SBA’s Kathy McShane on the Confidence Gap and Value of Mentorship

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.

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Ladies Get Paid Founder Claire Wasserman Helps Women Entrepreneurs Thrive

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.

Claire Wasserman addresses the crowd at a recent Ladies Get Paid event. Image courtesy of Ladies 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.

Head to the Fundbox blog to read the interview.