Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized’ Category

Smile: Getty Images & Sheryl Sandberg Are Making Stock Photos of Working Women More Empowering

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014

No one can argue that original photography beats out stock photos every time – but sometimes stock photos just make sense. Unfortunately, until now – stock photography hasn’t represented professional women very well.

Search “working woman” on any popular stock photography site and you’ll get a whole bunch of stereotypes, and not much else. Women seductively pushing their glasses up as they peer over a typewriter, perfectly done up women in stiff pant suits holding a cell phone the size of a brick, and the occasional professionally dressed lady sporting a hard hat.


Getty Images and Sheryl Sandberg’s have partnered to produce a refreshing new collection of images that represent women and families in more empowering ways. Sure, there’s a pant suit or two to be found but you’ll also find the photos included below – and that’s certainly a step in the right direction.

The Lean In Collection has more than 2,500 images “celebrating powerful images of women, girls and the communities who support them,” Getty says in a statement. “The collection will serve as a resource for marketers, advertisers and media for use in their campaigns and communications. It arrives in time for Women’s History Month and the one-year anniversary of the publication of Sandberg’s best-selling book Lean In.”

While stock photography may seem like a non-issue, Sandberg notes, “You can’t be what you can’t see. In an age where media are all around us, it is critical that images provide examples that both women and men can emulate.”









Forbes Says: 2014 Will Be A Breakout Year for Women Entrepreneurs

Monday, January 20th, 2014

We recently came across a wonderful piece from Forbes entitled, 11 Reasons 2014 Will be A Breakout Year For Women Entrepreneurs.

Naturally, our eyes lit up. And we’d like to share some of our favorite nuggets from the article with you.

*** There is room for improvement, but the U.S. ranked #1 among 17 countries on having the conditions that foster high potential female entrepreneurship, according to Gender-Global Entrepreneurship Development Index (GEDI). These conditions include entrepreneurial environment, entrepreneurial eco-system and entrepreneurial aspirations.

*** Venture-backed companies that include females as senior executives are more likely to succeed than companies with only men in charge, according to Women at the Wheel: Do Female Executives Drive Start-Up Success? a report by Dow Jones VentureSource.

*** Organizations that are the most inclusive of women in top management achieve 35% higher return on equity (ROE) and 34% better total return to shareholders versus their peers – and research shows gender diversity to be particularly valuable where innovation is key.

*** The number of wealthy women in the U.S. is growing twice as fast as the number of wealthy men.

*** 60% of high-net-worth women have earned their own fortunes.

*** Some estimate that by 2030, women will control as much as two-thirds of the nation’s wealth.

Forbes reminds us that we live in a country that allows an opportunity to chase our dreams. And we’re seeing the power of women-owned businesses rise to the forefront. It’s a beautiful thing, and we hope to contribute to this upward swing.

How? With our WomensNet Amber Grants.

Founded in 1998 and launched in conjunction with the entrepreneurial community for women, Amber Grants honor the memory of a young woman who died in 1981, at the age of 19. The purpose of these grants is to help other women achieve the kind of dreams Amber never had a chance to pursue.

We focus on assisting women with small businesses, particularly those that are home-based or online. The grants are small, usually $500 to $1000, and are intended to be used to upgrade equipment, pay for a web site, etc. –- the small but essential expenses that can often make the difference between getting started or forever being stalled.

The January Amber Grant will be for $500.00. No repayment is required or expected — we simply hope that you will pass on the kindness by mentoring and helping others along the way. If you’re interested in applying, you can do so here.

10 Inspiring Small Businesses Launched by Women Entrepreneurs

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

As we kick off the New Year, we can’t help but take a look back. As we reflect on the past two years at, we get even more excited about what’s to come. It’s an incredible cycle.

2013 introduced us to some brilliant emerging small businesses and thousands of bright hardworking women entrepreneurs.

We were able to give out more than a dozen small business grants and truth be told, selecting a recipient has become increasingly more difficult – but only because there are so many worthy endeavors to choose from.

We wanted to share 10 of the grant winners who have inspired us over this past year because we know they’ll do the same for you.

Business: ReFresh
Founder(s): Eliza Becton
What they do: The ReFresh 2-way water vending kiosk filters, flavors, carbonates, and bottles water at the point of dispense, instead of in a bottling plant, cutting out operators’ variable costs and reducing CO2 emissions by 80%.

Business: (“Designer”)
Founder(s): Nancy Quan
What they do: is a low-cost way for small interior design businesses to collaborate with clients, vendors, specialists, CAD artists, and everyone else. Think of it as a cross between Pinterest, Houzz, and Polyvore for millions of independent designers, craftspeople, contractors, students, and individuals who are decorating on a budget.

Business: Go Go Games
Founder(s): Alexis Hiniker
What they do: Go Go Games is an award-winning suite of iPad games designed to help children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) learn to quickly notice multiple features of the objects in the world around them. All of the games are grounded in Pivotal Response Therapy, a behavioral intervention known to have broad benefits.

Business: Nighty Night Nursing Light
Founder(s): April Lowell and Patricia Gilbert
What they do: NNNL is a one-of-a-kind safety product for breastfeeding moms designed to help make nighttime feedings easier and reduce the risk of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

Business: Build & Imagine
Founder(s): Laurie Peterson
What they do: Build & Imagine is developing a line of constructible play-sets that girls (and boys!) love. They’re putting the child in the role of designer and architect, and providing a launching pad for imaginative play that helps to build the spatial and design skills needed to succeed in science, technology, engineering, and math.

Business: Tillie Polish
Founder(s): Andrea Matillano-Funkhouser and her 2 sisters Amber and Alexa Matillano
What they do: Tillie Polish is an organic, toxin-free nail polish start-up. The three founding sisters used their passion for trendy colors, a long-lasting formula, and toxic-free ingredients to create a fast drying opaque formula that they can share with other nail polish fanatics. Even better, customers can buy Tillie Polish with a clear conscience because all of their products are animal cruelty free and 4-Free, meaning they do not use the 4 main toxic ingredients found in other brands.

Business: Kiddologic
Founder(s): Laurie O’Nion
What they do: Kiddologic’s mission is to offer “the best of basics” – innovative products that are smart and practical solutions to the universal challenges of parenthood. Their core offering is the bibit-all, a fashionable full-coverage bib that even has sleeves!

Business: Sitter Cycle
Founder(s): Helen Adeoson
What they do: SitterCycle provides online classes for nannies and caregivers to learn from the best experts in childcare.

Business: Stone’s Throw Urban Farm
Founder(s): Robin Major
What they do: Stone’s Throw Urban Farm is redefining local, sustainable food in the Twin Cities. They convert vacant lots in St. Paul and Minneapolis into beautiful, productive micro-farms and grow food for a CSA, farmers markets, and various local wholesale accounts.

Business: Cambria Equine
Founder(s): Hannah Rivard
What they do: Hannah teaches her self-developed, completely unique, unheard-of method of horse training through in-person services (ex., lessons, clinics, and seminars) as well as online. Her training is focused on empowering people to train horses intuitively, through beauty and joy, rather than generalized techniques. Her website caters to the artistic equestrian and even has a marketplace for people to buy and sell horse-related products.

Key for Women Entrepreneurs: Let Your Passion be Your Guide

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

by Marcia Layton Turner

A week ago, I was talking to my friends at  When your friends give out grants to women business owners, you can always expect them to ask:  “Hey – Marcia, what business ventures are you up to?”

This was my chance to tell them about my latest e-book.  I guess they must have noticed the spark in my eye, the lilt in my voice – yes, the general sense of excitement I get when talking about… ready for it?  Couponing!

You see, by day I’m a freelance writer of magazine articles and author and ghostwriter of bestselling books.  But during my free time, I’m an extreme couponer. No, not as obsessed as the folks on TLC’s “Extreme Couponing” TV show…but close.

While I do enjoy writing – researching the topic, thinking through how to organize the information and then sharing what I’ve gathered from interviews – there is nothing like the high of getting $110 worth of groceries for next to nothing. Believe me, I’ve done it.

Although writing is how I earn a very good living, coupons are my passion.

I’ve been writing professionally for more than 15 years, during which the publishing process has stayed much the same, until a year or two ago. In the past, I would come up with an idea for an article or book and then propose it to an editor, who then decides if they want to pay me to write about it. In other cases, because I’ve worked with an editor before and they liked my stuff, I’ll get a call or an email asking me if I’d like to tackle a particular topic for an upcoming issue or book. If I like the topic, I generally say yes.

As I said, I’ve been doing this for a while, but a couple of years ago, I started to hear more about e-books and how they were the future of publishing. Then last year there was news that sales of Amazon’s Kindle books had overtaken hard cover and paperback books. That’s the point at which I decided I needed to explore this. But what would I write about? I usually write about marketing and entrepreneurship, but nothing came to mind that would be new and noteworthy.

We’ve all heard that the best businesses are those based on the individual’s passion – the subject about which they know more than just about anyone else. So, for me, it followed that the best e-book I could write would be about my passion, couponing.

I tried selling traditional publishers on a couponing book as soon as I heard there would be a TV show on the topic. Perfect timing, I thought! They were skeptical that the market was big enough (are you kidding me?!). In fact, 78% of shoppers in the U.S. now use coupons – that’s millions and millions of Americans. At that point, I was fired up. More than any other book, I wanted to write about how to save money with coupons. Then I saw a few episodes of “Extreme Couponing,” in which the shoppers on the show were using the same techniques I’ve been using for years, and was sure that an e-book on couponing was what I needed to write next.

I told my agent I was working on the book and she mentioned she had a publisher friend who had started an e-book publishing venture. When she talked to him about my couponing book, he was sold.

We moved quickly to get the book formatted and edited and as of last Friday, Extreme Couponer: Insider secrets to getting groceries for free, was officially available for sale for $2.99. I don’t think I’ve ever been able to produce a book as quickly. Part of the speed was due to the new digital publishing process. But the other element was passion. I was so excited to share information about couponing that I wrote morning, noon and night. I was in the zone, completely enjoying what I was doing. And in a matter of days, the manuscript was done.

I think my situation isn’t unusual. When you’re passionate about what you’re doing, whether it’s writing computer code, selling on eBay, supervising children at a daycare or something else entirely, time passes more quickly. And because you are giving that work your complete attention, the quality is higher and your chances of success much greater.

So if you’re still considering what kind of business to start, begin with what you love most. That will give you your best chance at success.

Oh, so back to my friends at Womensnet.Net.  They also wanted me to remind you that the deadline is August 30 for the latest $1,500 Amber Grant for Women.  Please take a few minutes to tell them about your business passion.  It might just lead to a juicy $1,500 grant for your women-owned business.


February Amber Grant Winner Assists Children with Austism

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

Congratulations to February’s Amber Grant winner, Alexis Hiniker! Alexis is currently a grad student and researcher at the University of Washington in the Human Centered Design and Engineering program. Together with her team of two other women, Alexis has founded Go Go Games©, a suite of iPad games developed to assist children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).

Working closely with co-founders Joy Wong Daniels and Heidi Williamson, Alexis has seized the opportunity to create a truly unique product. After realizing that there was a strong market need for their concept, the trio raced to get started. They have already released their first product, and have received glowing feedback from customers and the media. We interviewed Alexis to discover more about her team’s incredible mission.
WNN: Alexis, congratulations on winning the February Amber Grant.

AH: Thank you so much — this absolutely made my day! In addition to being a great honor, this will enable us to take our research much further. Thank you again for supporting Go Go Games Studios in particular and women entrepreneurs broadly; we are proud to be associated with your great work!

WNN: Describe for us the basics of Go Go Games in a nutshell

AH: We translate evidence-based therapies for autism into video games that are engaging for our target users. Behavioral therapy is expensive and time consuming (on the order of 25-40 hours a week) and our supplemental therapy can help close the gap between the amount of therapy kids need and the amount they actually receive.

WNN: How did you meet the other women involved in the project?

AH: The three of us met as graduate students in the Learning, Design and Technology program at Stanford University. The program brings together educators, engineers, designers and other innovators who all share an interest in leveraging technology for educational purposes. Together we built a joint master’s project, which subsequently became the foundation of the business we co-founded.

WNN: What was the inspiration behind aiding children with ASD?

AH: I became interested in autism when I was pregnant with my first child and reading about warning signs of different developmental delays. I was surprised to learn how useful technology has been to this particular group. Given my background in computer science and software engineering, I saw potential for me to make a contribution in this space. Joy and Heidi’s backgrounds in interaction design and user research were the perfect complement to mine, and all three of us felt that together we had the necessary well-rounded skill-set to create innovative educational experiences. We all went back to graduate school with the goal of using our technical and design skills to support underserved audiences, and we saw Go Go Games as an opportunity to do just that. For each of us, our commitment to this community has been continually strengthened as we’ve worked with our inspiring user testers over the past year.

WNN: What are your long-term goals going forward with the project?

AH: We are excited to be working on our next product and to be planning out a long-term product line! These will all involve gaming and play-based learning, leveraging evidence-based practices, and supporting individuals with autism in leading rich and independent lives.

For those in the OuterBanks NC area…not doing anything today

Friday, March 1st, 2013

If you are in the area today…….

Outer Banks Entrepreneurs is pleased to announce the first OBX Women’s Winter Expo, set for Saturday, March 2nd, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Ramada Inn in Kill Devil Hills. The Expo will feature 53 vendors, including women artists, crafters, direct sales vendors, service providers, and more. National guest speaker, Camille Allen, reinvention strategist, results coach, branding buff and marketing maven will be the guest speaker; sharing “Coastal Climate Change – It’s All About Attitude.” Raffle prizes will be drawn every ten minutes, so be sure to mark your calendar for March 2nd at the Ramada Inn. For more information on the Expo, please visit or contact Kim Twiddy at, or Lindsey Truesdel, at The Expo is a free family event for all to come out and enjoy.