Exceptional Magazine : 2011 Exceptional Magazine
33 including the successful Australian Businesswomen's Network and Westpac's Ruby Connection. But does networking with likeminded people really help drive your business? "Women are good at connecting with people who are like them," says Alyse Nelson, President and CEO of Vital Voices Global Partnership, a not-for- proft organisation that trains women leaders around the world. "They seek out common issues --- work, children or whatever --- and they're good at connecting on that level. Where they need help is in thinking about bridging rather than bonding. Bridging occurs when you make a connection with people who are different from you."3 Schreiber agrees: "Women are so good at tapping into their friends and family for support, but at some point you have to move beyond that." The work/life juggle Women's family responsibilities inevitably impact on their growth aspirations. Running full tilt at business growth and being a mum to small children is, for many women, incompatible. Half of the respondents to a recent SmartCompany survey who had children said they had put the brakes on the growth of their business because of their family commitments.4 Fo r some women, keeping their businesses small and manageable is a choice, not an indication of failure. Fiercely protective of their work/life balance, they don't want to work the hours that multi-million dollar growth demands. A new program to support women entrepreneurs Given these specifc challenges, there is little targeted support for female entrepreneurs. "State governments provide some really good programs for start-up businesses, and there are a few mentoring-type schemes in place, but there isn't a lot that is really focused on women," Schreiber says. "Particularly for those wanting to take their businesses to the next level." Ernst & Young's objective is to meet that gap with its Entrepreneurial Winning Women program. The program identifes and supports women entrepreneurs seeking to become market leaders. It selects high-potential candidates and provides them with mentors, personalised business advice and access to prospective investors, suppliers and customers. Janet Chine, one of the 2008 Entrepreneurial Winning Women in the United States, runs a company that plans and executes clinical trials. "I was pretty ambitious and forward thinking," she says, "but I was not thinking big enough or setting high enough goals for the company or myself personally." The program has put her in touch with a group of peers who are diverse but who also have the spirit of innovating and building something. "We're kindred spirits," Chine adds. "Women entrepreneurs who have built multi-million dollar businesses are really hard to fnd.” Launched in several countries including Brazil, Indonesia, South Africa, Turkey and the United States, Entrepreneurial Winning Women is coming to Australia in 2011. Schreiber is excited about the potential. "We've got so many fantastic female entrepreneurs in Australia," she says. "Entrepreneurial Winning Women can help them take their businesses to the next level --- wherever they want that to be." Aimed at women-owned business with an annual revenue of $1 million to approximately $20 million, Entrepreneurial Winning Women will complement the existing Entrepreneur Of The Ye a r program by providing networking and mentoring opportunities with other leading female entrepreneurs. We will feature more about the Australian launch of Entrepreneurial Winning Women in the Entrepreneur Of The Ye a r Connections Update newsletter in early 2011. Bigger or better? How women are growing their businesses 3. Scaling up: Why women-owned businesses can recharge the global economy, Ernst & Young 2009 4. SmartCompany: Top 10 lessons of successful female entrepreneurs, www.smartcompany.com.au, accessed 20 December 2010 "Women are so good at tapping into their friends and family for support, but at some point you have to move beyond that." Uschi Schreiber, Deputy CEO Oceania, Ernst & Young More information To fnd out more about the program or to nominate an Entrepreneurial Winning Woman, please contact Caroline King, Senior Manager, Entrepreneur Of The Ye a r at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel: +61 2 9248 4142.
2012 Exceptional Magazine