Or you might not…I don’t want to be presumptuous. I love discovering new-to-me things. When I received my laptop as a Valentine’s Day gift from my husband a few years ago, it virtually opened up the world. My local world is somewhat isolated by current necessities and I felt cutoff and frustrated. I had tried starting one little business after the other, but when you are tied to your home as caregiver for someone it limits what you can do. The laptop changed all that. I discovered new markets, new places to communicate and met many interesting people. In my business blog I’ve written that a few months ago I reassessed my own business and have found myself in the business I’ve always been meant for: art and writing.
In my forays into the world via the internet and in my desire to learn more about business and entrepreneurship, I run across fascinating websites. Just this week I have come across three that feature and spotlight women entrepreneurs…and these are all new-to-me. Also, as is the way with things sometimes, finding one led to the second which led to the third. I love the internet!
1. The Women’s Conference – according to their website: “…The Women’s Conference is the nation’s premier forum for women, and its mission is to empower women to be Artchitects of Change in their homes, their workplaces, their communities and the world around them….” I came across this site while looking at another. Again, borrowing from the website:
- “…The Women’s Conference event was originally established in 1985 by Governor George Deukmejian as The California Governor & First Lady’s Conference on Women, a nonpartisan forum for women small business owners. At that time, women-owned businesses were failing at a high rate and the conference was created to provide support to this growing sector of the economy and help women access funding and resources…Since 2004, under California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver’s leadership, the event has grown into the largest one-day conference for women in the nation and has become an iconic destination for world opinion leaders, entrepreneurs, visionaries, tastemakers, spiritual figures, authors, journalists, artists, and women from all walks of life to share perspectives, find common ground, undergo transformative experiences and create lasting legacies….”
Wow. This looks like a great resource for entrepreneurial women.
2. Maria Shriver, the First Lady of California [my home state] has a major part of The Women’s Conference and this led me to her own website, MariaShriver.com. There are a great many initiatives on this site from education to Alzheimer’s Disease [my own mother-in-law has this disease so I am painfully and intimately aware of the need for awareness…and indeed a cure.] From this website:
- “…Shriver has organized these initiatives under a banner called WE. The WE programs have been successful in motivating people to get involved and unite across gender, economic, and party lines. Shriver’s message to all Californians is to look within and find out what “WE can do together when WE come together….” [I would advocate that this is a message not limited to California…rather this is global.]
3. I went back and forth between The Women’s Conference site and Maria Shriver’s site exploring and reading. Then I discovered on The Women’s Conference site a story about Kiva. This caught my attention as I had mentioned Kiva in a post I did on my business blog back in July of 2008, so I read further. This current story talked about how a young woman in California used a micro-loan from a Kiva lending group to start her business. That lending group was Maria Shriver’s Conference Lending Team. Thoughts of “small world” and “connecting dots” ran through my mind. So I looked up Kiva again and found the Maria Shriver’s Conference Lending Team. It’s strange, isn’t it, that sometimes it takes more than one exposure to something worthwhile before you become involved? I’d read about Kiva previously, I’d even mentioned it in a blog post, but did not commit to helping at that time. This time I did. Although the economy has not been a friend in my household this year, I believe that a micro-loan of $25 is something I can do to help women entrepreneurs in another part of the world. What is Kiva? From their website:
- “…Kiva’s mission is to connect people through lending for the sake of alleviating poverty…Kiva is the world’s first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend to unique entrepreneurs around the globe….”
Entrepreneurship is certainly not something only in the purview of women; however, I feel deeply encouraged that the world is opening up to women of vision; opening up to women who do wish to be “Architects of Change” as The Women’s Conference website highlights; and opening up to the idea that women are also thought leaders.