- People and culture: The women entrepreneurs profiled focused on people - employees, vendors and customers - as much as on the business itself. They tried to create company cultures that helped people reach their full potential.
- Education, experience and a little luck: Many think entrepreneurship starts with a business idea, but there is more to it than that. The women entrepreneurs profiled earned degrees and gained business experience that helped them identify a societal or cultural shift, gap or unfilled need that, in turn, guided their business model.
- Access to capital: A key theme that emerged for all was the importance of accessing capital. Only two of the women profiled sought equity investors. Six self-funded their businesses, wanting to keep their autonomy and maintain their people-focused culture.
- Resiliency and optimism: The women interviewed showed that launching a company requires both optimism and resilience. They all faced and overcame adversity, but were similarly hard-wired with an understanding that setbacks were just part of the journey.
- The importance of women's leadership: All of the women profiled who started their careers in the 1970s said that having had more female colleagues would have made their paths to success less arduous. Consequently, all of them support younger women, both in business and in their communities.
- Founded and sold a business: Maxine Clark, founder and former Chief Executive Bear of Build-A-Bear Workshop; Suzanne Weinstein, founder and former CEO of Coastal Seafoods; Carol Levins, founder and former CEO of Creative Kids Learning Center
- Inherited or bought a company: Cindy Ayloush, CEO and CFO of Hydraflow Corporation; Lissa Wong, CEO of Casters, Wheels and Industrial Handling Inc.
- Founded, and still owns, a business: Janice Bryant Howroyd, founder, chair and CEO of The ActOne Group
- Rising generation of entrepreneurs: Kelly Gasink, co-founder of Austin Cocktails; and Megan Driscoll, founder and CEO of EvolveMKD
Through the combined resources of Bank of America and U.S. Trust, the firm offers advice and guidance to businesses at every stage in areas such as expansion financing, business planning, risk management, employee benefits, mergers and acquisitions and more.Bank of America has demonstrated its commitment to women entrepreneurs. For example, the bank has committed $50 million in funding for women entrepreneurs through its involvement with the Tory Burch Capital Program. Additionally, through the bank's partnership with nonprofit organizations like Vital Voices Global Partnership and the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, Bank of America employees have mentored nearly 2,000 women entrepreneurs from over 80 countries. These programs help enhance and develop the business acumen and leadership skills that business owners need to realize their economic potential. "Women's Entrepreneurial Journey: Profiles of leadership in an era of new opportunities" is available at http://www.ustrust.com/ust/pages/Women-Owners.aspx. 1 Source: The 2017 State of Women-Owned Business Report: A Summary of Key Trends, American Express OPEN, November 17 U.S. TrustU.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management is a leading private wealth management organization providing vast resources and customized solutions to help meet clients' wealth structuring, investment management, banking and credit needs. Clients are served by teams of experienced advisors offering a range of financial services, including investment management, financial and succession planning, philanthropic and specialty asset management, family office services, custom credit solutions, financial administration and family trust stewardship. U.S. Trust is part of the Global Wealth and Investment Management unit of Bank of America Corporation, which is a global leader in wealth management, private banking and retail brokerage. U.S. Trust employs more than 4,000 professionals and maintains 93 offices in 31 states. As part of Bank of America, U.S. Trust can provide access to a broad range of banking solutions for individuals and businesses, and an extensive retail banking platform.
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