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2nd Annual Women Investing in Women Summit Highlights

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This exciting 2nd Annual Women Investing in Women Summit (WIIW) started with a Welcome Dinner on Friday, January 10th, 2014, at the award-winning Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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As I arrived, I was warmly greeted by Jackie Wszalek, President of NAWBO, and happily stepped into a room full of energetic sponsors, supporters, press and speakers ready to connect with our Greater Phoenix community over a cocktail reception and a sumptuous three-course dinner with wine-pairing from one of Arizona’s finest culinary destinations.

Once seated, Mayor Greg Stanton kicked off the dinner by talking about how now is absolutely the right time and the Greater Phoenix area is the perfect place to get involved, do great things with great people and make an impact. Anu Bhardwaj, the founder of Women Investing in Women Institute, thanked him for his support and then shared her thoughts about the difference women can make in the world if they could just get the right amount of support.

At which point, Janice Washington, State Network Director at the Arizona Small Business Development Center (SBDC), took the podium to share how her 21 year background in accounting and recent work with the City of Phoenix brought her to her current role with SBDC which finally ignited her passion because it enables her to connect people and resources toward a common goal. She expressed her excitement about partnering with Women Investing in Women, as SBDC is ready, willing and able to help with free valuable and relevant resources needed for people to run a successful small business in Arizona!

Two important statements from Janice about the need for us women and organizations to collaborate and give back to our community resonated with all in the packed room:

  1. It’s all about taking what you have, what I have and what we have and putting it together and doing the bigger thing and helping women business owners.
  2. When women are empowered and they are successful, the whole family and the community benefits. It’s all about giving back. We all received, so we all have a responsibility to give back.

Angela Raitzin, Angel Investor at Golden Seeds & WIIW Global COO, finished off our evening by sharing that we all are part of an ecosystem and in order to thrive in this ecosystem, it takes entrepreneurs talking to investors, talking to regulators, talking to small business and talking to politicians – it’s a collaborative group effort. She then praised Anu for doing instead of talking, along with taking charge to get things done, which enabled her to build an amazing community of 40 women loyally backing her vision and making this important WIIW Summit happen!

Bottom line:
Women Business owners are one of the fastest growing segments and our time is now. Collaboration is key for all of our success.

On Saturday, January 11th, the full-day program held at ASU SkySong was filled with entrepreneurs and investors arriving from New York, Dallas, San Diego, San Francisco, Denver, and all over the Valley ready to share their insights on what is takes to grow and fund a business, along with sharing what investors are looking for from a female perspective.

This successful WIIW Scottsdale Summit organized by Anu Bhardwaj and Patrice Register brought together experts from a variety of local community partners and from across the United States to share both best practices and lessons learned, designed to inspire best practices for young entrepreneurs and women entrepreneurs who have been selected to attend this year’s Summit as Scholarship recipients. The program enabled these women to walk away with specific tools to help them grow and fund their business, along with learning about free resources available to them, and was generously backed by Wells Fargo, the Small Business Development Center, Polsinelli, and RISC, LLC.

As I arrived, City of Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane was opening the event stating that he is an entrepreneur at heart, so he was happy to be able to speak in front of a large group of women with similar goals. Like all of the supporters, speakers and participants, he was also very excited to be part of an organization like WIIW that is making such a positive impact on our community.

I loved how the speakers were all highly accomplished executives, entrepreneurs and mothers who have clearly been there and done that, as well as being open and available to the audience to answer questions and share their stories filled with all of their highlights and lowlights. The day was all about collaboration and the focus was to create a scalable, high-impact day for individuals, philanthropists, and executives investing in the next generation of high-growth women entrepreneurs, which was definitely accomplished.

As Angela Raitzin shared,

“This is your day to be surrounded by amazing women who are ready for you to ask and they will help you receive.”
1. The goal is to be heuristic; always trying to learn what’s working, and what’s not working.
2. Meet other women who are in a non-competing business to cross-market and cross-sell.
3. Locate and find companies that you want to invest in.

In closing, I’d like to point out some Summit highlights to demonstrate the commitment and show how women can come together and unite to make successful things happen:

1. Anu Bhardwaj and Patrice Register only had 4-weeks to put this event together during the busy holiday season.
2. The WIIW committee was put to task, stopped talking and started doing to iron out the logistics.
3. Speakers drove and flew from coast-to-coast on their own nickel to support this coalition.
4. Kristin Slice “volunteered” her husband to fold programs and bring their baby to be fed.

Bottom Line:
Targeting a common objective, working together, collaborating and leveraging resources will result in something so much bigger than working in your own silo. Ask and give what you can. If you commit to something, follow through and deliver.

If you missed WIIW… don’t worry: Mark your calendars for January 9-10, 2015 and you can still participate in on the local and global conversation by going to the Women Investing in Women’s Facebook page, which also contains more information on upcoming summits across the nation.

Want more information about …

Women INVESTING in Women Institute:
A branded coalition and social movement of passionate individuals, around the globe — UNITED, for creating broader access to capital and supporting economic empowerment for women and girls. We accomplish this through public-private partnerships, education and information sharing through social media, and collaborations to promote financial literacy. Our activities range from advocacy for global women’s issues, access to capital seminars for women entrepreneurs— to a broader dialogue towards increasing the number of women on corporate boards and in the global private equity industry.

Women INVESTING in Women Institute Founder:
After Ms. Anu Bhardwaj spearheaded a Series of Global U.S. Department of Commerce Private Equity/Venture Capital Certified Trade Missions, between 2010-2013, representing over $75 Billion USD private equity and venture capital interests in collaboration with the International Trade Administration, the US Embassies in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, the Sultanate of Oman, Switzerland, France, the United Arab Emirates, Chile, Peru, and the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; she founded the Women INVESTING in Women Institute and Global Summit Series. She looks forward to changing the face of the global venture capital and private equity industry, one Summit and one continent at a time. Women INVESTING in Women Summit Series: South Africa (Feb 12-13), Muscat/Abu Dhabi (Mar 29-1), Sweden (Summer 2014), Singapore (Aug 6-7), Melbourne (August 12-13) New York City (September 2014) and will be back in Scottsdale (Jan 9-10) for 2015. Additional information and registration can be found on their website.

Local Arizona Small Business Counselors, Mentors, Organizations & Resources:

Arizona Small Business Development Center Network (SBDC):
Arizona’s largest and most accessible statewide source of assistance for small businesses at every stage of development. The SBDC Network’s 10 Service Centers and 16 Satellites and/or Meeting Sites provide access to professional business counselors, analysts and technology specialists who are dedicated to helping you succeed. Their partnerships with the SBA and the Association of Small Business Development Centers puts nationwide resources within your reach. “From A to Z, We Have What Your Business Needs To Succeed” http://maricopa-sbdc.com

National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO):
The voice of America’s 10.6 million women-owned businesses. Since 1975, NAWBO has helped women evolve their businesses by sharing resources and providing a single voice to shape economic and public policy. The Phoenix Metro Chapter is proud to celebrate 27 years of serving as the voice and vision of the women business owners of Phoenix. Recognized by The Business Journal as one of the top 5 influential organizations in the Valley, NAWBO Phoenix is on the move! http://www.nawbophx.org

SeedSpot:
Their mission is to support the nation’s most innovative social entrepreneurs. They work exclusively with entrepreneurs developing a product, service, or technology that improves the lives of people or communities on a local, national, or international level. http://seedspot.org

WIIW topics that were discussed along with the speaker names:

Access to Capital, Access to Skills, Access to Networks
Silvia Mah, Angel Investor; Felena Hanson, CEO of Hera Hub; Amy Scerra, Think Global Institute;Moderated by Candace Klein, Founder of Bad Girl Ventures

Cross Cultural Perspectives from Women Entrepreneurs: What’s Race Got To Do With It?
Samira Anne Salman, Salman Solutions + CEO of Samira’s Table; Maddie Rose Holler, Miss Outstanding Teen 2013; Breanna Bolley, CEO of CODE Technologies; Moderated by Anu Bhardwaj, Women Investing in Women Institute

Mompreneurs: Doing it All & Doing it Well
Jessica Marriott, Tantrum Bags; Michelle Howard,ParaSlice; Molly Castelazo, Founder of Castelazo Content; Moderated by Angela Raitzin, Constellation Wealth Advisors

Pitch Like a Rockstar
Kristin Slice, SBDC – Great YouTube Video Example from SoMoLend Finovate Demonstration

Think & Grow Rich for Women: Using Your Power to Create Success & Significance
Sharon Lechter, Author, Accountant & Philanthropist

Womenomics: Women Moving Trillions and What This Means
Lea Haben, SmartFem.com; Trish Costello, Portfolia.com; A Fireside Chat Moderated by Angela Raitzin, Constellation Wealth Advisors

Women Entrepreneurs: From Entry to Exit
Nancy Sanders MBA, SBDC; Jennifer Mannino, Director of Investigations of Subrosa Investigations; Debbie Gaby, President of Sleep America; Moderated by Anu Bhardwaj, Women Investing in Women Institute

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