Are you a woman who wants to be your own boss? These 12 ideas can help - YourStory

Are you a woman who wants to be your own boss? These 12 ideas can help - YourStory


Are you a woman who wants to be your own boss? These 12 ideas can help - YourStory

Posted: 22 Jun 2019 07:45 PM PDT

Own your time and make good money! You probably read this in a shady get rich quick scheme. No one really gets to do that… or do they?

The internet has exploded and given people all over the world the gift of opportunity. Backyard to bank balance success stories fill our Facebook feed, and social media celebrities are self-made millionaires. They all have the same running thread – the desire to make it on their own.

Running a business is no walk in the park, and not everyone can become a social media sensation. But a business or one with low or no investment is a definite possibility.

It offers women who want to make money from the comfort of their homes, the opportunity to take it one step at a time and continue to fulfil all the other responsibilities that they are committed to.

business ideas for women

The trick lies in marrying a talent with an idea and following it through. For any home based business to work, skill is a definite requirement. One cannot become a successful home baker without knowing how to bake!

Identify a skill or talent that you think could be converted into a home-based or online business opportunity. Simply go through our consolidated list of business ideas for women who want to be their own boss and find out if you could be one of them.

Food, glorious food

business ideas for women in India

If you are used to receiving compliments on your cooking skills then a business in food is what you should consider. One of the most popular small business ideas for women is a tiffin service. There are a host of aggregators that give home chefs a wider audience.

Family recipes, traditional cuisines or simple home-style food is most sought after.

To start off, make a WhatsApp list of friends and family who always ask you to make them this or that favourite dish, tell them that you are starting out on your own and let word of mouth do the rest. Sites like Authenticook lets you be a home chef on your own terms and host people for a fee.

If catering food is not your style, you could simply document your passion for it. It's a great business idea for a lady sitting at home with a lot of cooking ideas up her sleeve. Instagram is filled with celebrity home chefs who are reaping returns on their talent in the kitchen.

A great success story is that of Archana Doshi of Archana's Kitchen fame. She used her passion in the kitchen to create a successful and very popular food blogging website that details meal plans, lunch box ideas and recipes.

The ROI comes in the form of brand collaborations and associations with the site or channel.

Approximate investment to get started: Rs 1,000 -10,000 onwards. This would majorly be spent on appliances and a good phone camera holder.

Your skills: In addition to the obvious skill in the kitchen, you will need, basic phone camera skills and basic online social media skills for a page to help people find you.

Bake that cake

business ideas for women

If you are the designated cake baker at family functions, then a baking business may be right up your alley. It is a great business idea for ladies with low investment.

Services like Indulge by Innerchef give home bakers the opportunity to reach out to a wider audience and bake as per their capacity. Good presentation and quality ingredients will build a client base. Over time you can choose to invest in a website to help you get orders directly.

If you would rather bake for your family, then document your baking adventures. Invest in a good camera and share your passion to create a successful profile that would give you the status of an influencer like Sonali Ghosh of Sugar.

Approximate investment to get started: Rs 2,000 -10,000 onwards. This would be spent on an oven, some basic equipment and a good phone camera holder.

Your skills: In addition to the obvious skill with the oven, you will need, basic phone camera skills and basic online social media skills for a page to help people find you.

Passion for fashion

homemade business ideas for womens in india

Those with a passion for fashion who are looking for a business idea in India under 10 lakh, opening a small tailoring boutique may work well for you.

All that is needed to start off is a minimum 300 sq ft of space with a set of sewing machines and one tailor. The total running expenses per month would be about 40,000 to 1 lakh depending upon the area that you choose.

Platforms like Shopify and Facebook shop allow you to reach a bigger audience and showcase your designs. Online payment gateways make the entire process so much easier.

Anita Dongre of AND and Global Desi fame famously started in her balcony with two sewing machines. Prompt client servicing and innovative designs could help begin your success story.

Approximate investment to get started: Rs 5,00,000 -10,00,000 that will go towards shop space, sewing machine and ancillary tailoring equipment, along with, 1 part-time master cutter and 1 full-time tailor.

Your skills:Good eye for designs and patterns, production skills that help you get work out of your staff and good customer relation skills.

Crafty ideas

business for ladies sitting at home

If you are great with your hands then a good home based business for women is handmade craft supplies. The world is seeing a shift towards handmade as it is authentic and unique.

Websites like Shopify offer the opportunity to set up shop online and sell your creations from the comfort of your home. Stationary to handcrafted book covers, great ideas can be used to create handmade goodies that can pay good money. Backing your creativity with good quality and unique products will help build loyal customer bases.

Reaching out to party planners who design wedding and party favours is another way to make this work. They are always on the lookout for unique products and services.

Approximate investment to get started: Rs 500 - 2,000 onwards, which would go towards craft supplies.

Your skills: In addition to your creativity, you will need an online shop that you can manage like a Facebook shop. Decent skills with a camera phone to take pictures is also essential.

Resell to your social network

business ideas in india with low investment

Reselling is fast becoming a popular online business idea for women in India. Apps like Meesho enable women to act as resellers to their social network from the comfort of their homes.

This is an internet friendly version of the earlier offline "home sales" or "garage sales", where women would call their friends and neighbours home to showcase sarees, suit pieces and jewellery among other items.

Reselling platforms take care of pick-up and delivery and also provide additional conveniences like COD. For women who have a wide social network, nothing like making it earn you some extra cash!

Approximate investment to start with: INR 0 – onwards, depending on the terms with the original sellers.

Your skills: Good eye for trends and new products along with interpersonal skills that will help build customer relationship.

Stock trading

business ideas for indian housewives

The stock market has a huge potential for becoming a home based business for women. A large number of market savvy housewives are turning the stock market into their office. They look at earning extra cash by stock trading.

Stock trading can be done from anywhere, even parallelly with a job! It allows you to decide your risk appetite and earn using your financial skills. There are sites like FundsIndia that offer help and advice with playing the stock market and making sensible investments.

This option is great for those with a financial services background who have taken a break from work. But that does not mean that those without such a background can't learn to become stock market pros. An appetite for risk, however, is a must.

Approximate investment to start with: Rs 5,000 and upwards, depending on your risk appetite.

Your skills: Apart from an interest in the stock market, a regular study of current happenings and the willingness to learn from trial and error are also important.


Social media influencer

business ideas in india under 10 lakhs

Social media has become one of the biggest places to generate brand awareness with millions of eyeballs to be caught every second. Becoming a social media influencer is a great idea for a business in India with low investment. Any talent that you are passionate about can help you become an influencer.

Makeup, travel, food, fitness and fashion are the main areas where social media influencers operate. Daily conversations about your area of interest supported by pictures, videos and blogs would help garner a growing list of loyal content consumers. Your phone camera can be your gateway to big opportunities.

Brands associate with influencers who can engage their followers. So reading and keeping up with trending topics will help connect with more people and build larger audiences.

The key remains regular creative and value-adding content that you enjoy. A successful influencer takes about one to three years to gain popularity. A lot is dependent upon the quality of content.

Approximate investment to start with: Rs 0, all you need is your camera phone and an eye for detail.

Your skills: An understanding of what you want to be known for and good social media interaction skills.

Freelance content creator

small business ideas in india for womens

Those with good creative skills can choose to make an online home business out of it. From written content to photography, graphic design or animation, content is king. Today, more than ever before, brands are leaning towards working with freelancers.

There are several content platforms like Witty Pen, Fiver, Behance etc that help those looking for freelance content creators find people like you.

Creating a profile on the relevant platforms and putting your portfolio out there goes a long way in helping brands find you.

Most content creators start their business with no investment. You can choose how much work you want to take up and set the pace to suit your schedule. Really good content creators are always in demand and the creative space is filled with success stories like Alicia Souza.

Approximate investment to start with: Rs 0 onwards. All you need is your creativity. However, you can look at investing in equipment to enhance your productivity later.

Your skills:An understanding of your core creative skill set and making sure that you keep abreast with the latest in your field is very important. Additionally, setting up a page dedicated to the work that you do is an added advantage.

Share your teaching skill

home based business ideas for womens in india

Another homemade business idea for women in India is home-based tutoring. If you have a teaching background in any subject, then this is for you. Working parents do not have the time to teach their kids and often want a smaller and safer teaching environment for younger children. Your home could offer that.

Maths, Science, English and third languages are the subjects that parents usually need help with. Offering to tutor to children in the primary section requires more child

management and a graduate knowledge of the subject. What is needed is a knack for teaching and good skill with children.

Home-based teaching platforms like CueMath are a very good and viable business idea for Indian housewives. They give training and teaching material against a small one-time fee. Post which your work is on a revenue sharing basis per student. More students equal more revenue. This great business for ladies sitting at home.

You can choose to have as many students as you wish, at your convenient time, in the comfort of a location that is of your choice (your home or that of the student). Fee collection and other admin related work are often handled by the service provider reducing your involvement in the same.

Approximate investment to start with: Rs 0 – onwards, depending on whether you are doing this on your own or with a teaching platform.

Your skills: Good interpersonal skills, patience with children and a willingness to be innovative in your approach will help you deal with the different types of students that you will find yourself with.

Daycare centre

business for women

If you love being with kids and have a great time entertaining them, then the good business idea with less than 10 lakh investment is starting a small daycare facility.

When both parents are working, daycare is often the only option for a safe and healthy environment for the child. A small facility that is child safe with a well chalked out schedule as per the age group of children has made many small daycare setups a success.

You can take up a franchise as well. Daycare and pre-school franchisees have investments of 10 – 20 lakhs and upwards. You can choose what works best for you.

Approximate investment to start with: Rs10,00,000 and upwards, depending on the terms of your venture.

Your skills: Good business skills with regard to facility management, customer relation skills to handle parents and a keen interest in children.

Home-based hobby classes

small business ideas for women

If you have a skill that you are really good at, you can consider conducting classes to share it. Hobby classes like flower making, cake decorating, jewellery making, art, pottery etc are popular with adults and kids alike.

A Facebook page or Instagram account can help spread the word along with word of mouth. This is a very good business idea for women in India, where community living gives people the opportunity to interact and do these kinds of activities from home.

Success is stories like Sonjuhi Malhotra, who started her cake baking classes "Sonjuhi" at home with no investment. Today Sonjuhi has snowballed into an academy that gives certificate courses in bakery training!

Approximate investment to start with: Rs 0 – onwards. (The students pay for their own equipment)

Your skills:Good interpersonal skills, innovative teaching skills and a fun personality will help draw more students to your classes.

Digital marketing services

home based business for womens

Digital marketing has become one of the most sought after services that have great potential for those who want to start their own home-based business.

Online courses abound that give a good understanding of the subject. If you have worked in the field of marketing and brand building, then this might be just the right fit for you.

Freelancing with smaller brands that seek digital marketing services on a project basis is a good way to start and build your portfolio. Having a website that details your projects and the work done would help build the credibility of your business service.

Approximate investment to start with: Rs 10,000 - 50,000 and upwards – towards a good course in digital marketing.

Your skills:In addition to a marketing background, an added digital marketing qualification is important. Good client servicing skills will help you retain and grow your client base.

These are the top 12 business ideas for women in India with varying skills sets, that can be started with little or no investment. Match your skill or passion with any one or more of these to create an opportunity that is best for you. Being your own boss gives you freedom of choice and the ability to juggle your various commitments if you are a parent.

If you found this post to be helpful or you have an idea to add to the list, write into us we would love to hear from you. Sharing this post could give someone out there the brilliant inspiration to be their own boss. Who knows, you may inspire the next Anita Dongre!


For this serial entrepreneur, travel sparks business ideas - Livemint

Posted: 24 Jun 2019 09:54 AM PDT

Leading three different companies-- fashion and lifestyle, experiential travel, and hospitality—one would imagine Shilpa Sharma, co-founder of Jaypore, Break Away and Mustard, often covets the seductive pace of a single job. But that's not the case. She says there is one ingredient that works as a reliable fuel to keep the passion high: travel.

"Travel is the common thread that binds all my previous and current professional avatars. It has sparked creativity, debunked myths and has injected unadulterated joy in me," says Sharma, who has three decades of work experience.

Sharma has worked at Fabindia, handled sales and marketing for two FMCG companies, done a short stint in advertising, and started her own consulting practice a decade ago. It is no coincidence that travel has always been at the core of all of her jobs.

"Travel opens up the mind. It allows you to see how much there is out there that doesn't get noticed or talked about. It opens one up to new dimensions and ideas, and helps find like-minded people that resonate your dream," she says.

Learning on the move

Travel has been a silent but abiding teacher for all of Sharma's life. As a young girl, long trips to different destinations were a regular feature during holidays.

On family road trips, she enjoyed watching the countryside zip by. She says her love for experiencing local culture and ways of life started then, and it's a love she carried into adulthood.

In 2011, she started Breakaway, a travel platform that offers an alternative and immersive view of India. "The trips mostly straddle craft and textile, festivals and culture with a strong social impact inclusion. Ever since I curated my first trip, my faith in this space and the idea of 'slow travel' has only been reinforced," says Sharma.

The same tenor runs in the popular fashion and lifestyle brand aggregator platform, Jaypore, launched in 2012. On this site, Sharma sells the work of skilful artisans and colourful textiles. She says it's a way to share the cultural history of India, which she discovered while visiting craft hubs and artisans' homes over the years.

Her third venture, Mustard, a restaurant serving French-Bengali cuisine, is the result of a chance meeting with her partner Poonam Singh, a chef and a food curator. Travel played a huge role in this idea and effort too: He four of them connected over a bonfire in Nagaland.

"I've always loved travelling alone, minus any personal dynamics and expectations, which are the most demanding by-products of group travel. Solo travel is precious and liberating," she says.

"Unplanned holidays and itinerary-less days work well for me. Over the years, my style of travel has inadvertently steered me through entrepreneurship as well. My foray into all three realms of business have been delightfully accidental," says Sharma.

She has no fixed rules about striking work-life balance or the desire to tick off popular destinations.

Her last trip was to Arunachal Pradesh and she describes it as a week filled with sampling local cuisine, experiencing tribal culture and unwinding with a group of like-minded women travellers.

"Travel doesn't come in the way of work, and vice versa. I can be 'off the grid' even when at home. Technology has made it so much easier to be geography agnostic that I can have handle on work, if need be, wherever I am," says Sharma.

With so many balls to juggle, Sharma is often teased by friends for being "over-subscribed".

"It's travel that makes me present to things, introspective, humble and give me the comfort of being just me," she says.

More than anything, travel has been a great educator for Sharma. "Travel makes you learn how little it takes to be happy. It's a great leveller," she says.

On the Road highlights the lessons industry leaders have learnt through their travels.Write to us at businessoflife@livemint.com

Women in Business: Cambre Horne-Brooks - talkbusiness.net

Posted: 24 Jun 2019 06:30 AM PDT

Residence: Fayetteville

Education: Bachelor's in Social Work (B.S.W.) and Criminal Justice, University of Arkansas; Master's in Social Work (M.S.W.), University of Arkansas

Professional background: Horne-Brooks has been a top executive for various nonprofits advocating for the well-being of communities for two decades. She has held leadership roles for Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Northwest Arkansas, Northwest Arkansas Tobacco Free Coalition, Community Clinic of NWA and, since 2012, the Fayetteville Public Education Foundation, where she is responsible for raising gifts for the growth of the foundation's $4 million endowment.

What inspired you to pursue the career you are in? I knew that I would have to work in a field that was rewarding to my spirit. So I pursued the nonprofit route working behind the scenes, generally for the betterment of clients and to serve the community. I've been fortunate to be able to work in two huge areas that make an impact on quality of life in Northwest Arkansas and that was public health and public education.

What's the most important aspect of achieving a balance between your career and your family? Early in my career, when my son was much younger, I was fortunate to have flexible work hours that allowed me to participate fully as a mom and also dedicate my time to my career. As my son grew older, our family developed a "divide and conquer" protocol. Each of us plays a role in making sure the domestic side of our family runs smoothly. My husband and son are just as invested in household duties as I am, if not more.

What qualities do you feel are most important in a company leader? I think being authentic transcends any other characteristic of leadership. Being the same person in all circumstances and being present for the people you work with creates a place for people to do their best. This means I often don't sugarcoat things and my dialog is honest.

What's the first thing you do at the office each morning? I begin my mornings with coffee and conversation. I ease into the day with dialogue with my co-workers. I work well through the synergy of the staff. As a team, we brainstorm and roundtable our projects and develop ideas, solutions and goals as a group before we divvy up our day.

What's the last good book you read? "10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works — A True Story," by Dan Harris. It is a humorous and brutally honest book. It was a game changer for me.

How do you spend your time away from work — if there is such a thing? What are your hobbies? I am high energy and am "on" most of the time. But as an extrovert, I still need time to retreat and re-energize. My father passed away a year ago. This ratified the importance of seizing the day. Traveling, exploring other cultures and slowing down and spending quality time with friends and family became a priority.

What's your biggest passion and why? Being a change agent is my passion. There is no room in my career for apathy or indifference. I generally meet things head-on and dive in 100%.

What is something unique people would be surprised to know about you? I was an art history major in college, and I wanted to work in a museum as a curator. I abandoned that major because I realized that I would be entering a very competitive field and have to go work in a very large metropolitan area. Who would know years later that we would be art central for our region and the nation in the way of arts? If I had stuck with that, I might have had a different path.

What time do you get up on workday mornings? I do not thrive under a traditional work schedule. I get to work at 9 a.m., don't usually take a lunch break and get home after 6 [p.m.]. I use my office time for administrative work, and once home, I usually hit my work productivity stride about 7 p.m. This has been going on for about 18 years, and it's not uncommon for co-workers, board members or colleagues to get a call or text from me after hours.

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Start Garden sets goals to boost assistance for minority-owned tech startups - MiBiz: West Michigan Business News

Posted: 24 Jun 2019 02:22 AM PDT

GRAND RAPIDS — Start Garden Inc. says it's gaining traction on an effort launched two years ago that put more emphasis on diversity.

Through greater outreach and networking into Grand Rapids-area neighborhoods, the business incubator has been able to attract far more female and minority entrepreneurs to participate in events. They include the monthly 5x5 Night that awards $5,000 for startups to take an idea to the next level, or the Start Garden 100 that awards $20,000 to entrepreneurs at an annual Demo Day where 100 finalists pitch their ideas to a panel of judges.

Jorge Gonzalez, co-director, Start Garden COURTESY PHOTO

Now Start Garden seeks to take another step toward diversifying its client base and bringing aboard more entrepreneurs who are minorities.

The nonprofit Start Garden set a goal over the next two years to host six minority-owned tech startups at its business incubator at 40 Pearl St. NW in downtown Grand Rapids.

"Getting out of the basement and working alongside other entrepreneurs has tremendous impact on a new startup. We're here to be the on-ramp into that community and, eventually, new wealth creation in minority communities of our city," Start Garden co-director Jorge Gonzalez told MiBiz.

A Start Garden survey showed that fewer than 8 percent of tech startups in Grand Rapids are owned by women, African Americans or Hispanics. That's despite minorities making up more than 36 percent of the local population.

The Start Garden survey also found that owners of tech startups are overwhelmingly male, at 86 percent, and white, 81 percent, according to co-director Paul Moore.

To create greater diversity and inclusivity, Start Garden needed to act more intentionally and reach out to "marginalized" neighborhoods as much as possible to connect with minorities who have an innovation or idea for a business "to make sure they know we exist," Moore said.

"It's just being active and getting out and finding out what people are working on," he said. "We're targeting populations that have felt excluded, from particularly the tech startup scene in Grand Rapids."

As a result, minorities and women consistently represent nearly half of participants in 5x5 Night, where previously participants were predominantly white and male, Moore said.

"Now we want to see if we can bring that same thing into the tech community that's at 40 Pearl," he said.

Breaking barriers

In the 2018 Start Garden 100 competition, 46 percent of the 812 people submitting entries were women, 29 percent of participants were African American and 10 percent were Hispanic.

The event was how Ariana Waller got involved in the Start Garden incubator.

Waller had an idea for a website to resell pre-owned or surplus cosmetics that went unused at salons. She entered Start Garden 100 in 2018 and made the cut of 100 finalists who each received $1,000 to flesh out their ideas. Waller then was named one of the 10 winners last July who received $20,000 and entry into the business incubator.

The subsidized space, networking and mentorship Start Garden provides have proven invaluable for Waller, who operates her company via the website shopadorra.com. She subsequently formed a technology consulting company, Wallway Technologies LLC, that she also operates from the business incubator.

"This kind of breaks down the barriers of access to entry when we're talking about opportunity," said Waller, an African American woman who gives Start Garden credit for reaching out to minority entrepreneurs and emphasizing diversity.

Waller, who moved to Grand Rapids three years ago from Atlanta with her husband, Omar, talks about attending events and technology conferences where "usually I'm the only black female in the room."

"I'm just excited that there's an organization out here like Start Garden that gets the issue and (says), 'Here's a solution and here's how we're going to consistently drive it to success,'" she said. "They're going to make a large impact over time."

Building community

Start Garden takes the next step toward greater diversity under a new contract approved in February to manage the SmartZone for the City of Grand Rapids.

The contract put in place new goals for fostering local tech startups and included metrics-based outcomes. Those targets include adding 10 new tech startups annually to the SmartZone service area, with six of those companies over two years owned by minorities or women, and providing service to 15 startups a year through the Pearl Street business incubator.

"As an organization, the City is committed to helping to build a more inclusive community. Working together, we can make sure Grand Rapids is a great place for startups to launch and grow," Kara Wood, the city's managing director of economic development services, said in a statement.

By reaching out more to the minority community, Start Garden can increase the pool of would-be entrepreneurs to serve in the business incubator, who in turn can learn from one another as they nurture their businesses.

"It's pretty straight forward. We're always trying to create a high density of people that are starting things. That's why we have a space, that's why we do events, that's why we do programming," Moore said. "There's a lot more resiliency when people are trying to start companies in a 'community.'"

Needs improvement

Creating greater diversity has been an issue not just for the business incubator in Grand Rapids but also for a far broader continuum of entrepreneurship, particularly in the venture capital sector that funds tech startups.

An annual research report by the Michigan Venture Capital Association shows the portion of VC-backed companies led by female CEOs in 2018 was the same 10 percent it was in 2015. The number of VC-backed companies led by racial minorities was just 13 percent in 2018, although that's up from 9 percent in 2015, according to annual MVCA reports.

Still, there has been progress in diversity on other fronts.

Sixteen companies led by a CEO from an underrepresented group accounted for $53 million, or 13.7 percent, of the $385 million in venture capital invested in 61 startups in Michigan in 2018. That compares to just 2.8 percent of the $282 million put into 74 startups in 2015, the year after the Ann Arbor-based MVCA began publicly reporting diversity data in its annual report. 


MiBiz small business news coverage is supported by the Small Business Association of Michigan, the statewide and state-based association that focuses solely on serving the needs of Michigan's small business community. Visit sbam.org for information. This sponsorship is advertising. It has no effect on editorial consideration in MiBiz.

Businesses well placed to offer ideas: Asia Pacific Business Forum - POST-COURIER

Posted: 23 Jun 2019 06:18 PM PDT

Businesses are well-positioned to offer innovative solutions to key sustainable development challenges, particularly in meeting the infrastructure and connectivity needs of rural and urban communities.
Asia Pacific Business Forum 2019 was the concluding event of the first PNG Investment Week, which attracted more than 1000 global and regional participants.
It was organised with the support of the ESCAP Sustainable Business Network, the PNG government, Investment Promotion Authority and the Business Council of PNG.
The forum showcased bold, innovative and truly sustainable business solutions in sectors such as infrastructure, green financing, financial inclusion, climate and disaster resilience, as well as trade and investment.
The two-day APBF focused on the theme of "Global Goals, Local Opportunities".
Senior policymakers, business leaders and emerging entrepreneurs discussed the roles and responsibilities of businesses to work with the public sector to mitigate the impacts of climate change and support the development of non-urban Pacific communities.
"Connectivity is especially relevant in the Pacific context, where the challenges associated with geographic isolation and remoteness has hindered trade and investment among Pacific island countries and with major international markets.
Enhancing connectivity in this sub-region demands increased investments in transport networks and ICT infrastructure," said UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP, Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana in her opening remarks.
Ms Alisjahbana called on public-private sector partnerships to support SME growth and women's entrepreneurship in the region.
"Unlocking the potential of women-owned business represents a powerful opportunity for greater economic growth and leadership in our economies. A stronger Asia and the Pacific demands novel strategies to overcome entrenched barriers to women owned and led businesses and entrepreneurships."
Prime Minister James Marape said: "Our priority is to empower our local businessmen and women.
"We have set a goal of growing our local SME spaces so that 10-20 per cent our citizens are anchored in the SME sectors. Aligned with the focus of the APBF, our key priority sectors for SME growth are agriculture, tourism and marine resources.
"We are keen to work with foreign investors to sustainably develop these industries and our SMEs in them.
"To implement the 17 SDGs by 2030 is not a simple task. One condition for success is to engage the private sector. For businesses to work towards the SDGs, we need platforms such as the Asia-Pacific Business Forum to bring together world business leaders." said George Lam, President of the ESCAP Sustainable Business Network (ESBN).
"Vanuatu is leading the way in promoting business resilience to climate change. Resources exist in the country and we need to start using them more.
"That's why Vanuatu set up a business resilience committee to assist businesses to get together to find our own solutions without depending on external parties that may not understand the local business environment." said Shaun Gilchrist, president Vanuatu Chamber of Commerce, CEO Azure Water.
He said: "Innovation, product diversification and daring to dream at the regional level will help us address shared regional challenges."

Lindsay Goldman journal: Seeking a better financial model for pro women's cycling - VeloNews

Posted: 24 Jun 2019 09:12 AM PDT

You met me a few weeks ago on the VeloNews Podcast, where I talked about needing to build a better economic model to support the push for equality in women's cycling. Since then, I've spent a lot of time thinking about two things: (1) the business of cycling and how it can improve, and (2) do I really have as many chins as I did in the photo VeloNews chose? In the midst of this deep pondering, I received an announcement: the Hagens Berman law firm is discontinuing its title sponsorship of my team for 2020. While not unexpected, it still came as unfortunate news and of course I cried, because that is how I process most things. (This is not unique to me; in a recent review of every race day my team had in 2019, at 91.4% of events at least one person on our payroll has cried. For all of pro cycling's shortcomings, we're certainly not lacking in feelings). In the words of Steve Berman of Hagens Berman, "Biking scene in the USA very depressing." He's not wrong. Like I said in that podcast, if we don't improve the business of our sport and figure out how to grow our fan base, we're in trouble. More races will end, sponsors will leave, teams will fold. Mine just did.

Before going further, let me add one note: I'm sharing this because it's news when pro cycling loses another sponsor and I'm hoping at some point these losses can cumulatively be a catalyst for change in the pro cycling business model. This is not a call for you to send my team $20 or for somebody to launch a GoFundMe to save the program. While I may launch a new women's program from the ashes of this team, I'm not writing this in hopes of being saved. I started a dialogue a few weeks back through an interview at Tour of California about the business of cycling, continued it in the VeloNews podcast, and am now keeping the conversation going using my own team's story as a case study.

A bit of background for those unfamiliar: my team is Hagens Berman—Supermint, a UCI women's pro cycling team in our fourth season. Hagens Berman (a longtime pro cycling patron) pays the majority of our bills; Supermint is a holding LLC created to own the team and finances. We are not selling gum and it is never pronounced 'spearmint', despite efforts of announcers worldwide to convince audiences otherwise. We race across the U.S. and recently tried some Spring Classics in Belgium. Our roster includes the reigning U.S. national criterium champion, and our best results include winning the 2018 and 2019 Winston-Salem Cycling Classic, the highest ranked one-day road race in America, as well as jerseys at the last three editions of the Women's WorldTour Amgen Tour of California. In other words, we're not exactly Boels-Dolmans, but we're good enough to have our own Wikipedia page.

Photo: SnowyMountain Photography/Hagens Berman-Supermint

When this team first launched, my goal was simple: run a team with a healthy business model. That meant following a few basic principles, like adhering to a budget and paying riders and staff on time, concepts that seem straightforward and yet somehow manage to elude many teams. I also wanted to create a marketing plan that worked, both for the team as a brand and for each individual sponsor. This meant understanding what mattered to the sponsor (Instagram likes, professional photos of riders using their products, visits to their headquarters, etc.) and then delivering it so the sponsor would feel their investment was worthwhile and want to keep building the relationship in subsequent years. Again, concepts that should be elementary in a sponsorship-driven sport and yet are not. All too often, the season gets underway and teams are content to take the cash and free gear while focusing entirely on gaining five seconds on the GC to clinch that coveted (yet ultimately forgettable) final podium spot. Optimistically, I believed I could do better and lead by example, boiling the ocean by microwaving a single mug of water and dumping it in.

In some ways I did. Over the past four years, my team went from being a fledgling program with a dubious future to a strong organization with loyal sponsors, an enthusiastic fanbase, financial solvency year after year, and results that are gradually pushing us up the world rankings. Anna van der Breggen has yet to send me her resume but maybe she just doesn't have my email address (I'm kidding). Kidding aside, my team has become one of the mainstays of U.S. women's pro cycling and I've weathered enough storms successfully to feel like I know what I'm doing as a leader and businessperson in cycling. This team has finally reached a point where strangers on the roadside make Go Supermint! signs at races. When I see that, my heart swells with pride and I gratefully toss them packs of gum.

Photo: SnowyMountain Photography/Hagens Berman-Supermint

And yet, it was still not enough. Berman expressed doubt about his future as a patron of pro cycling last summer, so I knew the end was inevitable. He felt like professional cycling had become depressing and wanted to move his funds into a foundation. I couldn't blame him; it was only with his support that the last four years had even been possible, so I'm left with nothing but gratitude. He made so many dreams come true – mine more than anybody's – and had a significant impact on women's cycling. There is no bitterness in his departure and I hope you'll join me in wishing him and Hagens Berman the very best. But now he's gone and unless I start a new program, pro cycling just lost another team in a time when opportunities are already scarce.

Rapha recently released the Rapha Roadmap, an extensive report examining the state of professional cycling and how to improve it. No, their answer doesn't involve selling more $500 rain jackets; rather than propaganda, it is the most thoroughly-researched and well-considered thesis on how to fix cycling, and if you have a spare 16 hours to read the report's roughly 40,000 words, I'd highly recommend it. I read the whole thing because it was refreshing to see so much of the crap in this sport called out and then corrected with smart suggestions. The report provided answers to so many of the problems that plague pro cycling and make people like Berman decide their money is better spent elsewhere.

Photo: SnowyMountain Photography/Hagens Berman-Supermint

I found validation in a number of the suggestions, ideas offered to the industry that my team has already been doing for years. My team's focus has always been split between earning results (the traditional hallmark of a successful cycling team) and meeting sponsor objectives, which – and this may come as a shock to many – don't always equal simply winning races. What?! It's not enough for me to just win something and wear a logo-emblazoned hat on the podium?! No, dude, you have to ask your sponsor how they want you promoting their brand and then do whatever accomplishes that. So we've been doing that now for four years. Hagens Berman wanted to make a difference in cycling, so I created the Ambassador Program under which my riders mentor women at all levels and across all disciplines of cycling. That has nothing to do with winning races and everything to do with delivering something meaningful to a sponsor.

Beyond working to keep our sponsors happy, we keep professional photographers on staff to generate high-quality photos in and out of events, follow a detailed schedule to ensure the team and riders cover all sponsors weekly across social media, joined a Zwift race league in 2019 to keep up with the growth of eSports, dabble in merchandising, and do grassroots outreach through our Ambassador Program, school visits, and other mentoring opportunities to make us relatable and tied to the greater cycling community. We look for opportunities to increase visibility across the sport, writing columns and blogs in cycling media, participating in race promotion and series like USA CRITS, and racing the heck out of our bikes. Racing is boring when everybody sits in the pack and rolls around until the final sprint, so we throw everything we've got at a race from start to finish. Often it pays off in the end, but if nothing else, it's earned us the reputation as an exciting team to watch. Announcers and spectators have thanked us countless times for animating races, but I see this simply as our job. Because, if you really think about it, professional sport doesn't exist to fulfill the hopes of dreams of its participants. It exists to entertain, and if we are not entertaining, then why are we in the business?

So, I've given this my best shot, I've built a team that's doing many of the things it took the Rapha Roadmap several years of in-depth research to conclude we should be doing, and yet here I am. This tiny empire that is frankly my life's best work (other than my kid, but I'm not sure if I can take credit for work my uterus performed autonomously) will crumble to dust and memories unless somebody decides to give me a new title sponsorship. What this tells me is it's not enough for a few teams or people to create pieces that would fit in a new, more successful future of professional cycling. I cannot boil the ocean alone.

The author at a children's race. Photo: Snowy Mountain Photography/Hagens Berman-Supermint

We must change. This sport needs reforms at the highest level to become more consumer-friendly, less reliant on generous but transient benefactors, less inwardly focused on self and sport and more attuned to the greater cycling community. Clinging to the many traditions and rules that dictate how we run this business is suffocating pro cycling. Sponsors are leaving, industry companies are targeting their marketing dollars elsewhere, pro races are shutting down. For every bit of growth, we are still taking steps backward. We haven't kept pace with the many other sports that have evolved to best leverage available technology to connect with a bigger audience. The Rapha Roadmap explains so many ways we could grow our fanbase exponentially while generating enough income to be a self-sustaining sport, but as long as most of pro cycling keeps marching to the old beat, nothing will happen. We all must change to affect real change.

When Berman told me the team was ending, I cried over the end of something great. The best years of my life have been spent building this team and enjoying a million fantastic moments with the people creating it alongside me. While I was often driven to madness with the tedium of team management (the work literally never ends) and often fantasized about starting a pro cycling team with no actual riders, I wouldn't trade a minute of the torture. I built something memorable, gave dozens of people jobs and opportunities, met the most incredible and interesting people, suffered brutally on the bike and stressed endlessly off it, learned how to weather the most frightening challenges in a tough business, and created a legacy that at least a few people will never forget.

Will I do it again? I don't know. If I do, it will be with the goal of building a new and even better program leveraging every lesson I've learned and those taught through the Roadmap and smarter people around me. But there will be dread mixed with the thrill of starting once again (and definitely some tears, because that's what I do). The weight of running a team while trying to affect real change is huge and robs me of more sleep than my baby ever did. But I'll do it, gladly, because I haven't given up on trying to be part of the change that must come to save our sport at the highest levels. If that sponsor doesn't come, then I will walk away knowing this team did the best we could, became the best we could, and went out at the highest point we could reach. Then I'll use all my newfound free time to reread the Rapha Roadmap another eight times and plan a new way to boil this ocean.

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