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How to Get Clear on the Business You Want to Start – B3 for Women

How to Get Clear on the Business You Want to Start - B3 for Women

Today we’re going to answer the question “How do you get clear on the business you want to start?”

There are 3 strategies you can use to clarify your business ideas.

1. Know Your Why.
Why do you want a business? Give yourself four minutes and write down the answer to this question: Why do I want a business now? Stop listening to everybody else’s voices and listen to your heart and feelings because: “Emotion is what puts us into motion.”

2. Find the Problems You Like to Solve.
Think about it this way; a business is just a tool to solve people’s problems. Take four minutes to quickly write out the problems that you would like to solve. Don’t think about grammar, or about the problems that you know how to solve as too small or basic. We will explore these further in the next step.

3. Follow Your Excitement.
Look at the list of problems in the above step and pick three that you’re curious about and make you excited. If you’re not excited and not energized by solving those problems, then you’re not going to follow through. This problem will provide you with a list of problems you can solve to start your business. Take a look at these problems and ask yourself

What kind of business can I create that solves these problems and fulfills my “Why”?

Get the funds you need to start your business. Learn more about Kiva U.S. Loans here. 

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Why the World Doesn’t Need Your Charity

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why-the-world-doesnt-need-your-charityTraditionally, non-profit organizations have addressed the needs of the community by filling service gaps and developing programs to help communities in need. This is often achieved by raising funds/goods to support a cause, and by distributing those funds/goods to those in need to fulfill the nonprofit’s mission.

But is this approach working? Are nonprofits helping the needy and developing long-lasting results to address issues of inequality, poverty and lack of access to education? The answer to this question is often a resounding NO.

A common problem in the nonprofit world is that emphasis is often placed on addressing the immediate symptoms of a problem, but the cause of that problem is often ignored.

We treat hunger in our community by opening food banks; open shelters for those who need a home, etc. But in doing this, we are not addressing the problems that caused an individual to need those services; we are only putting a Band-Aid on the problem.

“Giving to those in need what they could be gaining from their initiative may well be the kindest way to destroy people.” – Robert D. Lupton, Author of the book Toxic Charity

Organizations who provide immediate relief for hunger, shelter and natural disasters are crucial to our community. However, a nonprofit’s work should not end there.

Treating the symptoms is only a temporary fix as the problems usually repeat, creating an endless cycle that promotes dependency and marginalizes those it’s meant to help.

The concept of charity is now outdated. We shouldn’t look at community service or charitable gifts as charity work. Instead, we should move from a culture of giving and enabling to a culture of empowering. At the Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida, we are on a path to creating and supporting programs that promote self-efficacy.

Our Matched Savings for Education Program offers applicants the opportunity to save for education and participate in individualized financial training while receiving Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida matching dollars to cover their college tuition!

Our Kiva program for entrepreneurs gives local women-owned businesses access to the capital they need to grow and expand their business, and our ElevateHer SWFL initiative is helping raise funds for initiatives that drive lasting impact for SWFL women and girls.

How can we look beyond the Band-Aid approach? Do you think self-efficacy is important when developing charitable programs? Leave us your comment below!!

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Guest Blog Post #2: A Heartfelt Thank You!

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Most graduates enter the post-college world with a healthy dose of fear and excitement. There’s the excitement that has steadily been bubbling its way into our minds over the past four years. We’ve realized that the real world is full of opportunities that we will finally be able to pursue unfettered by a lingering feeling that we were, to some extent, still children wearing our mom’s high heels or our dad’s oversized business jacket. We have become increasingly aware and excited that those heels and jackets actually belong to us now. What seems even crazier is that they actually fit now.

From left, Richard Molloy (Yale Club secretary), Tom Mackelfresh, Dr. Elton LeHew, Joseph Young-Perez (Yale '20), Kendall Brent (Yale '20), Alan Horton (Yale Club past president), Samantha Coury (Yale '20), Mike Hanson (Yale Club vice president), Brenda Tate, Women's Foundation of Southwest Florida, Charlotte Newell, Mark Torres (Yale '20), Scott Herstin (in rear), Christina Barringten (in front), Bill Martin, Barie Fez-Barringten, Dr. Bill Pettinger.

From left, Richard Molloy (Yale Club secretary), Tom Mackelfresh, Dr. Elton LeHew, Joseph Young-Perez (Yale ’20), Kendall Brent (Yale ’20), Alan Horton (Yale Club past president), Samantha Coury (Yale ’20), Mike Hanson (Yale Club vice president), Brenda Tate, Women’s Foundation of Southwest Florida, Charlotte Newell, Mark Torres (Yale ’20), Scott Herstin (in rear), Christina Barringten (in front), Bill Martin, Barie Fez-Barringten, Dr. Bill Pettinger.

For me, it wasn’t until the week of graduation that it really hit me what the ramifications of having my own while walking through Old Campus. No, it was the realization that I was going to lose everything I’d come to love so dearly over the past four years. No longer would I walk through campus with access to all the buildings that house some of the happiest memories of my college career. No longer would I be able to walk five minutes in any direction to see some of my closest friends with whom I’ve grown so much.

George W Pierson wrote a book called Yale: A Short Story, and he begins the foreword by saying: “Yale is at one a tradition, a company of scholars, a society of friends.” The fear that lurked in the shadows of Yale’s gothic architecture really stemmed from the idea that I was about to be forced out of this company and had no idea when I’d see some of those friends again. So over the past couple of weeks since graduation, I immersed myself in my excitement about my new job with the Women’s Foundation, completely ignoring how much I missed my friends and the familiarity of Yale.

But I’ve realized over the past few days that Yale never really leaves you. In immersing myself in this data project, I’m still a part of that company of scholars. The wonderful Yale Club of Southwest Florida is partially underwriting this project and making it possible for me to work with the Women’s Foundation and the Human Trafficking Task Force this summer. It is comforting to know that as an alumna I have now become part of a new company that is just as supportive and just as motivated to make a positive impact as my friends at Yale were.

This truth hit me hard when I was at a Yale Club event celebrating the local high schoolers who were recently admitted to Yale. While singing ‘Bright College Years’ (Yale’s alma mater) I just started crying. I was crying because I felt a profound sense of loss that I wouldn’t be moving back into my dorm with my friends in the fall. But I was also crying because I was so thankful to have had the chance to meet those friends and to continue to be part of the Yale community, albeit in a different way. Most importantly, I was so thankful that the alumni of the Yale Club showed me that although my bright college years are over, the future is equally bright, if not brighter and it’s time to move forward and make a difference in the world.

So I would like to send the most heartfelt thank you to all the members of the Yale Club of Southwest Florida for making this project possible. Thank you for believing that fighting human trafficking is a cause worth supporting. And thank you for reminding me that graduation was not the end, but rather a beginning.

“But time and change shall not avail
To break the friendships formed at Yale.”
-Bright College Years

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