Startup Garden tours re:invention for women entrepreneurs

Today Kirsten Orsolind, founder of re:invention consulting, which provides marketing services for women-led businesses, graciously hosts me as part of the business book blog tour. For the next week yours truly will be appearing on related business sites, speaking with the principles about the process of entrepreneurship, and ways that issues raised in my book pertain. Please do visit Kirsten’s fantastic site and blog! There you will find an thoroughly engaging blend of marketing resources and links for women entrepreneurs, as well as a playful spirit that leads to such features as an ongoing entrepreneurial soap opera.

On her site I tout a new book that is in my opinion the best book yet written on the topic of women and entrepreneurship, Clearing the Hurdles: Women Building High-Growth Businesses. Written by five academic/entrepreneurs, this book shares powerful wisdom about the startup process. It appeals to me because the book affirms many of my beliefs and observations—the fact that most businesses are bootstrapped, for example (and for whom chasing VC is a misguided waste of time.) The fact that while VC is limited to a small subset of startups, it does provide the right fuel for high-potential companies. The authors stress the importance of the entrepreneurial process above all—the relative banality of even a great idea compared to the need for process genius, which is the ability to control and acquire and leverage the appropriate resources to realize your idea as a profitable venture. I will be reviewing this book for a newspaper later this summer, and will post the link then. And I’ll write more on this title, and other (lesser) books in this subject area soon.

In the meantime, here’s a passage I particularly like, which I cited in the interview with Kirsten.

“What was surprising in our investigation? We found that the hurdles that women must clear are just as real for men who choose entrepreneurship. Every single individual or team that decides to create a new venture must have the motivation and commitment to stick with the enterprise throughout years of challenges. Entrepreneurs must be technically capable and management savvy. They all need to build resources for the enterprise—often seeming to create something out of nothing. Successful entrepreneurs must start out with good ideas that are actually feasible and for which there is (and soon will be) a ready market. If their business concepts are not scalable, they will never be able to achieve high growth and high value status, although they might be able to successfully run smaller, local enterprises. We found that networks and the social capital to use them effectively made the process of building financial, human and technological resources possible.

“Women need all these skills and yes, so do men. The differences we have found were not in the skills required, nor in the organization-building processes. However, we found that that the personal resources, the technical training, and the management experience that women brought to their enterprises differed from their male counterparts’ resources—as did the attitudes and expectations about entrepreneurial success held by both women and society as a whole.”

Posted by tom at July 14, 2004 12:02 PM

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Book cover



Read or print the Intro and Chapter 1 .

Read some book reviews at Inc, 1-800-CEO-READ, and the Miami Herald.

Read the publisher's press release.

Visit the companies that Tom discusses in the book

Hear a recent lecture by Tom on the Startup Garden


Read about other books and web sites about starting your own business.


Just Managing – articles that Tom wrote for The Industry Standard and some Business Articles written for Inc., Fortune Small Business, Harvard Management Update, and other places.



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