FIRST THOUGHT: Collaboration is Key
When I was a kid, I whined every time there was a group assignment. I usually got stuck with all the work and none of the credit. Little did I know that group assignments are just a fact of life. No matter your job or hobby, there are endless instances when you must collaborate with others. When all the team members communicate effectively and work persistently, beautiful things can be made.
For instance, while Samuel Morse is credited for inventing the telegraph, it actually took the minds of five people to put the pieces together. Are you stuck on a project or just need to talk out an idea? Spend today laying the groundwork for creating your circle. You never know what you might come up with.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: $2.5 Trillion
We all know women are hard workers. And in this country, female entrepreneurs are truly bringing home the bacon.
Not only do women establish businesses, they create a heck of a lot of successful ones. According to the Center for Women’s Business Research, there are nearly 11 million women-owned businesses in the United States, and they employ one in seven employees nationwide.
But let’s talk dollars and cents. The amount of annual sales garnered by women-owned businesses in the U.S. adds up to an amazing $2.5 trillion. That’s a lot of stuff, ladies!
Some of the top metropolitan areas for women-owned businesses include Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and Phoenix. And women are making their mark by owning and running businesses in a variety of industries, including finance, construction, insurance, real estate and retail.
In addition to being diligent, driven workers, these businesswomen are quite wise when it comes to money, with 65 percent of female entrepreneurs reinvesting their business earnings to foster future business growth. Now that’s what I call taking care of business!
WOMAN TO WATCH: Suzi Sosa, Co-founder of Verb Inc.
A daughter and granddaughter of immigrants, Suzi Sosa is the very definition of a global citizen. Her journey to social entrepreneurship was an evolution—from quitting her job at the U.S. Department of Commerce to creating Austin Women Entrepreneurs, a networking group through which women could meet and discuss business ideas, plans and struggles.
In 2013, Sosa co-founded an assertive company called Verb Inc. as a way to support social entrepreneurs’ advancement in the world. Her clients include Whole Foods’ nonprofit, called Whole Planet Foundation, as well as Dell and the Livestrong Foundation.
In 2014, this freethinking lady was honored for her groundbreaking work in entrepreneurism and was chosen as the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year.
So what the heck is social entrepreneurship? It’s a way to solve social problems while being financially responsible. Sosa is the premier guru on empowering entrepreneurs to create the next big thing that will change the world.
One of the ways she is accomplishing this is through Verb’s collaborations. At the end of March, Verb teamed up with the MetLife Foundation to launch Inclusion Plus, a global competition for social entrepreneurs, nonprofits and businesses. Participants will be tasked with addressing financial concerns for low- to moderate-income families. Sosa says figuring out a solution to financial security requires more than one idea. Instead, a melting pot of concepts will create a real social impact.
Verb Inc. also collaborated with IBM to create a Real World-like reality series called A New Way to Startup. Ten millennial entrepreneurs pitched their ideas, and five of those took a one-week accelerator workshop, lived in a house together and competed for challenges. How totally cool is that?! Spoiler alert: An ingenious startup called Sproutel, focused on kids’ health, won the competition.
If social entrepreneurship gets you pumped, follow Sosa’s plan for success: Find a partner, get started and build a board of advisors. (Remember that collaboration circle I told you to think about? This can even be an informal one made up of family and friends.) Sosa also recommends knowing your value and embracing the flow.
QUITE THE QUOTE
Sosa has created a successful career out of helping others help others. Perhaps Indian author and spiritual master Amit Ray said it best:
“Collaboration is the essence of life. The wind, bees and flowers work together to spread the pollen.”
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.