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Geri Stengel

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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.
Wednesday, February 19, 2020 - 8:37am
Establishing an innovative business means educating investors and potential consumers about the value you off.
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.
Friday, January 24, 2020 - 11:36am
How can ice cream be any better? By becoming guilt-free. And two perseverant women are making that happen.
Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - 2:37pm
Positive thinking can help entrepreneurs move through the tough times to success.
Sunday, January 19, 2020 - 11:42am
Things don’t always work out between founders and investors but you get the odds in your favor.
Wednesday, January 15, 2020 - 2:38pm
To successfully pitch your business to angels and venture capitalists, you need to know what the investor cares about.
Sunday, January 12, 2020 - 12:39pm
New regulations open up new opportunities for business growth and for investment.
Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - 1:37pm
Entrepreneurs succeed when they look at failure as an opportunity to grow.
Sunday, January 5, 2020 - 12:37pm
If male-dominated funding sources won’t do it, women will. Women funding women will narrow the funding gap.
Thursday, January 2, 2020 - 11:36am
Venture capital gets most of the media’s attention, but the truth is less than 1% of women entrepreneurs will raise it. In this second of two articles, we look at how tech-enabled financing options will make it easier for the 99% of other entrepreneurs to raise financing.
Wednesday, January 1, 2020 - 11:38am
Funding for women entrepreneurs is becoming easier. This article focuses on venture capital for female founders. A second article will focus on the use of alternative financing by women entrepreneurs.
Sunday, December 29, 2019 - 11:35am
Erectile dysfunction in men is an accepted, talked about problem. What about women’s sexual problems? There’s a big market opportunity that male investors are overlooking.
Wednesday, December 25, 2019 - 12:40pm
When one plan doesn’t work out, savvy entrepreneurs find new opportunities.
Tuesday, December 24, 2019 - 11:37am
When this women entrepreneur saw a growing market gap, she came up with an innovative way to meet the marketplace need and do good. The result a highly successful business.
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