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On the 17th July 2014 the world’s first digital market place for independent and interactive travel guidebooks,, went online.

World travelers can find an abundance of travel guidebooks that are completely independent and composed by the traveler him/herself. Travelers can choose (or share!) their favorite travel guides based on their specific wishes and be inspired by professional travel bloggers and travel journalists.

Stephanie J. HaleMaila Reeves reviews Celebrity Authors' Secrets, a new book by Stephanie J. Hale.

Stephanie J. Hale gives us a fascinating view into the practice and process of some of the worlds’ most popular and prolific authors, in a series of insightful interview transcripts.

What is perhaps most interesting about this collection is that whilst the authors are very different and encompass a broad range of genres and writing styles, there are definite under-pinning themes which radiate out from the literary world. 

The NextWomen LATAM Theme

Celeste North is the Founder of Nuflick, a platform of digital distribution for independent content and art-house films focused on the Latin American market. Combining three of Celeste’s passions (film, technology and entrepreneurship), Nuflick’s main objective is to bring visibility to Latin American cinema.

Prior to Nuflick, in 2008 Celeste and two partners funded Don't Panic Films, a film production company that produced two feature films and several short films, besides collaborating in other national productions for film and television.

The NextWomen Technology Theme.

“There is a baseline opposition to any technological advancement – tune it out.”

Jim Chabin, Chairman of the International 3D Society, quote from the 3D Creative Summit in London, March 27th 2013.

Our first contact with 3D was through the delivery of the evaluation trials for an EU project called Saracen.  This has designed and developed a peer-to-peer 3D video streaming platform.  Our role was to deliver trials of the platform with participants aged between 15-25 years. This group generally adopts new technology more quickly than other age groups.

In order to encourage engagement in the trials we offered free video production training in 2D and 3D. This is what we do, and we know that it is a great hook as these skills provide an ‘edge’ in any tight labour market.

This work resulted in our invitation to speak at the first 3D Creative Summit in London at the British Film Institute. Other panellists included Ang Lee, Richard Attenborough and 3D creators from the Life of Pi and The Hobbit.

Maddi and I met working in an art gallery in Brighton two years ago. Fawn Art consultancy was born 6 months later following our frustration working in an environment where we thought we could create so much more. We knew there was a gap in the market for our service and felt at the time there was nothing to lose in taking the leap, with the attitude ‘let’s see how far we can take it’.

Initially we threw ourselves into every opportunity, gaining sponsorship to hold exhibitions in unusual settings like vineyards and architectural practices. This was useful, as it gave us an opening to build relationships with their contacts whilst they benefited from the attractive artwork on their walls. It was also good practice for us to see which artists’ work sold well and has been enormously valuable in getting to know our target market. 

We also pulled strings editorially to build awareness and came up with inventive marketing ideas to get peoples attention. A great example of this was spending days posting invites which we had carefully designed through doors. Often we wrote something on the front of the envelope about what we liked about their house or we sealed the envelope with metallic wax so it stood out. Although it felt like a lot of effort at the time, people appreciated the personal touch and to our amazement they turned up to our exhibitions.

Caroline Redman Lusher is the Founder & Director of Rock Choir, Britain’s biggest contemporary choir, which she founded in 2005 with the simple intention of encouraging people to sing.   

From its humble beginnings – weekly singing lessons around the piano for students – Rock Choir has become a true phenomenon. It currently boasts 17,000 members in some 200 towns up and down the UK, several entries in the Guinness Book of World Records, and the dedication of 55 Rock Choir leaders, all music graduates, who are trained by Caroline to teach the Rock Choir repertoire in their local communities. 

Through her creativity and inspirational leadership, Caroline has been nominated for a number of awards; in 2009 she was invited to the Women of the Year Lunch; in 2010 she was a finalist in the Orange Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year and for the Institute of Directors Special Chairman’s Award for excellence in leadership. Last year she was shortlisted for the NatWest Everywoman Awards.

Abingdon Welch, Founder & CEO of The Abingdon Co.At the age of 22, Abingdon Welch earned her pilot’s license in just 34 days. Now 28, the young pilot has carried her adventurous spirit to the corporate world as well, founding and leading The Abingdon Co, a company which specializes in exquisite luxury watches for female adventurers such as herself.

She also serves as the driving force behind The Abingdon Crew, a group of high-flying and talented female pilots. 

Born in England but raised in Burbank, CA, Abingdon’s passion for aviation began at the age of 14. Her fascination grew as she progressed through college and her service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Africa. By the time she hit 22, she couldn’t wait any longer and she finally earned her private pilots license.

She still flies, all the time in fact. When she isn’t working on acquiring her seaplane license or teaching at the “I Fly Elite” flight school out in Las Vegas, you can catch her Friday nights on the Discovery channel’s reality show “Flying Wild Alaska”. 

With only 7%t of pilots being women, Abingdon is determined to educate girls about the possibilities of a career in aviation, and to challenge stereotypes.

We are honoured and delighted to publish this guest piece from the Founder of Women's World Banking, the world's first women's microfinance network, which has a portfolio $7 billion, savings of $3.5 billion and serves 26 million clients, 80% of whom are women.

Published as part of this month's theme of Finance. 

MIchaela Walsh is an activist, scholar, mentor, educator, and author. She has been a pioneer female manager for Merrill Lynch, the first female partner at Boettcher & Co, and the founding president of Women’s World Banking. She taught at Manhattanville College, served on the Boards of several institutions, and was chairperson of the 59th United Nations DPI/NGO Conference in 2006. She has received numerous awards, including an honor in 2012 from Women’s Funding Network for changing the face of philanthropy. 

On the publication of her book, Founding a Movement: Women’s World Banking 1975-1990, which tells an extraordinary story of a grass roots movement that changed countless women's lives, The NextWomen asked Michaela to reflect on the changing times and the book

“Breakthrough Branding" by Catherine Kaputa Our book reviewer Faith Brewitt takes a look at “Breakthrough Branding, How Smart Entrepreneurs and Intrapreneurs Transform a Small Idea into a Big Brand”, by Catherine Kaputa.

This is what the publisher has to say about the book:

From the grassroots growth of beverage brands like Red Bull, Honest Tea, and Innocent, to the exploding growth of digital brands like Twitter, Weibo, and Groupon; from the cult appeal of stores like Forever 21, to the success of 
virtual retailers like Zappos – successful companies of all types and sizes begin with three things: ambition, a winning idea, and a brand strategy.

Successful entrepreneurs develop what branding strategist Catherine Kaputa refers to as a unique selling proposition. In her book, BREAKTHROUGH BRANDING (Nicholas Brealey Publishing, June 2012), Kaputa argues that the most successful brands arise from singular and competitive ideas. Referencing dozens of US and international brand stories, she highlights strategies that make a brand thrive and then explains how to rework these methodologies according to your personal brand model.

Sander MunstermanThe NextWomen is proud to present an expert for its mobile theme month, founder & CEO of XS2The World, Sander Munsterman.

Before the iPhone changed the smartphone industry, inventiveness with mobile was key to solving practical problems. In 2007, Sander Munsterman and Jan Willem Vaartjes travelled to China where they were confronted with a significant language barrier. To tide them over, they recorded several standard phrases on their Nokia N70s as they carried their phones with them everywhere they went. They could then play these phrases back via the loudspeaker to convey a destination to a taxi driver or place an order in a bar, for example.