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“Even in the 21st century, much of the world still systematically excludes 50 percent of the smartest people from full responsibility. Entrepreneurship rewards excellence and results, not gender, and this book is a wonderful gift to women who would like to respond to corporate America by saying, ‘Thanks, I’ll do it myself’.”
--Jim Collins, Author, Good to Great, and Co-author, Built to Last
“Savvy and inspirational, Clearing the Hurdles is an important book for women intent on growing new businesses. The team of talented authors provides information, insights, and advice that will educate, motivate, and challenge women aspiring to become successful entrepreneurs.”
--Laura Tyson, Dean, London Business School
“With women creating new businesses at a faster rate than males, it is imperative that today’s venture capitalists take an active role in mentoring and recruiting women to become venture capitalists, business owners, technologists, entrepreneurs, and government leaders. Clearing the Hurdles is not only a wake up call; it is a roadmap to start this long overdue project.”
--Mark Heesen, President, National Venture Capital Association
“Clearing the Hurdles examines all elements behind the lack of access to capital for women entrepreneurs who want to build high-growth companies. If you are a woman who has a vision for a high-potential business, this book was written for you.”
--Connie Duckworth, Kathy Elliott, Sharon Whiteley, Founders, 8Wings Enterprises, and Co-authors, The Old Girls Network: Insider Advice for Women Building Businesses in a Man’s World
“Clearing the Hurdles debunks the myths and defines the barriers that entrepreneurs confront--a perfect roadmap for women embarking on the entrepreneurial journey.”
--Kay Koplovitz, Founder, USA Networks, and former Chair, National Women’s Business Council
Starting, funding, and growing a new venture are significant challenges for every entrepreneur. For women, the hurdles are even higher, due to widely held perceptions about them, their capabilities, and their businesses. Now, five leading experts on women entrepreneurs offer systematic solutions to the challenges, offering timely advice to women dedicated to achieving success and claiming the rewards.
Clearing the Hurdles draws on five years of original research, performed as part of the Diana Project--a major initiative that explores ways women grow businesses.
The authors identify key factors associated with funding, growth, and success: the founder’s goals, expertise, and commitment; strategic direction; team building; effective use of networks; and access to capital. Most important, they offer concrete strategies for overcoming obstacles: strategies proven in the marketplace by women entrepreneurs.Wealth creation: Don’t get left out!
Learn what it takes to build your high-growth businessGet credible
Fill the technical and management gaps in your expertiseGet strategic
Choose the right business, build the right planGet connected
Link yourself to the right resources, networks, and people
Get over the funding hurdles. This book is a training manual for women who want to claim their place as winners in the entrepreneurial challenge.
1. Women Becoming Entrepreneurs.
No Glass Ceilings Here.
An Entrepreneurial Venture Begins.
Venture Growth Is a Choice.
Slow to Grow.
Are There Changes in the Offing?
Private Equity-The Last Big Hurdle.
The Hurdle Analogy.
The Plan for This Book.
Hurdles to Overcome.
Higher Hurdles for Women.
Why Are the Hurdles Higher?
Winning the Race for Success.
Money and the Start-Up Process.
Growth Capital versus Start-Up Funds.
Sources of Equity Capital.
The Entrepreneurial Choice.
Motives for Entrepreneurship.
Women's Aspirations Contrast with Entrepreneurial Reality.
Family Role Expectations.
Women's Self-Expression Leads to Perceptions.
Truths and Realities.
Moving Beyond the Expectations.
What Do Resource Providers Look For?
Assumptions about Women Entrepreneurs.
Sorting Fact from Fiction.
Overcoming the Hurdle.
Enhancing Your Human Capital.
Challenges Built into the System.
Do Women Underinvest in Their Businesses?
Do Women Have the Requisite Financial Knowledge, Skills, and Experience?
Separating the High Potential, High Performers from the Rest.
The Springboard Survey: A Study of Women Entrepreneurs Leading High-Potential Enterprises.
What Can Women Do to Clear the Financing Hurdles?
Are Women-Owned Firms Smaller?
Why Are Women-Owned Firms Smaller?
Why Are Women-Led Ventures Perceived Differently?
The New Generation of Women Entrepreneurs.
Strategies for Growth.
Overcoming High Hurdles.
Are Women Unplugged from the Right Networks?
Benefits of Networks.
Network Boundaries and Barriers.
The Case for Homogeneous Networks.
The Case for Heterogeneity.
Social Capital-The Currency of Network Exchange.
Reputation and Trust.
Spending Social Capital within a Network.
Some Networks Are Like Foreign Countries.
Women Have Diverse Networks.
Women Benefit from Strategic Sponsors.
Creating Effective Networks.
Perceptions about Women.
Fact and Fiction about Women and Teams.
Building a High-Potential Team.
Challenges in Team Formation.
A Brief History of Venture Capital in the United States.
The Venture Capital Community Today.
Women in the Venture Capital Industry.
Getting Access to Venture Capital Investors.
A Connection or a Disconnect?
Missing Links between Women Entrepreneurs and Venture Capitalists.
What Can You Do to Change Things?