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Spring was in the air at last month's Own It Ventures Conference and Pitch Expo at the City University of NY (CUNY) Graduate Center. The ground floor of the building was bustling at 8am with a busy yet inviting atmosphere. Over 200 women filled the center, all entrepreneurs eager to trade their start-up stories and secrets to success.

The day began with opening remarks by Own It Ventures Founder Melissa Cloeter and Julie Pilas, owner of The Elephant Nose Pet Store and the reigning Product Pitch Tank champ.

Taking to my reporter-for-a-day role, I made it a point to visit as many “pitch rooms” as I could. The judges in the Media pitch room were three women representing leading news outlets USA Today, Forbes and the Huffington Post. Laura Petrecca,  USA Today Deputy Bureau Chief and Reporter, had mentioned that she was expecting to see a variety of women at various stages in their startups. Following up with Laura after the event, her response was both positive and inspired, “I walked away once again reminded of how creative entrepreneurs can be. It was also amazing to see that great ideas came from women of all ages.  If someone has a viable idea – and the passion to pursue it – age shouldn’t be a deterrent.”

On Friday 19th April in Amsterdam, The NextWomen are running a morning workshop for entrepreneurs who want to review their business proposition, pitch deck, and investor presentation.

The workshop will use a peer to peer format, with an expert leader from The NextWomen community.

The Workshop will discuss:

The NextWomen are running a Pitch Evening with Investors on April 30 2013 in London, hosted by our UK Editor Maila Reeves (pictured). This event, sponsored by Orrick, aims to support women-led businesses prepare and practice their investment pitches with a real panel of investors.    

The event will give women founders with little or no experience in fundraising a first review of their business plan by the experienced investors on the judging panel, gaining invaluable insights and feedback.

Up to 6 women-led startups will participate in an afternoon workshop to prepare for the evening pitches. Up to 20 guests will further join the event at 6pm.

Investor Panel Judges will listen to the pitches and take turns to ask questions and provide short feedback to each Pitchpreneur and convene with fellow judges to choose a winner.

“What’s in a name?”

So says Shakespeare’s Juliet when pondering the family feud between Romeo’s Montagues and her own Capulets. For those two families the names are everything and carry with them serious and grave implications. “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet” she continues, thinking that if only Romeo had a different moniker, their relationship could progress unimpeded.


Well, when it comes to business, it seems that a name – or at least a title – has very serious implications indeed.


Put it this way; Juliet only had family to deal with, but the rest of us have the full weight of the law.

The Women in Business Awards Ceremony 2012The Women in Business Challenge 2013, the fourth edition of the online competition that assists women entrepreneurs from Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, is now open to applications.

The competition – organized by BiD Network, in partnership with ING and ICCO and with The NextWomen as media partner - aims to help aspiring women starting and growing their business 

Women entrepreneurs face significant structural and cultural barriers when starting and growing a business. This business plan competition aims to address the problems of underinvestment and increase the number of opportunities for female entrepreneurs in emerging markets. Empowering women entrepreneurs through coaching services, tools and investor connections to progress their business to the next level, is the main focus of The Women in Business Challenge. 

Simone Brummelhuis sounds the gong to mark the launch of the TNW100 List  On Friday 8th March NYSE Euronext celebrated International Women’s Day with bell ringings and conferences across its global markets to highlight the contributions women have made in entrepreneurial, social, economic, financial and philanthropic arenas.

In honor of International Women’s Day, trading at NYSE Euronext Amsterdam was opened by Simone Brummelhuis, founder and publisher of The Next Women - Business Media, and initiator ofthe TheNextWomen100, the list of the 100 most important business women in the Netherlands.

A new report by Queen's University Belfast outlines that despite being responsible for at least a third of business start-ups – many women in the UK find their plans undermined by a lack of self-confidence and negative attitudes from bank managers and suppliers. The report recommends that training programmes should focus on boosting self-confidence, as well as dealing with the practical and emotional considerations of self-employment. 

Patronising advice or true? 

Sadly I feel that it is probably true. When I reflected in early January about what resolutions I might make for 2013 I decided that any volunteering energies that I had outside of my own business I was going to focus into supporting upcoming female entrepreneurs. 

NYSE Euronext joins the

For over ten years, United States based Springboard Enterprises has promoted and supported women entrepreneurs who want to grow their companies BIG. “'We know that entrepreneurs often have a very short time to attract the attention of those strategic connections that can catapult their businesses forward.'”

“'We believe in most cases it's about how you pitch and who you meet.'”

Springboard's record is impressive with over 500 women participating in accelerator programs, generating billions of dollars in annual revenue, creating thousands of new jobs, and....

I am always honored when asked to blog on conferences for The NextWomen. When the Big Data Innovation Summit in Las Vegas was announced, I jumped on it. The main reason is that I understood little about Big Data.  

My training as a financial auditor and management consultant led me to believe that I can basically operate in any industry and size does not matter. We used to say that the difference between small and large is just additional zeros at the end of the numbers.