Monday, October 31, 2011

Training 10,000 Global Women Entrepreneurs

    Recently the 5000th woman enrolled in a $100 million, 5-year campaign launched by Goldman Sachs in 2008 to provide business and management education to 10,000 underserved women around the world. The program was designed in response to research postulating that investment in women has a significant multiplier effect. Senior GS global economist Sandra Lawson, in a report called “Women Hold Up Half the Sky,” concludes that female education is linked to higher productivity, higher return on investment, higher agricultural yields and a more favorable demographic structure.”  Furthermore, Lawson summarizes that narrowing the gender gap in employment in the Bric countries (Brazil, India and China) and the N-11 (including Bangladesh, Egypt and Pakistan) “could push income per capita 14% higher by 2020.”

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Marketing Musts for Start Ups

Both Anita Brearton and Sheryl Schultz (more below) are seasoned marketing professionals who have devoted their careers to launching ventures.  Below is a distillation, based on several conversations, of the advice they often give clients at the earliest stage of the formation of new companies.
  •   Make marketing central to your vision for your company.  Too many entrepreneurs give little or no thought to a marketing strategy.  They focus instead on products or the size of the market opportunity without defining the marketing strategy and sales plan that will help them capitalize on the opportunity.  When they pitch investors, the marketing slide is an afterthought, and often consists of one bullet point, usually social media. Right from the start, you need a marketer at the table along with the founder and product developer or tech team.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Annbeth Eschbach of exhale
        After a long career of managing high-end spas across the country, in 2002 Annbeth Eschbach noticed a trend.  With more women working in high powered jobs, trying to balance home and work life, she spotted a need for “urban spas,” so that women could de-stress or get fit a few hours a week rather than spending a week at a destination spa. As the daughter of a renowned kidney specialist who devoted his life to healing, Annbeth also wanted to emphasize a “holistic approach to transformation and healing moving away from beauty and pampering.”  She also recognized high level of investor interest in the spa space.  So she put together a business plan and model for a company  called exhale, to offer  relaxation, wellness, and fitness through yoga, core classes, spa therapies and wellness programs. A private equity firm stepped up to fund her; she remains Founder and CEO with a minority equity stake.