When Rob and I sat down to come up with story ideas for 2011, we agreed to do a piece on women entrepreneurs because we know there are so many inspiring stories out there. But just when you think your story is an obvious one, you find a real whopper. While working on what I affectionately refer to as our “estrogen issue,” I was extremely surprised to learn that, while all entrepreneurs have challenges and hear “no” all the time, it is still more difficult for women entrepreneurs to start and grow their businesses than it is for men.
For “The Fiercest Women Entrepreneurs in NY,” I interviewed several accomplished entrepreneurs from very different industries, yet their stories were the same. Most of the business owners featured this month described the adversity they faced when sitting in a room full of men, trying to secure funding, and being dismissed. One woman’s own father told her she shouldn’t quit her day job. Even Bethenny Frankel—who had proven brand equity—couldn’t sell her Skinnygirl Margarita concept to what she referred to as “the male-dominated liquor industry.” So what did she do? She started her own liquor company, grew the product to be the number one selling pre-mixed cocktail, and sold it for a much greater profit than she would have made originally. And that is the entrepreneurial spirit we are promoting in this issue.
The surprises didn’t end after the research for this issue was complete. NY Report is in the media business, meaning our goal is to sell ads against the content we create. When
I came to a meeting, excited to talk about all the fascinating people being featured in the “estrogen issue,” I heard that potential sponsors are not specifically targeting women business owners this year. Women entrepreneurs are the fastest growing segment of business owners in the country. They are creating more jobs and helping to boost the economy more than the small business sector as a whole. And companies aren’t marketing to these women this year?
The April issue of NY Report has become a challenge that I’m setting for myself, for this magazine, and for the community of women business owners. I want to make this issue the most successful and most widely read issue of 2011 to prove to all the sponsors who aren’t “targeting women” and all the angel investors who are overlooking brilliant business ideas that they are all leaving money on the table by not aligning with more women business owners. I’m asking that you share this issue with friends and colleagues, either online at nyreport.com/fierce_women_entrepreneurs_2011, or in print. And I’d love to hear your feedback; join the discussion at facebook.com/nyreport.
All that said, the most important goal of this or any issue is to share how successful entrepreneurs have grown their businesses and give you ideas to implement in your own business.
Daria Meoli is the Executive Editor at The New York Enterprise Report. She can be reached at email@example.com