Approximately 11 million American women run their own businesses, twice the number of men. Apparently women want more freedom, control and self-fulfillment in their careers.
While exploring the idea to become an entrepreneur, Victoria Colligan realized how many women had the same passion in today's market. As a co-founder of Ladies Who Launch, she wants to share women's entrepreneurial stories; one woman is featured in each weekly newsletter.
"I felt compelled to share their stories and connect with them," said Colligan.
Ladies Who Launch emphasizes the lifestyle of entrepreneurship as well as creativity on its Web site. The site serves as a source to enhance women's lives and businesses. Women can subscribe for the weekly newsletter, join a local community group or learn more about upcoming events.
Created in 2002 by Colligan and her partner Beth Schoenfeldt, the company started as an online venue, but in addition to the site, Ladies Who Launch now offers incubator groups in 45 different cities across the United States and Canada. Colligan refers to the incubator as tying community and content together.
"The company isn't just online," Colligan said. "We can touch and feel the women in our network, and they can touch each other."
Women develop businesses through passion and connection with others; they don't belong to the traditional model of business. The incubators provide this connection through resources, community and PR/marketing opportunities. Each week, the Ladies Who Launch team provides incubator members with ideas that will enhance their business, including lifestyle links, a tip of the week from a fellow incubator member, a featured woman and classified listings.
"Launching is being creative and moving something forward that is deeply fulfilling," explained Colligan.
Women attend a four-week workshop in order to join a local incubator. For a fee, 12 women have the chance to present their projects and receive tips from the group. The workshops are meant to clarify visions for new launch ideas or established businesses. Each year, 10 incubator cities are chosen to host live events. Women share stories, listen to each other's ideas and have the chance to sell their products.
Recently, Colligan and Schoenfeldt went on a 13-city tour to promote their book, "Ladies Who Launch: Embracing Entrepreneurship & Creativity as a Lifestyle." After interviewing hundreds of women, Colligan said the results illustrated that launching a business links to better self-esteem and confidence for women.
The trend of women entrepreneurs continues to increase. Colligan attributes the growth to women wanting more flexibility in the workplace, such as choosing their work schedules.
For more information visit www.ladieswholaunch.com.
THE RIGHT FIT
Finding a job that fits one's personality and work style is a hard task. Forty-six percent of administrative professionals have misread a work environment at some point in their working lives, according to a survey by OfficeTeam, a staffing service, in which more than 300 administrative professionals and 400 HR managers participated.
Approximately half of the surveyed managers confessed that they have made a mistake in hiring employees. Eighty-five percent of these managers lost an employee due to improper placement.
Diane Domeyer, the executive director of OfficeTeam, said that the interview is the time for job-seekers to determine whether the organization complements their working style. It is also an opportunity for managers to figure out if the job-seeker would do well in the company.
"The interview is a two-way street," she said. "Employers are looking for clues to an applicant's work ethic and personality, and job-seekers want to learn more about the company culture."
OfficeTeam offers questions for job-seekers to use in an interview:
- What skills are needed to be successful in this position?
- What characteristics are valued the most in your employees?
- How do you determine success at your company?
OfficeTeam also gives hiring managers some examples of interview questions:
- What kind of work environment brings out your best performance?
- What were the positive and negative aspects of your last job?
- What kind of work environment inhibits your working ability?
For more information, visit www.officeteam.com.
© Copley News Service