While many women in business today are successful, they often struggle when it comes to growing their businesses to greater profitability.
A new program at Chatham University’s Center for Women’s Entrepreneurship
(CWE) hopes to change that. CWE MyBoard is helping women entrepreneurs to not only succeed in the startup of their business but to sustain and grow it, which is often the hardest part.
Statistics show that while 50% of privately held companies in the U.S. are owned by women, only three-fourths of those women grow beyond $50,000 in gross revenues. MyBoard strives to make a difference by helping women gain the confidence they need to take on greater risk, hire more personnel and raise the necessary financing to push their businesses toward the $1 million mark, says Rebecca Harris, director of CWE.
MyBoard, an extension of the programming already offered by CWE, has paired 10 mentees with successful professionals who are serving as mentors, both women and men. The virtual platform offers the flexibility to meet at convenient times for everyone.
“Being an entrepreneur myself, I wanted to make sure I had the time (to be a mentor),” says Gloria Blint, president and CEO of Redhouse Communication. “It’s a very cool way of maximizing people’s time. When professionals get involved, you want to be both effective and productive.”
Beth Slagle, an attorney with Meyer, Unkovic & Scott, serves as a mentor to Chef Kate Romane’s of the popular Highland Park restaurant E2. The program is helping Romane tackle the many business issues involved that will elevate her business to the next level, Slagle says.
The program is assisted through funding from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation with additional support from both the Alcoa Foundation and Bridgeway Capital.
Writer: Deb Smit
Image: MyBoard mentors and CWE Staff members meeting with mentee Kate Romane of E2 restaurant.