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Geri Stengel

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Wednesday, March 25, 2020 - 9:37am
As revenues collapse, one business owner plans how she will harness the economic recovery. Plan now so your business is ready for the recovery when it comes.
Monday, March 23, 2020 - 10:38am
Business success means seeing connections other don’t, like the link between access to transportation and corporate success.
Monday, March 23, 2020 - 10:38am
Savvy entrepreneurs can provide solutions to the problems created by social isolation.
Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - 12:36pm
It may sound counterintuitive but innovative financial technologies are helping a new bank bring back relationship banking to middle market clients.
Monday, March 16, 2020 - 8:38am
Charting your way is best done with mentors and advisors who can guide you around the entrepreneurial potholes.
Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 10:38am
Supporting entrepreneurs can take many forms from grants to providing access to capital and from expanding their networks of mentors and peers to providing training that addresses both hard and soft skills.
Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - 10:38am
Some countries know that if they want to grow their economy it’s women entrepreneurs that will help them do it.
Monday, March 9, 2020 - 8:37am
New York City is stepping up to help women entrepreneurs, makers and creatives with what they need: money and business opportunity.
Sunday, March 8, 2020 - 12:36pm
Women entrepreneurs can inspire and support each other in the Her Ideas community.
Wednesday, March 4, 2020 - 10:36am
Business alliances of any kind take planning and commitment from all parties in order to succeed.
Sunday, March 1, 2020 - 9:38am
No matter where your business is — starting up or making millions — an accelerator program can take you to the next level and the next after that.
Wednesday, February 26, 2020 - 12:39pm

Blindness to the value of diversity costs consumers, investors and the US economy. More and more black women entrepreneurs are succeeding. The ability to start a business and grow it into a success embodies the American Dream. Increasingly, it is Black women who are grasping the brass ring. They are embracing entrepreneurship at an unprecedented rate. Between 2014 and 2019, their numbers increased by 50% — higher than any other racial or ethnic group, according to the American Express 2019 State of Women-Owned Businesses.

Davielle Jackson started Femi Secrets in 2013. Walmart was the first big-box retailer to understand the market potential for a fashionable all-in-one pad and panty for women's periods. The panty is disposable, biodegradable, safe, and its design patented. Chemicals used in tampons belong on a growing list of potentially hazardous personal care products, according to Markham Heid in an article for Time. Even brands that claim to be safe may not be: Scientist alleges one feminine hygiene brand is not safe

Sunday, February 23, 2020 - 10:39am

You have your plan all laid out and then, wham! The road ahead is closed. Savvy entrepreneurs take detours to get them where they want to go. Despite personal and business roadblocks, Tiffany Jana is still on the road to success as a black woman in tech. Roadblocks have caused her to detour but not to give up.

Jana was born into the diversity and inclusion field. Her mother, Deborah Threadgill Egerton, was a civil rights activist who went on to pioneer the diversity and inclusion field. Egerton became one of the first people to help organizations grapple with the reality of a diverse workforce. The field started as social justice. It was about doing the right thing. With evidence that a diverse workforce improves the bottom line, the field has grown in importance. Now it’s a business imperative.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - 8:37am

When I interviewed Jeannie Ringo, founder and CEO at Funding U, I remember what Larry Keeley, president and co-founder at Dublin Group, and managing director at Deloitte Consulting told me — men and women innovate differently. I interviewed him several years ago when he published Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs. Women approach problem-solving holistically and systematically, he commented. They are not looking for a simple answer and, as a result, create comprehensive solutions. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2020 - 2:41pm

You never know when you’ll get that big break, in Hollywood or in business. Do your homework, lay the groundwork and you may be as lucky as this woman. Four and half years ago, the big pharma company for which Li Hayes worked, called her into the office for a 3 p.m. meeting on a Sunday. "This is not going to be good news," she thought to herself. Sure enough, the company was closing the local Connecticut division for which she worked. Over the next 24 months, as the director of HR, her job was to fire 250 people. A thankless task if ever there was one! 

The experience shaped Hayes' decision not to seek another corporate job. As luck would have it, her brother's career as a keynote speaker was taking off and he needed assistance. Now she manages the careers of several keynote speakers. But this was just the first stop on her entrepreneurial journey. 

Sunday, February 9, 2020 - 11:35am

Lisa Renshaw of Penn Parking was born an entrepreneur. She was inspired by her hardworking father who owned a construction business. As an entrepreneurial teen, she tried house painting and making candlesticks among other crafts.

In 1983, Renshaw spotted what she thought was a diamond in the rough. She was only 21 and filled with youthful optimism and naivety. The diamond was a run-down parking garage in a risky part of town. No surprise, it had a high operator turn over — four in five years. The restaurant across the street, which had been the garage’s lifeline, closed. The 160-space garage had a lot of empty spaces that she thought she could fill with commuters from the nearby Amtrak station in Baltimore, even though garages were available closer to the station.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020 - 12:39pm

Some entrepreneurs are lucky and some entrepreneurs are smart. Catherine Tabor is both. Luck for her was being in the right place at the right time. Smart was spotting gaps in the market and developing services to fill those gaps. She also is prepared and persistent, which may be why she seems both lucky and smart. 

In her early 20s, she ran a concierge company walking dogs and running errands in Athens, GA, which is not far from Atlanta. It was lucky that Tabor's husband had built a $600 website to promote the business. It was the best $600 investment she could have made. 

The Coca Cola Company did an internet search to develop a preliminary list of companies to include in an RFP process to build a platform for managing their employee discount program. The contract would be worth multiple millions of dollars per year. Employee discount programs are an inexpensive way for employers to help employees find goods and services at an affordable price. These programs help employers attract and retain employees. 

Sunday, February 2, 2020 - 11:38am

It takes more than an idea and charm to win over funders. You need to know what they’ll ask before they ask it. Essential to successful fundraising is understanding what investors want. Judy Robinett provides a roadmap in her soon-to-be-released book Crack The Funding Code: How Investors Think and What They Need to Hear to Fund Your Startup. Equity investors fund about 1% to 4% of the deals they see. “You must package your business to make it easy for funders to say yes,” writes Robinett.  

Thursday, January 30, 2020 - 1:41pm

Even profitable businesses can have cash-flow issues. This is especially true in industries with long payment cycles, such as apparel, construction, food and beverage, government contracts, hospitals and nursing homes, importers and exporters, manufacturing, staffing, transportation and wholesale/distribution. “There is an $87 billion gap in financing for small businesses,” said Marina Linhart, CEO at Next Street. The firm advises cities, foundations, large institutions, lenders, and nonprofits that serve small businesses on how to do it better. Key to closing the gap “is having access to the right form of capital in the appropriate amount that is needed.” she noted. “Alternative finance provides a very useful product for very specific circumstances for a business.” 

Many companies in these industries rely on an alternative financing option known as factoring. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 - 11:35am
Small businesses have more options for financing than they realize. Before you choose your financing, do the numbers for your business and research your options. This is the first of 2 articles on traditional forms of alternative financing.
I write about the success factors of women entrepreneurs. I am president of Ventureneer, a digital media and market research company that helps corporations reach small businesses through thought leadership. My book, Forget the Glass Ceiling: Build Your Business Without One, provides women entrepreneurs practical advice for overcoming the barrier they face. I was named a 2012 and 2013 Small Business Influencer for my articles about the success factors of women entrepreneurs