FIRST THOUGHT: Building a Successful Business
During the course of these first couple months of On the Dot, I’ve been thinking a lot about the word “empowerment.” And when I’m thinking about something frequently, chances are I’ve Googled it too. The word “empowerment” brings up more than 59 million results, including images of stick figures holding hands and silhouettes raising their arms.
What are some things that make you feel empowered? Maybe your boss stops micromanaging you or you finally hit that suggested 10,000-steps mark on your FitBit. Whatever it looks like, isn’t it the best feeling?
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 7 Percent
Today’s number is seven. Often seen as lucky, that isn’t the case for today’s statistic. The CrunchBase Women in Venture report looked at the top 100 venture firms throughout the world. Only 7 percent of partners at these firms are women. That’s 54 out of 755 people.
But guess what? When they analyzed 29 firms founded by at least one woman in the last five years, they discovered fully half of the investing partners are women.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Ingrid Vanderveldt, Founder, Chairwoman and CEO of the Empowering a Billion Women by 2020 Movement
Today’s Woman to Watch is fired up to see ladies succeed. Ingrid Vanderveldt is a self-made businesswoman, serial entrepreneur, investor, media personality, advisor, strategist, global speaker and an all-around innovative rock star! Seriously, where does she find the time to be so amazing? Friends and colleagues find her energy contagious, and refer to Vanderveldt as a force of nature.
Already a successful businesswoman by any standards, it was when Vanderveldt was on the plane back from the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network event in Rio de Janeiro in 2011 that she determined what her life’s mission would be: to help millions of women throughout the world. But how?
After that plane landed, she called Dell’s president and asked for a meeting. That kind of courage is what makes me admire this lady! Their sit-down led to her becoming Dell’s first entrepreneur-in-residence, a lofty accomplishment in itself. For Vanderveldt, being an entrepreneur means making money doing something you love. She did a heck of a lot during her three-year appointment at Dell. Vanderveldt built a $250 million business segment and founded the $125 million Dell Innovators Credit Fund, Dell Founders Club and the Dell Center for Entrepreneurs.
Vanderveldt loves a good challenge. Following her time at Dell, she started an ingenious venture called Empowering a Billion Women by 2020, or EBW2020 for short. Vanderveldt works to connect with and support women entrepreneurs. The company’s goal is to equip women throughout the world with $1 billion of credit by 2020. By providing them with credit, they can gain access to as much as $10 billion worth of support and infrastructure to build their ventures. And that could make a $100 billion global market impact. No small feat, huh? Yeah, it’s an idea that’s kind of a big deal!
Last year, Vanderveldt launched the EBW Foundation and a mentor-matching platform at South By Southwest. They provide women entrepreneurs with mobility, funding, mentors and resources from trusted brands. In turn, it makes entrepreneurship seem a little less scary.
One of Vanderveldt’s passions is financial literacy. EBW2020 started the network MintHER, which provides members with step-by-step guidance on the money side of business, and entrepreneurs can apply to the 12-week-long MintHER Money School, a full business-immersion growth course that teaches all the ins and outs of money management. Now that’s some experience you can really take to the bank!
Vanderveldt says the reason some women shy away from launching their own companies is because they lack confidence. That will change as more tools like MintHER become available and as more businesswomen mentor entrepreneur newbies. Meeting fellow women who know exactly what they are called to do gets Vanderveldt excited. After all, what’s more exhilarating than empowering a billion women?
QUITE THE QUOTE
What goals do you have for your success? Start now because, as singer and all-around queen bee Diana Ross once said:
“Instead of looking at the past, I put myself ahead 20 years and try to look at what I need to do now in order to get there.”
That’s all for now. Be sure to share this 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.