The United States Small Business Administration was established after World War II with the goal of helping small businesses participate and thrive in our economy. Today, the SBA connects business owners with financing and education. Since its inception, the SBA has enabled millions of loans, and countless business counseling, training, and mentorship sessions across many groups and dozens of district and regional offices.
Kathleen McShane is the Assistant Administrator and the proud leader in charge of overseeing the SBA Women’s Business Centers throughout the country. According to the SBA, the WBC mandate is to “provide advice, assistance and support to promote, coordinate, and monitor the efforts of the Federal government to establish, preserve, and strengthen women-owned business.”
Formerly the CEO and Founder of Ladies Launch Club, an organization dedicated to providing mentorship and education for female entrepreneurs, McShane has devoted much of her life and career to promoting and supporting the economic activities and power of American women.
As an SBA leader, she has been well-positioned to continue that work and to comment on the changing landscape for women in business and entrepreneurship today. In a recent phone call, she shared her perspective with on what has and has not changed for women at work, and her hopes for how the SBA can continue to support women in the future.
Meeting and learning from entrepreneurs so I can share their insights and stories is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. Recently, I had the privilege of interviewing a woman I greatly admire.
Claire Wasserman wanted a strong network of professionally ambitious women who she could call on to help with the everyday struggles of climbing the career ladder, negotiating, and generally staying inspired and excelling at work.
When she couldn’t find that network, she decided to create it.
The result of her effort is a vibrant community called Ladies Get Paid, where over 30,000 women from around the world connect, network, and share knowledge through online workshops, live events, and an official conference in New York, called Get Money Get Paid.
In addition to running LGP, she’s a career coach for individuals and teams, a member of the Well + Good Council, and a writer and speaker. She’s moderated and spoken at events at companies like the New York Times, and was recently featured in the Sally Hansen global campaign, Shetopia.
In this conversation, Claire tells us all about her big-picture goals with Ladies Get Paid, her hopes for helping women business leaders find their power, and how entrepreneurs like herself can stave off burnout and truly thrive in their careers. She also opens up about the financial struggles she faced when starting her business, and what she sees as the keys to entrepreneurial success.
This fall, Meltwater held the Meltwater Social Summit (formerly the Sysomos Summit) in downtown San Francisco. Lucky for me, this was just a 15-minute walk from my office, so I was able to stop by and catch the morning sessions, and I’m back with a recap for social media folks seeking inspiration beyond the Bay.
For context, Meltwater is a global SaaS company that offers “media intelligence software” for social media and public relations pros. My company recently signed up for the service. We’ve been using it to monitor our media mentions, our competitors, and our top keywords (“small business funding” for instance!). We also use the tool to improve our social listening, quantify the impact and value of our content, and help with PR and influencer research and outreach. It’s early days for us with this platform, but I’ve been impressed so far.
The Meltwater Summit was also worthwhile. Many conferences (especially those for marketing and PR pros) offer too much sponsored nonsense, and too little insight or actionable advice. In contrast, I felt like this was a morning well-spent.
Here are the top insights I took away from my morning at the Social Summit.
Last month in San Francisco, the Columbia Venture Community hosted our biggest event of the year: the 4th Annual Startup Demo Night. Attendees heard and saw startup demos from a varied roster of talented founders, and enjoyed an open bar, food, and great networking. This event is a lot of fun every year and in my opinion, they keep getting better. I always meet interesting people and learn something new.
To help attendees get to know the presenting founders beforehand, I created a series of Q&A profiles, highlighting the multidimensional work these teams are doing. Read on to learn about the founders of Aptonomy, Voga Coffee, Artery, Avoma, and Nano Hydrophobics.
On Thursday, September 14th, 2017, the San Francisco chapter of the Columbia Venture Community will host CVC’s biggest West Coast event of the year: Columbia Startup Demo Night! We always look forward to this opportunity to meet, mingle and shine the spotlight on innovative startups from the Bay Area. This time, six startups, all with at least one founder who graduated from Columbia, will take the stage to demo their startup and compete for a cash prize in front of a panel of experienced judges.
As we gear up for the event, we’re speaking with all our Demo Night founding teams so that we can share their diverse, inspiring stories with the CVC community.
A highly meditative take on how to conduct oneself in life and in business with others, Kofman’s book, Conscious Business, contains much to discuss and learn. I picked it up in response to reading an article by Matt MacInnis, the CEO of San Francisco tech firm Inkling, where the book is required reading for all employees.
Having just wrapped up my first experience taking an early stage startup from 1 to 20 employees, and wishing to understand more about how leaders may intentionally create business culture where employees can not only create business value but thrive personally and emotionally as well, Conscious Business felt highly relevant.
Grit is considered a “must-read” by many in my professional circle. For good reason – it’s an engaging, thought-provoking book. It’s useful and satisfying for its clear explanation of the core concept of grit (which is essentially: passionate perseverance) and its many inspirational stories. It’s also frustrating as hell for the nuance it lacks.
While a bit repetitive and about 100 pages too long, “Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less” holds definite value for people searching for ways to be more effective and at peace with their choices.
“Essentialism” as advocated by McKeown is a personal philosophy of making deliberate decisions about where to spend one’s limited and precious time. It’s a mission statement aimed at reducing psychic clutter, regrettable personal commitments and extra “stuff” that ultimately does not matter in the greater scheme of one’s life.
My mother sent me a text. “Is there something I should know?” she asked. (Hopefully, I think.) Why? Because you guys at Similac decided to send a box of infant formula – totally unwanted and unrequested – to me, care of my parents’ home address, where I have not lived in over a dozen years. I guess you stalked me on the internet enough to determine that I might be a woman, in my mid-thirties, and married, therefore potentially a child-bearing consumer profile, and you decided to send me a little “gift.”