Study from UK's leading online resource Startups.co.uk reveals hottest start-up prospects with input from entrepreneurs and industry experts.
The NextWomen Social Entrepreneurship Theme
In India, there is no shortage of talented female social entrepreneurs. Women like Ela Bhatt, who in 1972 founded SEWA, the world’s first and largest trade union for undocumented women workers, as well as Women’s World Banking in 1979 - have been inspiring and leading women for generations.
Hina Shah, founder of The International Centre for Entrepreneurship and Career Development (ICECD), has worked for over 25 years on scaling micro, small, and medium size businesses across 21 states of India.
Non-stop coffee, obligatory evening drinks, skipped meals and extended dinner feasts, jet lag and long, intense days in conference rooms. Where are we? On a business trip, of course.
If you've done any business travel, I'm sure you can relate. I'm always surprised when outsiders think this travelling lifestyle is glamorous. Of course, many of us have some good memories from business travel, but after a few trips it begins to wear you down physically and mentally. The stress of travel, time away from your family and a disrupted routine can leave you exhausted, feeling bloated and sometimes even sick!
Last weekend, more than 1000 thought leaders came together to discuss the Economy and Society from a female perspective. Unlike the Davos Global Forum, in Deauville powerful women are in the majority at the fifth international Women's Forum for the Economy and Society. Its motto is:
"Think again, think ahead! It is time for action, change and hope".
There were many international speakers unveiling their ideas on politics, entrepreneurship, economics; a lot of the time about the effects of the financial crisis, but also on the chances and opportunities that it brings. Among the speakers - 17 Rising Talents of 2009 - was Founder of Smarta, Shaa Wasmund.
Some conclusions from the forum were:
Women are Hit Hard by the Financial Crisis
It may be that women-led hedge funds have performed better in the financial crisis than hedge funds run by men - as was one of the conclusions of a Report launched at the Women's Forum - and yet women and girls in poor countries have been hit the hardest by the implosion of banks thousands of miles away.
The developed world has received far more funding to combat the crisis, in comparison to that received by the worlds poorest countries. As a result, women now need similarly large-scale solutions, including access to capital and to larger markets, to combat the crisis.
"The ground has shifted beneath the feet of our business models and social and economic policies”, explains Founder and CEO Aude Zieseniss de Thuin. "The Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society views moments of rupture like this as an opportunity to advance new ideas, technologies and even paradigms for society and the economy. With their male counterparts, women have a key role to play in the process of creating a more resilient future," the Founder of the Women’s Forum said.
Empowering Women makes Financial Sense
Discussed at great length, was the idea that empowering women economically is not just a matter of fairness, but of financial sense.
The NextWomen Mobile Tech theme.
Lynne McEachern talks to the Co-Founder and Head of Data at ooomf, an app discovery startup which has recently closed a $500,000 seed round, on why a mathematician might be the wisest hiring decision a startup could make.
Stephanie Liverani comes from a family of entrepreneurs so it's no surprise that earlier this year, she co-founded a hot new social app discovery startup out of Montreal called ooomf.
Ooomf’s big vision is to be the simplest and most beautiful way to discover and share the best apps in the world. The ecosystem is a win-win for app users and developers alike. It allows users a unique and easier way to discover mobile apps and it gives app developers the chance to build an online presence, engage and build a fan base to solicit feedback and ultimately get users invested in their brands.
ooomf recently announced the public launch of its app discovery platform on the web. It also announced that it has raised a $500,000 seed round led by Montreal’s Real Ventures, an early stage seed fund, with participation from BDC Venture Capital and a number of undisclosed angel investors. It is a great first step on their mobile startup path. What’s next? The iPhone app!
Guest piece by Dr Stephanie Parson.
I used to believe that there were three levels of leadership: leading self, leading teams and leading organizations. However, there is a fourth level – leading global settings or global change.
How does one move from leading organizations to leading global change? Think about it; there are very few people who actually lead from a global perspective. In countries where there are Presidents, one could say that these individuals have reached that fourth level of leadership. And of course we can look at world industry leaders such as Richard Branson, Percy Barnevik, Warren Buffett and David Simon; however, the question becomes, what makes these individuals different from those of us who have mastered the first three levels of leadership?
In the Philipinnes, The Rizal Commercial and Banking Co. (RCBC), one of the largest commercial banks in the Philippines, has introduced an SME business loan program which gives women the opportunity to increase their financial capacity and meet the growing demands of their business, follows from reporting at Philstar.
Europe, what is your plan as to the success of female entrepreneurs?
In order to increase the economic power of developing countries, many entrepreneurial and education programmes are initiated in of developing countries that focus on women.
Regardless of your political opinions and views on why our economy is tanking, we all have that favorite restaurant we still frequent, that favorite store we always love to shop, that hobby that we spend too much money supporting, or that indulgence or addiction we just can’t give up. We, as America, are making choices every day where, and for what, we are spending (or wasting) our money.
As successful businesswomen, we must be savvy as to how we capitalize our business dollars. As a small business owner, I feel strongly about the responsibility we have to economically support our colleagues, community, and country.
A remarkable recent movement is the 2nd Annual Small Business Saturday occurring on November 26th.
Sponsored by American Express, Small Business Saturday occurs during the heaviest shopping weekend of the year. Its purpose is to direct shopping towards your local small business rather than the large chain retail stores. Then, in turn, these businesses can invest back into the community and possibly even your business. “When we all shop small, it will be huge.”