Women Entrepreneurs Festival 2014

The fourth annual Womens Entrepreneur Festival starts this evening and continues all day tomorrow. The Gotham Gal and her friend Nancy Hechinger, who is on the faculty at NYU’s ITP program, are the founders and festival chairs.

The goal of the WE Festival is “to sow the seeds for a community of women entrepreneurs, to expose women who have not yet taken the entrepreneurial leap to women who have.” This year’s theme is “be bold” and we all know that being bold is a requirement for entrepreneurship (and life I would argue).

This year’s event, like the three before it, is sold out and has been for months. But, if you could not get in, can’t make it to NYC, or are just learning about it, you can watch the whole thing live or later on the livestream. The conference opens with a keynote this evening at 6pm eastern by Anne-Marie Slaughter who wrote one of the most talked about pieces on woman and work titled “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All“. You can watch it live or later here.

Though USV is allergic to sponsoring events, we make an exception for things that can move the needle where the needle needs to be moved and growing the community of women entrepreneurs is certainly in that camp. So USV is proud to be a sponsor of WE4 and the livestream.

I will be at Anne-Marie’s keynote and I will be at the WE Festival all day tomorrow. If you are going, I will see you there.


Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    I’ll look at the agenda as I’m curious how tech focused this is.I’ve learned by supporting Lianna’s efforts in a food business how many women entrepreneurs there are in NY outside of tech–food brands, cafes, crossfit, yoga studios, clothing brands.No organization that I see but truly amazing peer group support. No surprise that some of her best partners, selling the most products, are also run by women entrepreneurs.

    1. fredwilson

      some tech but certainly not all tech

      1. awaldstein

        Women entrepreneurs in the heath and fitness are a force to be reckoned with and are shaping the city.Successes like Blue Print Cleanse, Soul Cycle, One Lucky Duck/Pure Food & Wine are serious examples of women entrepreneurs just doing it.

        1. fredwilson

          The Gotham Gal tells me that once you step out of tech, women entrepreneurs are the norm not the exception

          1. awaldstein

            Maybe that’s what I’m seeing Fred.And to a point that I left on Albert’s blog, once you step out of tech, gender aside, the pay scale of talent goes way down. There’s a big down side to this and a clash of value cultures.

          2. fredwilson

            Very true

          3. Richard

            The line it is drawnThe curse it is castThe slow one nowWill later be fastAs the present nowWill later be pastThe order isRapidly fadin’And the first one nowWill later be lastFor the times they are a-changin’.

          4. Anne Libby

            And have been for a while…

          5. LE

            http://www.citikitty.comhttp://www.hoodiepillow.comTwo times on Shark Tank. 3 really cute kids. Started in her basement. Sat next to me at Starbucks and hit me up for ideas and advice with her little mole skin notebook. Making a ton of money. Husband just bought an airplane.Idea number one came because her apartment in NYC was to small. She is like the “spanx lady lite”.

    2. Anne Libby

      “As of 2013, it is estimated that there are over 8.6 million women-owned businesses in the United States, generating over $1.3 trillion in revenues and employing nearly 7.8 million people. The growth in the number, revenues and employment of women-owned firms over the past 16 years exceeds the growth rates of all but the very largest, publicly traded corporations in the country.”and”When looking specifically at the 2007-2013 period, the net increase of 5.3 million jobs economy-wide has come almost entirely from very large public corporations and women-owned firms.”This is research out of American Express; for the past 3 years they have has been publishing a report on women-owned businesses. Here’s a link to their full 2013 report (PDF.)The Kauffman Foundation also does some work on women’s entrepreneurship.Thanks, Joanne, Fred, and USV for voting with your feet and your wallets.

      1. panterosa,

        Have fun at WE Anne!

        1. Anne Libby

          Thank you. Wish you were going to be there, too!

          1. panterosa,

            I’ll need more coin and people working here to do that. Working on it!

    3. panterosa,

      Lianna is a lucky woman! Are the tides turning? it used to be a successful man had the support of a strong woman, perhaps now a successful woman entrepreneur has the support of a man who believes in her.

      1. awaldstein

        I’ll tell her ;)Everyone needs this.And yes, LuLi has a real community of customers. New Chia line is just out, freaking amazing (I’m drinking a Chia Joe at this moment), getting great pickup and may be the one to take national.

        1. Richard

          Let me know if u need a set of eyes in CA market, lots happening here.

        2. panterosa,

          Good for her!

  2. Brandon G. Donnelly

    Fortune favors the bold

  3. pointsnfigures

    Just read an article on why women aren’t going into entrepreneurship, particularly the technical fields. (http://tinyurl.com/mltw6eo) Reasons they cited were mentors, lack of professional networks, and the stereotypical messages girls get. Also isolation. Women are more social than men-they communicate differently. My home environment is a stream of constant conversation with my wife and two daughters-my brother in law with only a wife and two boys has a silent home. He says with boys if you hear something then you know something is up.

    1. awaldstein

      Just looking across my neighborhood here ( a poor sample ) i see a whole group of women owned businesses–everything from dentists and vets,to gyms, cafes and restaurants.But–I would bet that the majority of my tiny sample are mostly F & F funded and don’t touch any institutionalized funding sources. This may be a function of the business type and returns, more than anything else but there are a dearth of funding sources honestly for low multiple return businesses.

      1. Anne Libby

        Most business startups aren’t funded with any kind of institutional backing. And most have to survive a good period of time on wits and ability to generate/manage cash flow before even obtaining a line of credit.At one point — not sure it is still true, but I might guess it is — Amex was the biggest “institutional funder” of small businesses.

        1. awaldstein

          True but that is honestly a near impossible choice for street level businesses in NYC.Capitalization to have a store front or a commercial kitchen is simply not possible running credit card debt.To my last point above, there is not a network of seed funders, like Joanne that I know of, for people in lower mulitple returns businesses. There is VC funding for large non GMO supplier side raw goods marketplaces for example, but there is little for a restaurant or a food truck. The world needs both.

          1. fredwilson

            Community level crowdfunding seems like a winner to me. Hasn’t really happened but I would think that people would love to invest a little bit in the places they love in their neighborhood

          2. awaldstein

            I love this idea. Beyond curiosity potentially.

          3. fredwilson

            There was a team in techstars a few years ago that was doing this. Not sure what happened to them. I just know this can work and haven’t seen anyone nail it yet

          4. fredwilson

            Yup. That’s the one

          5. William Mougayar

            It could be a lateral service to Nextdoor.

          6. Anne Libby

            By the time you’ve gotten a commercial lease for a storefront business in NYC, you’re probably beyond cc debt alone, and have a line of credit.Even then, NYC is one edge case in the world of storefront businesses. Businesses here need to have enough cash flow to compete with rents that banks and chains can pay. That’s a tough one.

          7. pointsnfigures

            community business is different than scalable technically enabled startups that need formal institutional dollars to scale. I don’t believe women are being deliberately excluded, but there are currents beneath the surface that keep them out. Simply becoming aware of it helps. On the other hand, because we live in a litigious society, many organizations have a CYA attitude. Fear of a lawsuit sometimes shuts doors.

          8. awaldstein

            I think this is more a segment thing than gender based.

          9. LE

            What is your opinion of those flash stores as a way to vet an idea? Or do you think the flash part distorts the long term potential of the idea and doesn’t provide much data for making a long term commitment? (Not enough density for similar ideas in the suburbs with the exception of Halloween shops.)

          10. awaldstein

            Pop ups are a new definition of retail.Sure they vet the market but their strongest value is in connecting micro brands under a larger consumer umbrella.Etsy gets this completely.

      2. LE

        I’d be curious the percentage of those women in your neighborhood that are married vs. not married.Also if they are married what their husband does as a career.And further what percentage of them are what I would call “girly girls” vs. more in the other direction. (Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer are not “girly girls” which is not to say they aren’t attractive (they are).)Nothing judgmental, just curious as to the makeup of this pool of business owners.By the way I’ve always thought that (as far as Manhattan at least) that it is easier for both a man or a woman to remain single because there is so much going on and so many people and so much energy. [1] So you can live with your pet but still go out and connect with people at the 92y. In the suburbs this is really not as possible to do. Not enough people. I’m not saying that people in Manhattan don’t want to have someone as a mate. Just that it’s easier to use the activity (and the pet) as a crutch to stay single. Curious if you agree at least in part with this snap assessment.[1] The NY Times runs stories about how people when they meet someone from a different neighborhood don’t want to move to the other person’s neighborhood choosing that over “love”.

        1. awaldstein

          Honestly, not interesting to me.The point of interest is NOT the demographics.The interesting piece of this is that vc multiples don’t work for this segment AND most people can’t afford the risk to go the personal loan route. Crowndfunding as per Fred is an interesting alternative.

          1. LE

            “Crowndfunding as per Fred is an interesting alternative.”Is a good alternative but I wonder if the money is to easy and the vetting is by crowd how committed the entrepreneur will be vs. when their tail is on the line. Or their house. By the way it is possible to start small and build up. If you have only one good creative idea you probably are a guy with one good creative idea. Not an entrepreneur who might have a good idea per week. [1] And have trouble choosing which good idea to pursue. Like adhd of business.The “Honestly, not interesting to me.” shows the importance of diversity of opinions and perspectives. Neither of us is looking for a business partner but if I was looking for a business partner I’d want someone who thinks differently than I do.[1] For example I’m not a music guy. So my interest in music is very limited. Fred is a music guy and he is constantly exploring and listening to new music. Me, the same music over and over again. Music is not my thing.

          2. awaldstein

            Food businesses require capitalization to grow. That’s just how it is.You can bootstrap but only to a point,

          3. LE

            I’ve shared this before I think the Whole Foods local producer loan program:http://www.wholefoodsmarket…This makes total business sense for Whole Foods to do to keep their supply chain viable. I’m surprised that this type of thing hasn’t been done elsewhere.$10 million in loans is a drop in the bucket for them considering the benefit (PR and as mentioned).

          4. awaldstein

            Smart–forget PR they are literally buying their supply chain, earning interest from the loans, guaranteeing supply and taking the distribution on top of it.

          5. LE

            Kind of like the mafia guy keeping his girlfriend in an apartment and giving her a job. (Am I missing anything?)

          6. sigmaalgebra

            I gave my post just before seeing your better one!

          7. LE

            See this old school stuff never goes out of style and is always relevant in explaining things. As JLM would say “generation didn’t invent sex”.

          8. sigmaalgebra

            There are stories about that, about a supplier havingonly one customer and a loan from that customer!Doesn’t take much imagination to anticipate the coreof the stories!

    2. sigmaalgebra

      > Women are more social than men-they communicatedifferently.Congratulations! You figured that out! You get aGold Star! You overcame the propaganda that boys andgirls are equal, absolutely, positively, exactly, tothe center of the DNA at the center of the cells atthe center of their bone marrow, etc. totally equalexcept for a few minor anatomical differences ofplumbing, independent, autonomous, self-sufficient,and equal, born with a lifetime membership in NOW,all except for sexist men who give the fire trucktoys to boys and pretty dresses to girls.Congratulations.That subject needs to be a chapter in ‘Girls 101 forDummies — Boys’.”More social”: Yup. Already in the crib the girlsare trying to connect with people and boys, withthings.”Communicate differently”: Yup.More details are in D. Tannen, ‘You Just Don’tUnderstand: Women and Men in Conversation’. ThereTannen explains all the talking, gossiping, etc.:Girls form groups, if you will, herds. Each girlwants to be closer to the center of the group thanall the other girls. One of their main ways to getacceptance in the group and a feeling of belongingand security is via gossip, that is, bringing juicytidbits to the other girls. More generally the mainway girls get security is connecting with people viaconversations exchanging descriptions of their ownfeelings. In contrast, the main way boys interactis by exchanging information.E. Fromm again: “Men and women deserve equalrespect as persons but are not the same.” and”Western Civilization got the idea that men andwomen were just the same from the French Revolutionwhere any difference was seen as a threat oftyranny.”.

      1. pointsnfigures

        I am sensing sarcasm, forgive me if I am incorrect. I am well schooled in the differences raising two daughters and having no brothers and only female cousins…..(except for one who is 14 years younger)

        1. sigmaalgebra

          Yes, some sarcasm.Failing to understand girls early on when I reallyneeded to understand them was very costly for me,and I remain angry about the costs.Dangers remain: Many of the propaganda messagesstill around would guide boys to some of the costs Iencountered. And the costs were also high for atleast two of the three girls I knew. At thesepropaganda messages and costs, I am outraged.Of course, I first learned about girls from myparents, mostly indirect learning via examples,attitudes, hints, etc. What my father did workedfairly well for him, but he had a well known patternwith fairly strongly enforced, rigid roles to followand didn’t have to understand from ‘firstprinciples’. By the time I needed to know aboutgirls, the patterns and roles had mostly gone, and Ineeded understanding from first principles. Thatunderstanding took a long time and was costly.Actually, my mother knew a lot, but she was never atall good communicating that knowledge to me.Actually a ‘Girls 101 for Dummies — Boys’ in about50 pages would have been enough. Costs? Threeexamples:(1) I would have stayed at FedEx, gotten thestock, and be worth maybe $500 million today.(2) The girl I knew in high school I should havemarried but due my ignorance did not. The situationwas a little like Elsa and Lohengrin; Lohengrin gaveElsa too little leadership; Elsa made a mistake;Lohengrin failed to do well handling the mistake andwalked away from Elsa. I walked away from thatgirl; I should have provided more leadership to havehad her avoid what she did and have handled thesituation much better after what she did. For thatleadership, I needed more understanding of girls andless propaganda. I would have been a good husbandfor her. As it was, she followed too much what hermother had done and some bad influences from acousin, and I did not know enough to be good enoughas a leader to get her to move up to a much betterfoundation for life. Without going into details,that girl ended up with two bad marriages; I wouldhave been much better for her.(3) For one of the three girls, the propaganda wasone of the worst chuckholes in the road of my lifeand was fatal for the girl.I don’t like the propaganda: It’s deliberatelymisleading and dangerous.Girls CAN do things; apparently your sister didfine; hopefully your niece will also. Still much ofthe propaganda is dangerous.Some of what I wrote above is sarcasm against thepropaganda, but some more of what I wrote actuallyso far too many people still don’t understand andattacks the propaganda.Your years being surrounded by so many girls gaveyou an opportunity to learn, and you did. Andclearly also so did your sister. Likely somewhereback there in your family was some goodunderstanding.For me, a ‘Girls 101 for Dummies — Boys’ of just 50pages would have made a huge difference. At times Idraft some notes with thoughts, but I have toconcentrate on my startup.What would be good would be to gather some moreinformation, write a book, pay some good moviepeople to do some dramatizations, and have a Website. That will all be for later.

  4. panterosa,

    Have fun at WE, and enjoy Ms Slaughter, who gave a fantastic speech at my daughter’s school – on caregiving vs breadwinning, and part two of the women’s movement needs to involve men.I notice some friends are going and will get the download later from them.

  5. William Mougayar

    I remember when the first WEF launched. Congrats on continued growth and success. Curious that this one doesn’t fall on a week-end anymore.

  6. Jennifer Soffen

    see you there!

  7. andyswan

    My daughter informed me today that her business will be “designing dresses for rich women AND doing their makeup for them on the big night that they wear the dress so they don’t think about anything but having fun”It shall be named “Fruit Salad Virginia”Not a solicitation.

    1. Anne Libby

      My friend Beckie Klein has a similar/complementary business, though with a less snappy name: http://therestylists.com/

    2. LE

      “AND doing their makeup for them”My niece is big into makeup and really good at it.So I suggest to my sister that she do something similar to what your daughter wants to do (the makeup part). My niece could totally do that. I said I would help her with the “business” part of it (pricing, gorilla marketing etc.)I even offered to hook her up with a contact of mine whose sister does glamour photography so she can do the makeup before they get the photos.My sister says something like “oh you can’t do that you need a license to do makeup in PA” (or something like that).Well not only is that not true (I checked on it) but even it it was true who cares? What is going to happen to a 17 year old doing makeup here and there? As if? “Today charges were filed against …”This is the same type of binary thinking that makes people believe that just because the government is collecting information they are going to go out (and have the resources) to file charges for every little infraction and law broken that they know about.The key is knowing the risks and the lines you can and can’t cross.Anyway it is a good idea. And your daughter can totally jack the price up to over market once she has a following. Total personal service business. Rush and built on recommendations. The dress business not sure I’d go in that direction.

      1. sigmaalgebra

        > “oh you can’t do that you need a license to do makeup in PA”I like girls and don’t want to see them hurt. So, I hope yoursister does well and, in particular, doesn’t get hurt. Don’t lether get hurt.But, from some hard lessons, I’d suggest not taking herstatement and its literal meaning at face value. Actuallya few days ago I read a paper on adolescent clinicalpsychology that explained one of the secrets that belongin ‘Girls 101 for Dummies — Boys’ — boys tend to beliteral and explicit, and girls tend to be indirect and obscure.So, now all we have to do is to teach girls to be more likeboys, right? Why are you suddenly doing a ROFL? Right;You have a teenage sister!I never heard your quote from a girl, but I heard a lotof others. My conclusion: Mother Nature was therelong before you were and arranged that any girls so easily distracted into being more like a boy hadtheir genes filtered from the gene pool long ago.For the AVC audience, I can make this point stillmore clearly: We have to pay close attention tothe motivations of users, customers, VCs, theirLPs, etc. Well, what are the motivations of MotherNature? Right: The girl finds Mr. Right ready, willing,able, and eager to be a good husband and father.even if there are far too few such men for all thewomen, and with Mother Nature’s motivations there’s no reason for the girls to go for anythingbut such a Mr. Right, no matter how few suchthere are. Sorry ’bout that. Mother Nature doesn’t want girls who code and so far is notfar sighted enough to see that, actually, a girlwho can do makeup or nails, design fashion,code, etc. could make enough to help a lotwith the mortgage and, thus, be more effectiveas one of two quite capable parents. Or if sheis well educated and knows a lot about the world, or learns such from her husband, andwants to stay home, then she could meet withother such women, home school, or guide thehome schooling, of the kids and, thus, get them through the high school work by age10-12, through the college work by age 15or so, get them ready for their Ph.D.qualifying exams and publishing some papersfor their dissertation by age 20, and, then,getting along with life. Such timing would beespecially important for a girl also to besuccessful as a wife and mother. But sinceMother Nature does not have such foresight,it will be tough for girls 17 to have it.

        1. LE

          get them ready for their Ph.D.Part of what my sister does or did:Mentored 100+ master’s and doctoral degree students through the dissertation process; advised them on study design and methodogy for their dissertation research projects; provided statistical support/ analyzed study data.andsupport to organizations on research program start up, guidance on federal regulations, policy and SOP development, training and education, program oversight, grant development, project management.Alas if she was not as social she would have done better in high school and gone to a better college than she did and might be doing more than that.

          1. sigmaalgebra

            WOW! At 17? Or you have more thanone sister? So, why didn’t your 17 yearold sister learn from the accomplished one?How come your accomplished sister didso well instead of just spending her timein gossip on a cell phone, Facebook, SnapChat, following Hollywood celebritiesand pop music stars, etc. and giving allthe money she could find to LeslieWexner?Looks like your sister of 17 has a good example!

          2. LE

            No my niece is 17 (or it it 19? oops). My sister is much older and is the 17 (19?) year old’s mother.

          3. sigmaalgebra

            Sorry to mix up your niece and sister. But with thedetails, it appears that your niece has one of thebest advantages, a mom who serves as a good example.My data: I had a different girlfriend in each ofhigh school, college, and grad school; married thelast one. Looking back, 20/20 hindsight, Mondaymorning quarterbacking, “Youth is such a wonderfultime of life, too bad it’s wasted on young people.”(Mark Twain?), how I wish I could live those yearsagain knowing what I know now, some of what shouldbe in ‘Girls 101 for Dummies — Boys’, etc, myobservation and conclusion now is that all threegirls were very, Very, VERY strongly influenced,beyond any of the power of any of their rationalabilities or any outside influences, to adopt somefundamental and strongly life shaping anddetermining values, attitudes, proclivities,beliefs, etc. of their mothers. In all cases, I wasin effect trying to build a relationship with thegirls but mostly facing the brains of their motherswho I nearly never communicated with.The related old joke is that when a man and womenget married, what’s really getting married are thetwo families. Or, the man and woman each bring tothe marriage a million lessons learned in theirfamilies, but the two families never met.Thus from this data I can’t help but assume that theniece will strongly take on whatever it was thatmade her mother so successful. The niece may not beable to formulate or articulate what she got fromher mother but will follow it anyway.We’re in effect looking at Darwin’s simple minded’control system’: If something worked in the lastgeneration, then don’t think about the questions butjust repeat the old answers. In this case, nearlyall your good advice and help may be destined to beno more than pouring water on a duck’s back.Us men tend to be stuck-o and ‘project’ on to womenour assumption that for a decision methodology weall take in data objectively, analyze it carefully,make rational decisions, and then follow thosedecisions in practice, largely independent of justrepeating the past that we observed. Even if somemen actually do this, I urge caution in assumingthat ‘projecting’ this ‘methodology’ onto women willwork better than pouring water on a duck’s back.Curious where this decision methodology can fail:Sure, have the women make a decision by carefullywriting a paper with the data, analysis,rationality, etc., critique and polish the paper,and then follow it as a ‘plan’. So, what is curiousis just where this methodology can fail: Might findthat the paper gets written at about one word aweek! That is, the woman can be just blocked, forunknown reasons, from following that methodology.And on subjects less close to her personal life, shehas long since written maybe 50 term papers, eachvery quickly, with never less than a grad of A –literally.Moreover, during the plan execution, should that beattempted, there can be other problems, includingsome never seen before and life threatening. MotherNature was there long ago and seems to have strongdefenses in depth. Be careful.Been there; done that; got the T-shirt and scars toprove it.Lesson: It’s not nice to try to fool Mother Nature.Or, to borrow from an Indiana Jones movie, “You’remeddling with powers you cannot possiblycomprehend”. Or as I rejected with total contemptin English literature class, there really is a”great natural order”. Or Mother Nature was therelong before you were and arranged that girls whocould be so easily distracted, say, from followingin the foot steps of their mothers, long since hadtheir genes removed from the gene pool.Try not to let her get hurt.If I had a daughter, then I’d try to help her all Icould, encourage her to follow her feelings, but foras long as possible keep her room ready for her toreturn to if necessary.I don’t like to see girls hurt, and the bestsolution I know is just to assume that the realworld out there is no place for them and to careabout them, take care of them, and care for them,unlimited TLC.For anything else, I urge caution, one small,careful, safe step at a time with an easy backupoption.

      2. andyswan

        Agree 100%. I mean….a license to do makeup? Chalk that up to one I’d ignore until notified otherwise.

    3. ShanaC

      those companies already exist

      1. andyswan

        not hers

    4. sigmaalgebra

      Thankfully she has a good father!

  8. Twain Twain

    Last week at a Harvard Business School club John Gerzema, author of ‘The Athena Doctrine’ and Chair of BAV Consulting which tracks brand perceptions, talked about the future of leadership in Fortune 500 companies needing to be more female.He openly admitted that his research views (leaders need to have more feminine values) are not yet a mainstream practice in the big companies.His TED talk with survey data on leadership traits is here:* http://www.youtube.com/watc…In summary, he and his co-author visited 13 countries, representing 65% of global GDP, and interviewed 64,000 people (entrepreneurs?).From their survey, 66% of people agreed with this statement: “The world would be a better place if men thought more like women.”Survey respondents were asked to classify 125 words as either masculine or feminine, e.g.: decisive, intuitive, innovative, distinctive, intelligent, adaptable, conscientious etc.Then they were asked to use those same words for leadership and otherwise.From this they created a classic matrix with leadership on the Y-axis and masculine on the left of x-axis and female on the right of x-axis. In the top right corner (i.e., “star” position in a BCG matrix), the qualities survey respondents selected to show leadership were: expressive, flexible, patient, intuitive, passionate, empathetic, selfless and loyal.Two interesting comments arose during the Q&A at the HBS event:(1.) A woman observed, “The Athena Doctrine only showcases small-scale entrepreneurs so, of course, that type of leadership is going to be collaborative and female rather than command-control like the big corporations!”(2.) A man said, “The problem I find working with senior-level women in finance every day is that they’ve lost their femininity and they try to think and be like men.”My comment to John Gerzema was that until the Fortune 500 can robustly measure how perception impacts on an accounting basis and contributes to either $ sales booked or $ transactions signed, then “soft” skills will continue to be less valued when actually they matter.I made two observations:(1.) It’s do-able since the accounting for intangible value, which provides a brand premium to Coke (sugared water in a bottle) compared with competitors, is a recent invention. Accounting for intangible value started being adopted from 1988.(2.) It would need to happen at scale with technology and be led by the tech sector (since it’s clear the financial services, mgmt consultancy, healthcare etc. sectors have played catch-up to the tech sector’s innovations in social media, online learning and more).Moving the needle can happen if, instead of one-on-one surveys with 64,000 entrepreneurs and people on survey panels over 2 years, the data on perceptions as it directly impacts sales is collected on an industrial scale…….Much the same way that FB collected all our socio-demographic data in 60 seconds of a sign-up form that previously took governments 10-year census cycles to collect.Hope all the WEF4 attendees have a fun and informative time. Ah and remember that the $ is also above the 4 on the keyboard with ALT.So…WEF$, :*).John Gerzema asked me to send him the link to my article ‘Why the Web and Global Financial Systems need Female X Factor’:* http://www.forbes.com/sites…So I’ll need to follow up with him about my system and methodology for measuring perceptions and tying it to bottom lines.

  9. JLM

    .If one looks at the labor force participation rates going back to the 1980s, the wholesale addition of women to the work force has been one of — if not the largest — change in the composition of the work force in US history.It is one of the reasons why the current situation is clearly way more desperate than one would think looking only at U-3.[As an aside, the wholesale transformation of the WWII industrial work force, the most productive workforce in our history, when the men went off to war and the women went to the factory floor, was a precursor of how the world was and is going to change. It took until the 1980s for this to reassert itself.]This bedrock change has slowly but surely trickled upward into the ranks of entrepreneurship and education likely to produce entrepreneurs. The percentage of women undertaking a course of instruction that will lead to considering — just considering — an entreprenurial endeavor in the future is increasing at a meaningful rate.On a personal anecdotal basis, I can say that the number of women who I am seeing in entrepreneurial endeavors provides clear evidence of upward pressure and is nowhere near an equilibrium level yet.From a qualitative perspective, I find that women enterpreneurs are a clear order of magnitude improvement in quality. Not taking sides, just counting heads and taking temperatures. Really no ax to grind on this subject.I was on the VMI Foundation Board — which funded the lawsuit in opposition to admitting women to VMI — and having followed the experiment closely since then can only say that the admission of women brought with it a disproportionate number of problems (as predicted) but the results speak for themselves.They have strengthened the gene pool even at a school which had not contemplated such a thing since 1839.The fire has already been lit. It needs a bit of tending but no more real fuel. It is already too large to be snuffed out by pissing on it. It just needs time.In the long run it is a very good development for the country as we need as many taxpayers and job creators as possible. Nobody really cares who is signing those checks.JLM.

  10. Nadia (Munoz Law P.C.)

    I will be there tonight, and definitely all day tomorrow. Looking to be part of the bold movement and to network with fellow women entrepreneurs who are disrupting stereotypes, industries, and all traditional expectations!

  11. William Mougayar

    I watched Anne-Marie’s talk live, and I really like her message that Care + Competition equalizes men and women.

  12. LE

    ‘Having control over your schedule is the only way that women who want to have a career and family can make it work.'”That was the idea when I bought a small business for my first wife [1] (it was an advertising coupon book targeted at college students (early 90’s)). It worked perfectly as she was able to go out and sell the ads, do the art (Pagemaker on a Macintosh that I taught her), and collect the money while she was pregnant and then later when raising our two children. She had total ability to fit the work around her schedule and did pretty well with it.[1] Was a business that I looked at in the 80’s and passed on. The guy who ended up selling it kept my name and when the buyer couldn’t pay off the (small) note he contacted me. So the timing was right and I jumped on it. (And example of timing, luck and effort). It was one of a zillion things I looked into that ended up being the perfect fit in a different time and place.

  13. Twain Twain

    Thanks, Sandy. My system for measuring perceptions is called SENSEUS(™) because I believe in common sense.If I was going to WEF4, I’d demo it to @fredwilson:disqusIt’s not just classifications of male-female adjectives as per Gerzema’s research into leadership qualities that affects the way we think and feel about our economic society and its future.Being able to measure the biases in cultural dimensions such as nationality, language, age and educational level will also provide smarter insights.For example, each of us interprets the same noun differently. There’s the dictionary definition of “entrepreneur” and then there are our personal definitions which gets contextualized with our self-attributions to that noun:* male / female* young / old* Western / Eastern* makes products / sells services* technically scaleable / local hobby businessThose perceptual biases get built up and affect whether we believe entrepreneurialism is for young, Western males who can make products that are technically scaleable or old Eastern males who have a local hobby business such as a barber shop.So………..to change the economic value proposition — just as happened against slavery and communism………….We need to build systems to measure those perception biases so that they change from being the same-old-same-old anecdotes and battle-of-the-sexes misunderstandings towards…….COMMON sense.