National Women's History Museum launched its newest exhibit, "From Ideas to Independence: A Century of Entrepreneurial Women," which celebrates and chronicles the legacies of entrepreneurial women, who forged through challenges 
and setbacks to create their own paths to economic and professional independence and open their own businesses. 

View Exhibit


This month’s tips come from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, “Lean In”. The book discusses not only empowerment in the workplace, but also serves as a career guide from one of Silicon Valley’s most powerful people.  Below are four examples from Sandberg of how women can overcome obstacles. To lend an entrepreneurial perspective we’ve included insights by Start ‘Her Up founder, Jill Fishbein.

Just wanted to share this article from today's Silicon Valley Business Journal: Women-owned businesses up 56.6%
As your company begins to gain ground, you will soon be considering how to incorporate. A question to ask yourself: what is your company identity? You may be a company that is offering a service to its customers. Or, your company may be doing more than just providing that service and making a profit—your company’s ultimate goal may be to offer a public benefit, making a positive impact on society or the environment.  Many companies have moved towards some form of a hybrid corporate identity, and California has kept up with the movement by offering two new types of corporations: the Benefit Purpose Corporation, and the Flexible Purpose Corporation. While both corporations aim to accommodate companies who want to identify themselves by the social benefits they create, the two corporations differ not only in identity, but also in purpose.

As your company starts to grow, and you begin to hire individuals to help you keep up with expansion, there is the daunting task of determining whether you should be hiring individuals as employees, or as independent contractors. Why does it matter? I’ll tell you why: the IRS cares, and so should you. If you misclassify your new hire, you will be liable for employment taxes for that worker. To avoid the unpleasant series of consequences, we offer guidance to avoid this misstep.

For years, "booth babes" (pretty, female staff hired explicitly to draw attention to exhibitor booths at trade shows) have been a controversial fixture within the tech community, with many arguing that their continued presence is outdated and offensive. In an article published this week, Forbes staff writer Connie Gugliemo challenges the Consumer Electronics Association to reconsider allowing the anachronistic Babes from their annual CES event. Read Guliemos full story, and her petition to Ban the Babes in 2014.
Something we long suspected at StartHerUp and was confirmed by the Dow Jones Study described in Women at the Wheel, Do Female Executives Drive StartUp Success:  “We [Dow Jones] also see that a company’s odds for success (versus unsuccess) increase with more female executives at the VP and director levels.”

When it comes to pitching your start-up, Mother's advice rings true: you only get to make a first impression once. Your new venture’s business plan could be that first impression that gets you the right investors and advisers, or the reason your great start-up idea never gets off the ground.  Moreover, constructing a carefully designed business plan provides a framework for thinking through some of the challenges your start-up will face and can help you refine your strategies. 

With the exception of a handful of college students who start their new businesses  between mid-terms and dorm parties, most entrepreneurs  develop their start-up business ideas when they are employees of other companies.  If you are currently employed when you start your new venture, or even if you recently left a job to begin working on your new business, you must be careful not to run afoul of your former employer’s rights.  Otherwise, you may find yourself with an un-financeable company and, possibly, on the wrong side of a lawsuit. 

Once you have selected that exceptional company name that projects your new venture, there are at least three different processes to undertake in order to truly secure that name and have it become a brand.  If you only get one of those three name rights, you may not be able to garner all of the brand recognition your enterprise needs, and you may be competing with other businesses for claims to that outstanding name. 



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