Geri Stengel

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February 2012

Social Enterprises Give Philanthropists a New Way to Do Good

Getting enough cash to carry your business through its start-up years is tough. Family, friends, and credit cards can only stretch so far yet you may be inviting failure if you under-capitalize. Venture capitalists often want businesses that are already revenue positive with fast growth potential, which leaves a lot of entrepreneurs without recourse.

Read all of Social Enterprises Give Philanthropists a New Way to Do Good on Forbes.

Good Service Not Only Makes Money, It Saves Money

I’m repeating myself when I say that good customer service can give small businesses an edge. But a new twist has been added to customer service: It’s a way to cut costs.

Social Enterprises and Solving the World's Problems: How Impact Investing Needs to Change

Impact investment suffered a blow to its credibility last week with the news about SKS, the Indian company that took micro-credit from the realm of nonprofits to the stock exchange, has been linked by its own investigations to the suicides of over-extended clients who were allegedly bullied to death by debt collectors.

Read all of Social Enterprises and Solving the World's Problems: How Impact Investing Needs to Change on Huffington Post.

Increasing the Financing for Women-Led Businesses

Your startup may be doomed to failure if you under-capitalize it from the get-go, but friends and family can only do so much and venture capitalists are looking for businesses that are more established with huge growth potential. Bridging that financing gap has been especially difficult for women-led businesses and for social enterprises.

Read all of Increasing the Financing for Women-Led Businesses on Huffington Post.

Stimulating the Flow of Capital and Social Transformation

by Bruce Arbit

I have spent the majority of my professional career helping organizations of all shapes, sizes, and structures (for-profit, nonprofit and newer hybrids) raise money. That’s why I am particularly interested in the ongoing conversation about growing the sources of financial capital that support initiatives with a social/environmental benefit.

The Misperception That Holds Women Back

Research shows that women exaggerate the skills they need to succeed. For women entrepreneurs, that could be a problem.

3 Ways Women Can Push Through the Glass Ceiling

Jorge Calderon was a venture capitalist who wanted to invest where others weren’t. He found his under-served market: women- and minority-owned businesses.

Only problem was, he couldn’t find entrepreneurs in that niche. He was sure they were there; he just couldn’t find them. So four years ago, he started Springworks to show women and minority innovators how to catch the eye of venture capitalists.

Read all of 3 Ways Women Can Push Through the Glass Ceiling  on Forbes.

Am I Dreaming? More Government, Business Support for Small Businesses

How nice it is to see politicians focusing on plans to rev up small businesses and recognizing the importance of small businesses to the economy and to communities. While I can’t predict the outcome , I can certainly cheer the intent.

Good Partnerships Start with Good Questions

Collaboration is a wonderful thing. And so are supporters and friends. It’s great to have someone to buck you up when you’re down, someone to talk through your problems with, or to take care of the stuff you can’t do. And, there’s no denying it: Being an entrepreneur is a tough road that requires a lot of different skills.

7 Networking Tips for Women Owners

Want to grow your business? Do what men do. Have big networks filled with people who can connect you to money, markets and talent.

The Secrets of One Woman’s Rise from Destitution to Successful Business Owner

“I always thought men were smarter than me,” says Dareth Colburn, founder of USABride. Her online business — started 8 years ago in her apartment when she was a single mother, unemployed, and $30,000 in debt — is pushing the $3 million revenue mark after only eight years and now includes her own jewelry designs.

I think she was wrong about that “smarter” thing.

Read all of The Secrets of One Woman’s Rise from Destitution to Successful Business Owner on Forbes

It’s Not Too Late: Doing Good with Sex, Chocolate on Valentine’s Day

This Valentine's day (and for that matter every other day of the year), indulge yourself and your lover, the right way.

Sex, Lipstick, and Chocolate: Support Causes You Believe in This Valentine’s Day

This Valentine’s day when you’re hinting about the present you want, why not support a women-owned business and social good by having sex, wearing lipstick, and eating chocolate.

Indulge yourself and your lover, the right way.

Read all of Sex, Lipstick, and Chocolate: Support Causes You Believe in This Valentine’s Day on Forbes.

Less Time, Better Results When You Listen to a Marketing Expert

Oh, the many hats that small business owners wear! One of the most important -- and often most ill-fitting -- is that of marketing manager. Marketing is critical to keeping your business alive but it often gets lost in the shuffle of all those daily tasks, like customer service, employee management, inventory control, bookkeeping, and delivering the product or service you sell.

Nice Girls Brag: Here’s How

Women are told that it’s not ladylike to brag. But done right, it can be one of the most effective ways to grow your business and your influence.

3 Ways Women Can Brag About Their Companies

Shout it from the rooftops! Tell the world your business is booming and you’re one helluva entrepreneur.

Oh, you can’t do that because it isn’t ladylike? Wrong answer.

Read all of 3 Ways Women Can Brag About Their Companies on Forbes.

Lessons Nonprofits, Business Can Learn from Komen Foundation

Whether you run a business or a nonprofit, last week’s PR disaster of Susan G. Komen for the Cure should be a wake-up call. This is the third time Komen veered off-mission in a very public way. This time, the nonprofit seems to have learned some lessons about damage control and social media. You’d better learn them, too.

How to Get Rich on Government Work

For many female business owners, the shortest route to a million in revenues runs through Washington.

Local Projects Can Be Great Causes for Small Businesses

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: Cause marketing is a great way for small businesses to build their brands, increase customers loyalty, and grow. Successful entrepreneurs know this.

Look Before You Leap into a Partnership

Partnerships can be wonderful things for an entrepreneur: additional financing, someone to brainstorm with, extending a relationship with a friend or relatives, shared angst, adding needed skills.

Read all of Look Before You Leap into a Partnership on Forbes.

Susan G. Komen: What to Do When a Good Cause Goes Bad

Cause marketing seems so simple... until it's not. How Susan G. Komen could have avoided a public relations disaster.