Women's Net Blog

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How to Hire Someone You’ve Never Met

Small businesses are looking to hire more workers, according to NFIB’s monthly jobs report for February 2021. The report found that “56% of small business owners reported hiring or trying to hire in February, up 5 points from January.” While that’s certainly good news for the economy, many companies are having trouble filling the openings […]

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Interview with $25,000 Amber Grant Recipient Savhera

Recently, WomensNet Advisory Board member Yamalis Hernandez sat down for an interview with 2020 year-end Amber Grant-winner Vanessa Bouche. You can learn all about her company, Savhera, in the video interview above — or you can browse the transcript below. A special thanks to Vanessa for her time. Yamalis Hernandez Today we are talking to […]

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What You Should Know about Crowdfunding on Kickstarter

With so many questions being asked in the WomensNet Facebook group recently about Kickstarter, we turned to Katheryn Thayer, director of brand content at Kickstarter, for the inside scoop on what types of projects and businesses are most successful at crowdfunding. Here’s what she shared with us: WomensNet: Could you give us a little history […]

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When You Should Pay Someone Else to Do the Work

Startup entrepreneurs are notoriously frugal. Many guard their pennies, often attempting to negotiate for the best price possible, or decide to do work themselves so as not to have to part with any cash. They work to keep plenty of money in their bank account, in case a slow period or downturn occurs. They want […]

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Are you Building a Lifestyle Business or a Sellable Asset?

Female entrepreneurship has been hot for decades. There are currently more than 12.3 million women-owned businesses in the US, reports Fundera, and that number climbed by 1,821 every day in 2019. Currently, 40% of all US businesses are now owned by women. However, women-owned ventures lag on a number of fronts, including financing and revenue […]

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Amber Grant Application Critique: Trikona Yoga

Annalise Freytag shares her very personal struggle with mental health challenges and substance abuse as the reason behind the founding of her future Chicago-based yoga studio, Trikona Yoga. The details of her personal history demonstrate how effective yoga can be and how passionate she is about building a business that provides such services. Although Annalise’s […]

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Where to Find Good Business Advice

Sometimes it’s hard to know where to find reliable, useful advice from people who know what they’re talking about. Sure, everyone has opinions, but which are the opinions worth listening to? It can be hard to distinguish between people who’ve been there, done that and can share how they handled a situation similar to yours […]


Amber Grant Application Critique: HEART Mobile CPR

Shawna Bobst, RN’s Amber Grant application for HEART Mobile CPR is a great example of a business that evolved from side hustle to full-fledged business. There is no question that there is demand at some level for CPR training in her area, however, there were some missing pieces of information that kept Shawna out of […]

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Negotiating Tips for Renting Space During a Pandemic

It’s no surprise that the pandemic, coupled with governmental stay-at-home orders, has dramatically impacted the commercial real estate market. While some organizations are realizing they may have more workspace than they need and are considering downsizing, other companies are strategizing how to negotiate or renegotiate new or existing leases. According to Andrew Weinberger, founder and […]

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Amber Grant Application Critique: RAW Designs

Rachel Waddell’s Amber Grant application for RAW Designs made clear right up top what the business was all about, but then pivoted, along with the business’s products, into a new product and market during the pandemic. Trying to grow two businesses at a time is even harder than focusing on one, which is one reason […]

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Best Uses of Business Startup Funds

Congratulations! You saved, borrowed, and/or successfully landed an investment from others to get your business up-and-running. You’re officially an entrepreneur. And now you’re wondering how to make the best use of the funds at your disposal, to grow your company and set it up for long-term success. There are a million different ways you could […]

succulents plants in pots

4 Tools to Help You Spot Trends and Future Opportunities

Business owners who stay on top of trends have the chance to pounce on new opportunities that emerge, rather than missing out and having to play catch-up. This is true whether we’re talking about toy retailers trying to guess what the hottest new plaything will be this holiday season, publicists trying to gauge whether the […]

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Amber Grant Application Critique: Earth Soul Alchemy LLC

Heather Powers’ and Sadie Galvin’s Amber Grant application for Earth Soul Alchemy, their natural healing venture, had a lot of good information, but was lacking some specifics that the WomensNet committee could have benefited from seeing.  To help Heather and Sadie further refine their application and marketing message, the WomensNet advisory board went back through […]

Grant money

Advice for Early Stage and Startup Grant Applicants

It’s often hard to know what to write in grant applications. You may wonder what the people reading your application want to hear about your business or your future plans. What can you tell them that will help them see how successful your business could be with their financial support, you may ask yourself? And […]

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How to Promote Your Products When You Can’t Sell in Person

The pandemic created challenges for all businesses, but especially for product-based companies with a brick-and-mortar or face-to-face sales process. If you can’t meet with customers in person, how can you sell to them, many business owners wondered. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can pivot your face-to-face business to market and sell online. […]

video conferencing from home

8 Tips for Holding Zoom Meetings from Home

With many in-person meetings temporarily halted, online meetings on platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Hangouts have become the new normal. And while the content of many meetings may be much the same, there is a new set of behavior standards everyone needs to learn. Instead of walking into a room and taking a […]

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Amber Grant Application Critique: Granite Performance

Torey Lee Brooks’ Amber Grant application for Granite Performance, her youth athlete coaching program, was strong in a lot of areas, but missed some information that would have made it a stronger contender. The WomensNet advisory board went back through the application, line by line, to try and point out the strengths and weaknesses, in […]

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How to write a short-but-effective business plan

When you hear the term “business plan,” you probably picture a book-length document filled with pages and pages of financial statements. That’s what many of us picture, because that’s what many of us were taught a business plan should look like. It had to be long and full of details regarding your idea, how you’ll […]

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Winning Grant Funding Propelled Access Trax Forward

A course in assistive technology changed Kelly Twichel’s and Eric Packard’s career paths. The two were in graduate school in 2016 at the University of St. Augustine studying to become occupational therapists. As part of their coursework, the class teammates were challenged to invent a product that would assist individuals with disabilities in their daily […]

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Why Kiva May be a Solid Option for Startup Funding

While grants that you don’t have to pay back are certainly a preferred means of getting the money needed to start a business, securing a low interest loan is a potential Plan B. As long as the interest rate is reasonable and payment term longer than a couple of years, financing your business’ growth through […]

Website Example

7 Features of a Great Website

Note: This is the beginning of a weekly WomensNet Wednesday series where we’ll tackle topics relevant to entrepreneurs. Any content ideas/requests can be submitted via our Contact Us form. If there’s one business-related thing we’ve learned from the pandemic, it’s how critical it is to have an online presence. With access restricted to physical stores, […]

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7 Coronavirus Relief Grants for Small Business

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic is being felt far and wide, in homes and businesses small and large. With organizations from corporations to nonprofits to mom-and-pop shops now shut down temporarily, entrepreneurs and foundations are stepping up to offer support and some financial relief to small businesses. Although new grant and loan programs are […]

Sheryl Sandberg

Facebook is Rolling out $100 million in Cash Grants and Ad Credits

As the United States hunkers down to prevent the continued spread of COVID-19, many companies and government agencies are ramping up efforts to reduce the financial impact of the near-nationwide mandate to shelter in place. Facebook is one of them. Said Chief Operating Officer (COO) Sheryl Sandberg on a post on her Facebook page, “In […]

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Lessons Learned from Amber Grant Winners – February 2020

Since our goal is to help women entrepreneurs start, run, and grow successful businesses, we decided to ask past Amber Grant winners for advice they would want to share with you. Here are some words of wisdom straight from them: Develop a business plan “A great product (or service) is only one ingredient in the […]

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“The Foundation awards $10,000 to a different women-owned business every month. At the end of each year, one of the 12 grant winners is awarded an additional $25,000.”


“Launched 20 years ago this grant honors the memory of a young woman who wanted to be an entrepreneur but died at age 19 before she could achieve her goal.”


“The Amber Grant Foundation was launched in 1998 to honor the memory of a young woman. The grant was formed to help women entrepreneurs reach their goals when Amber could not.”