Tag Archives: Women’s Entrepreneurship in the Americas

5 Keys to Success for Women Entrepreneurs

30 Apr

Women entrepreneurs in Botucatu, BrazilI had the honor of traveling to Brazil to speak to women entrepreneurs who live in Botucatu, a city that is a three hour drive from Sao Paolo. Silvia Sasaoka, founded Instituto Botucatu a place where women can learn design skills and gain business acumen. The women in this training program were chosen because they are serious about the success of their endeavors and came eagerly to learn and network with potential mentors. They enthusiastically embraced the following keys to success:

 

Believe in your dreams

You start a business because you have a dream that excites and motivates you. Too many women tell everyone in the early stages about their dreams. Many do not understand and may even try to talk you out of your idea. There is a time to get realistic input about the challenges ahead and we will address that in a moment. Now is the time to believe in yourself and what you want to accomplish.

Write down a clear vision

This is the stage where you gain clarity around the implementation of your dream. What does it look like in the near future? What does it look three years from now? What are the next steps that you need to take to get traction and movement in the right direction? In a sense you put feet to your ideas and begin to work it out.

Take risks

Too many women hesitate when it comes to taking calculated risks in their businesses. Often there is the fear that the risk will be too high. To succeed you need to be willing to move forward consistently. Don’t let your business take the back seat in your life. Get the funding you need to take your venture to the next level. Begin to look at risks as opportunities to expand and grow your business.

Ask for help

One of the greatest hindrances that women face as entrepreneurs is the lack of examples and mentors. One of the exciting part of the session in Brazil is that potential mentors attended the networking breakfast and the keynote. During the workshop that afternoon, I had the women who are starting the training program think about specific areas where they needed help. A strong network is essential to growing a thriving business endeavor. You need to reach out of your comfortable network to expand and grow connections.

Own your future

Ultimately, you need to own your future and how you implement your dream. Taking full responsibility to move forward consistently empowers you to overcome barriers and view them as challenges. This is no time to put your plans on the back burner. Take steps every day toward making the vision of your dream a reality. Ask for help as you take calculated risks. If you don’t believe in your dream, who will?

Author, speaker, corporate trainer and Hope Catalyst, Karen Sebastian enjoys sharing her rich life experiences with others – engaging them in adventurous discoveries of the beauty of hope in a dark, cloudy world. To increase hope and make difference in your business, click here.

Sharing, Learning and Growing

23 May

Close your eyes and imagine that it is three years from today. You are walking in the door of your business. What do you see and hear? What are people doing? What does your business look like?

The women sitting in front of me are business owners  from various countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is an eclectic group with a variety of business ventures ranging from textiles and chocolates to biotech benefiting the salmon industry.

Participants from Latin America - Listening to Your Business - FastTrac

They are here as part of the Women’s Entrepreneurship in the Americas (“WEAmericas”), an initiative that leverages public-private partnerships to increase women’s economic participation and addresses key barriers women face when starting and growing small and medium enterprises.

My role is to facilitate  Kauffman FastTrac’s Listening to Your Business  – a three-year visioning workshop. A hush settles over the lively group as they open their eyes and start writing what they envision in the near future. Time flies as we talk about the importance of establishing an intentional internal planning process through setting special goals and establishing success strategies. They begin to share resources to reach their business goals.

Sharing Challenges

During the workshop, each woman introduced herself and shared her biggest challenges. They roughly fell into the following four buckets: 1) Growth; 2) Marketing; 3 )Finances and 4) Transitions. The visioning exercise helped them to focus more clearly on the steps to move past the barriers to see the desired success. Michele Markey, Vice President of FastTrac says, “This type of activity is often hard for entrepreneurs because they end up spending most of their time with their heads down to get the business started and keep it going.”

Learning

The biggest “AHA” moment was the need to take the time to find strategic solutions to the different challenges presenting themselves in each stage of the growth of their business.  As they created a chart of their goals, management style, planning characteristics and red flags they were able to pinpoint specific ways to move ahead. For some, it was realizing that they needed to delegate more in order to step back from the day-to-day operations to gain the perspective in a larger context.

Growing

My life was enriched by this opportunity to meet these talented women and to help them advance their entrepreneurial aspirations. Their action plans and future strategic focus will have a positive impact on their own business endeavors and on the economy of their nations. Many spoke of returning to encourage other women to become entrepreneurs. By sharing what they learned, they will network more effectively and grow as they give to back to others.

What challenges do you face as an entrepreneur? What are you learning? In what areas do you need to grow?

Karen Sebastian is a serial entrepreneur who wants to help you succeed in your business. Subscribe to this blog for more inspiration on how to become a HOPEpreneur. Please email her at hopepreneurs@gmail.com if you would like to book her as a speaker or want one-on-one coaching.

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