis is: closing the confidence gap between men and women will be a crucial factor in trying to level the entrepreneurial playing field.

Donnell attests the gender pay gap between men and women to be one of the main reasons women business owners are less confident than their male counterparts. She reasons,

“We have pretty clear evidence around us. We’ve seen studies out in media, I certainly have, that document a wage gap between men and women. It means that women don’t always have as much money as men because of that earning power. It also means that their confidence could have been eroded over time, and so I think there’s a lot we can do to lift each other up, and men as allies can lift women up, to help them feel confident and go after getting into business.”

Lacking in confidence can be a hindering quality for any business owner. Not having faith in oneself can lead to a fear of risk. One such risk could be the venture of expanding your SME into a global business, an important move for entrepreneurs.

A potential fear of risk taking is evident in statistics. Kerpen reports,

“…despite feeling more positive about their businesses than their male counterparts, female business owners are more hesitant to take big swings and heavily invest in their companies. According to the same Capital One report, 75 percent of men are likely to hire in the next year, compared to 63 percent of women.”

How do you think women can support and encourage each other to make the bold moves necessary for success in business? How can we increase our confidence to achieve heights greater than we could have ever imagined?

Read several proposed solutions to this issue, in Kerpen’s article, linked here.

_______________________________________________________

JOIN us for our morning wegg™ workshop on September 12th and hosted by Bank of America (135 S. LaSalle Street, 44th Floor).  Julie Smolyansky, President and CEO, Lifeway Foods, will present “Follow Your Gut,” covering:

  • How global factors influence company values and mission
  • Why we should empower women entrepreneurs around the world
  • How to channel inspiration from travel experiences into marketing initiatives

Tickets $40 ($20 for students); includes Continental Breakfast.  To learn more and to register, visit:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/weggtm-workshop-follow-your-gut-presented-by-julie-smolyansky-tickets-48655708534
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WEGG Mission

Our mission is to educate, inspire and nurture women business owners and entrepreneurs worldwide on how to go global so they can run healthier businesses and create a new future for themselves, their families and their community.


Women Entrepreneurs GROW Global is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. EIN/Tax ID #47-2956522.

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