There was no shortage of fearless women in Ft. Lauderdale at the annual Enterprising Women Conference last week.Â I was honored to be named Enterprising Woman of the Year, along with other successful women from around the globe.Â Their stories were very similar: fierce ladies doing fierce things for their clients, their employees, their communities. Andâ€¦always trying to be fierce for themselves.
Here we were at the Ritz Carltonâ€¦the beach mere tantalizing steps awayâ€¦and we were all inside listening and learning from each other.Â I would have missed time on the beach if I didnâ€™t get so much out of talking with these exceptional women.Â Here are my key take-away lessons:
â€¢Â Â Â Everyoneâ€™s journey is long and winding, but innovation is the consistent key for dramatic growth.
â€¢Â Â Â Only 2% of all womenâ€™s businesses make it above one million a year in revenue.Â I didnâ€™t realize what a big feat it was the first time I did it in my last business. Iâ€™m thrilled to be close this time around.
â€¢Â Â Â Most womenâ€™s businesses never get financing from banks, angels or venture capitalists; most grow their businesses solely through the help of family and friends.Â This has yet to change.
â€¢ Â Â Â Financing for women is less than 2% of all traditional financing.
â€¢Â Â Â There are new positions in government for womenâ€™s business initiatives, but theyâ€™ve been slow to yield true benefits.
â€¢Â Â Â Lots of organizations are helping women-owned businesses around the world, but what about the ones here in the US?Â Financing from US banks and foundations is still very limited.
Click to view the press release from the 2012 Enterprising Woman of the Year Awards and check out the other fabulous women honored.