Articles From Sallie Krawcheck View Profile

Share this Article
  • Why Now Is the Best Time Ever for Women to Start Businesses

    Sallie Krawcheck, Why Now Is the Best Time Ever for Women to Start Businesses

    Inc.com - In her new book, Own It: The Power of Women at Work (Crown Business, 2017), Sallie Krawcheck writes about her triumphs and failures as one of the most powerful women executives on Wall Street, and what she learned by starting her own company. In the following edited excerpt, Krawcheck explains why the future looks so promising for other female entrepreneurs.

    Make no mistake: Starting a business is a lot of work.

    But personally, I love hard work, as do so many of us. And I much prefer to pour all of that work and all of those hours into something that my team and I own (financially, yes, but also emo­tionally), and I know many women who feel the same way. And while the rise in female entrepreneurship is being enabled by technology, it's rooted in the fact that the qualities women bring to the workplace can also make us terrific entrepreneurs.

    Think about what is required to "make it" as an entrepreneur. You need to have a vision and a passion -- well, we women have the "mean­ing and purpose" thing down. Starting businesses can be risky, so you need to manage risk well, and look around corners -- check. It's also pretty darn complicated, so you need the ability to manage complexity and see things holistically -- check. Build­ing businesses that last means it's essential to focus on the long term -- another check there, too. And finally, we drastically im­prove our chances of success if we are committed to keeping up with the pace of change and being constantly open to learning what we don't know -- yup, we do that, too.

    So the shifts in technology -- and the resulting increases in op­portunity that are afoot -- simply make it easier for each of us to bring these qualities to bear and take advantage of the handful of converging forces that are ushering in this great era of female entrepreneurialism. They include:

    1. The broadening recognition that startups with female leadership are more successful than those run by men only.

    Some pretty significant players in the space acknowledge this. First Round Capital recently reported 63 percent better performance by its companies with women leaders than those with all-male leadership teams.

    2. We are beginning to see a critical mass of inspiring, über-successful female entrepreneurs providing role models.

    Women have founded and run wildly successful businesses, including: 23andMe, Rent the Runway, The RealReal, Birchbox, Spanx, Stitch Fix, Drybar, BaubleBar, Tory Burch, The Honest Company, Houzz, Lynda.com, Huffington Post, Hearsay Social, SoulCycle, LearnVest, The Muse, Mom Corps, Plum Alley, ClassPass, Mightybell, Stella & Dot, Etsy, Nasty Gal, WowOwow, Net-a-Porter, One Kings Lane, theSkimm. And the list gets longer every day.

    There's no playing by the boys' club rules for these powerful ladies. No asking permission. And they are forever banishing the concept that women's businesses are supposed to be little or cute, or limited to "women's products." Their success is resonating particularly with women of the Millennial generation -- the female leaders of the future -- such that when I'm on business school and college campuses, entrepreneurialism is the topic of just about every meeting I have with female students.

    3. There is a growing ecosystem supporting women entrepreneurs and women-owned businesses.

    The list of organizations, tailored to women, providing some combination of coaching, networking, instruction, and introduction to funding sources is growing every day. Underpinning the emergence of these organizations and the hundreds of other smaller, grassroots networks of entrepreneurial women supporting one another is a growing recognition that there are no limits to how big the proverbial pie can grow.

    There are no queen bees in these networks, but rather relationship-focused women who recognize that it's not just one or two or three female entrepreneurs who can be successful, as in the old days of one seat at the table for a woman in corporate America. At this table, there is pie for everyone. We can lift one another up, and achieve more together than we could alone.

    4. There are ever more sources of funding for women entrepre­neurs.

    First, let's go ahead and acknowledge what's not working for female entrepreneurs: the traditional venture capital struc­ture. Despite the numbers demonstrating that startup teams that include women have substantially better returns than male-only ones, women-led startups receive only about 7 percent of venture capital dollars.

    Luckily, other sources of funding for us are springing up, and they play to our strengths. We are seeing massive growth of crowdfunding venues, including women-focused ones such as Plum Alley and Portfolia. And this matters: According to CircleUp, a private equity platform for consumer businesses, female found­ers are nine times more successful in crowdfunding than in raising capital with traditional banks, and five times more successful than with VCs. We are also more successful than men are in crowdfunding; for tech startups on Kickstarter, the success rate for women was 65 percent, as compared with 35 percent for men. Some folks hypothesize that it's because women's presentations on these types of sites are more complete and less shoot-for-the-moon, and the amounts they look to raise are more reasonable.

    Is it an even playing field? No. Would it be better if the more traditional venture capitalists stepped up? Yes. But all of these other sources of funding mean we're building real momentum, and eventually (albeit slowly), I believe, the venture capital industry will follow suit.

    And as my friend Gina Bianchini, founder and CEO of Mightybell, always reminds me, let's not forget the cheapest form of capital, which is revenue. Build a great product or provide a great service, and customers buy it. Invest that revenue back in the business -- it's a much more sustainable way to grow that business, with less risk.

Share this Article
X

FIND A SPEAKER

TESTIMONIALS

Testimonials
  • "My entire team has enjoyed the experience of working with you and ESB more than words can express. Everything was handled in a professional and timel...
    Cregger Company
  • "Thanks to you and Jo for all your efforts.  Connie Podesta and Roger Dow were great!"   
    National Apartment Association
  • Bridgeworks was awesome!!! Great feedback from all!! Thanks for all of your collaboration and positive we'll use you in the future.  
    Johnson & Johnson
  • The event was EASY Cake! and it went over very very well.  Thank you so much for the help and organization, it made my life very easy. 
    Boys & Girls Club
  • Our bank has held an annual business and economic conference for the past 9 years.  We have worked with Executive Speakers every year and I have ...
    First Midwest Bank
  • "I want to thank you for helping with our Principals Day event. Marshall Goldsmith was excellent. Not only is Marshall the consummate professional, be...
    Burns & McDonnell
  • Angela, you & your team have my endorsement for making Memphis events successful. People should use you to plan their next event.
  • "I appreciate your recommendations.  In addition, you are always a pleasure to work with and understand the pains of an over worked meeting plann...
    Milliman
  • Thanks to Richard and Jo for all the coordination. Another homerun from Executive Speakers Bureau!  
    Wisconsin Hospital Association
  • "We not only went 3 for 3 but I'd say they were all home runs! Thanks for your help on the speakers. It was a key and very positive component of our c...
    Chem-Dry
  • "As I mentioned before, your engagement model was incredibly easy to work with, and I know we came to you on short notice!  I would highly recomm...
    Capitol One
  • Thank you to both of you for everything surrounding Mr. Will as our special guest. I suspect, soon, I will be in touch regarding our next event. 
    Oxford Financial
  • We truly appreciate the excellent support and attention to detail we have received from Executive Speakers Bureau.  They have provided us with so...
    IBM
  • "Richard, Your ability to put me in front of just the right group again and again, is nothing short of amazing. You work your tail off, you sweat the ...
    Alan Hobson
  • “Thank you guys it was a pleasure working with you.... You made the whole process easy. Thanks again”
    CableNation
  • "OMG Richard! As always you make me look like a rock star. Every single speaker we selected hit it out of the park. Thank you again. Can't even say wh...
    Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Assn.
  • Everything went really well and we really enjoyed having Jack Uldrich as our speaker!  He was entertaining and funny and provided great examples....
    Novo Nordisk
  • Thanks to you, Jo and the rest of your team.  You are the BEST.  Knowing you are behind a speaker allows us the luxury of concentrating on o...
    Ohio Hospital Association
  • "The group that I work with to obtain all of my keynote speakers is Executive Speakers Bureau and I can tell you that I don’t like working with ...
    Indiana Youth Institute
  • "Your tenacity and persistence in staying in touch with us is a model example of good salesmanship and partnering.  I will be using you as an exa...
    Schneider Electric
  • "Let me just say again, what a pleasure it is to work with you and ESB. You really make it harder for others to reach the bar."
    ASTD
  • "I wanted to share with you feedback of my experience in working with Executive Speakers Bureau.. Very responsive and detail oriented.  When I wa...
    Amdocs
  • "I will be sure that all involved know what a wonderful resource you have been. The universe smiled on me when I discovered Executive Speakers and you...
    Ocala Eye
  • As always, you deliver excellent service. Thanks!
    Camden National Bank
  • We could not have done it without you.  Thank you for the outstanding suggestions.  The speakers were by far the best we have ever had.
    FedEx
  • "My mind was very much at ease knowing that Jack Uldrich was so well prepped.  I will definitely use your agency again."  
    EAIE
  • I’ve used the services of a number of speakers bureaus in the past. However, my current experience working with the Executive Speakers Bureau ha...
    Intel
  • "Thank you so much for all your help in putting this together on such short notice. I will definitely use your services again in the future."
    Applied Materials
  • "We loved our speakers. Thanks to you and your team for your outstanding service and thank you for your patience!"

    National Association of the Blind
  • Mr. Schelp you are a Rock Star! Thank you!!!  Deal #7 is done and more to come!
  • "WOW, is all I have to say and thank you!  Our event was a huge success and you never steer me wrong, both David Cottrell and Ryan Estis were exc...
    ICMI
  • "I LOVE this list that you sent me! I emailed several different places on Tuesday an...
    CoreLogic
  • "Everyone loved Bob and he was so nice on site. Thank you for all you did. The process was so easy and we will definitely work with you again next yea...
    NBC
  • "You made my job so much easier! You are the only bureau I will use."     
    Sigma Systems
  • The Nebraska Hospital Association along with numerous other state hospital associations have enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Executive Speak...
    The Nebraska Hospital Association
  • You ladies really are the BEST!  After this event I am going to be on the hunt for keynote speakers in May.  I really want to work with you ...
    ICMI
  • I want to thank you for all of your assistance you and Jenny were wonderful. If it had not been for you sending me suggestions I would not have found ...
    West Virginia Tourism
Need Suggestions? Have Questions?

Need Suggestions? Have Questions?

Call us to discuss how we can help find the right speaker for your organization.

Get Ideas in 2 Hours or Less

Please fill in information below

Executive Speakers Bureau consistently receives praises about our speed and efficiency. From the beginning of your event planning, our extensive online speaker database and resourceful staff allow us to quickly equip you with the best speaker for your event.

Need a last minute speaker? No worries. Our speed and efficiency help us give you ideas for speakers in two hours or less.


Privacy by SafeSubscribeSM