Geri Stengel: She’s Venturing into Entrepreneurship

March 31 - On The Dot
 
FIRST THOUGHT: You Deserve Better

Is there anything better to hear than, “You deserve better!” from a friend after you just got dumped? That sentiment can be applied to any tough circumstance in life, including in your career. If you’re unhappy in your cubicle, you deserve better. If your boss dismisses your idea for the 15th time, you deserve better. When your colleague won’t stop calling you “new girl,” you deserve better. Take some time today to think about the parts of your life that are lacking, then talk about it all with a friend and develop a plan of attack. You never know, you might end up excitedly moving on to a new, thrilling adventure.

WOMEN IN NUMBERS: Number 1

Many women who start their own businesses decided to take the leap once they realized they too deserved better than a job they weren’t passionate about or too many workdays that left them in tears. And, thankfully, the number of women entrepreneurs in the world is only continuing to grow.

Forbes recently ranked cities in the United States that foster female entrepreneurship. Not surprisingly, New York City was named the top city for women-led businesses in the U.S., with the number of women-owned firms there jumping more than 31 percent from 1997 to 2012. The city has more than half a million businesses owned by women. How cool is that?

WOMAN TO WATCH: Geri Stengel, President of Ventureneer

Obviously, we at On The Dot are big fans of women helping women. After all, who the heck else is going to? I’ve found the most successful and happiest ladies out there are the ones who don’t keep their tips of the trade secret, but share their stories of triumphs and failures, challenges and wins with other women.

Geri Stengel is one such woman. For the past eight years, she has worked as the president of Ventureneer, a digital-media and market-research company that helps big companies help small companies. So, just how does Geri do that? Well, it all starts with her mastery of entrepreneurship. Her expertise in catapulting women entrepreneurs to success dates back to the early 1990s. Before her time at Ventureneer, Geri spent more than two decades skillfully accomplishing strategic planning and marketing endeavors in a variety of industries.

Driven by a belief that together, we can change the world, Geri is passionate about helping corporations connect with entrepreneurs—especially women entrepreneurs—through strategic alliances. But, as she notes, entrepreneurs have to make a serious effort to succeed. One practical piece of advice Geri offers for entrepreneurs is to take networking seriously. Join associations related to your field, she says, and surround yourself with women who are more successful than you, those who are supportive changemakers and can provide some mentorship on your path to prosperity.

Geri is always eager to share her entrepreneurial knowledge with others. She regularly contributes to Forbes, provides consultancy services for a variety of businesses and previously worked as an adjunct professor. She even provided her services to clients such as Dell, Intuit and CNBC.

In Geri’s book, Forget the Glass Ceiling: Build Your Business Without One, she uses anecdotal and data-driven research to help women achieve their goals. That research was commissioned by Dell and identifies the key conditions that foster development among female entrepreneurs. The book offers a practical look at the barriers women face in starting new businesses, and provides suggestions for the ways over, under, around and through those barriers.

Geri says she’s not in business to invent the next big thing or eliminate social problems. But with a wealth of knowledge and staunch determination, she’s leveraging her expertise to help those who are, and giving ambitious women the tools to help build a better world.

QUITE THE QUOTE

No matter where you are in your life, don’t forget to aim for the stars. As tech businesswoman Jamie Farsnel said:

“Don’t let being a woman hold you back from the leader that you’re destined to be.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. So share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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