Carlson School of Management News

Five Essential Business Lessons for Women Entrepreneurs

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Carlson School offers a plethora of resources designed to foster the entrepreneurial spirit and teach students how to overcome the unique challenges of leading a business. And much like other sectors of business, women can face unique obstacles when launching a venture.

To help students across the University of Minnesota, the Women in Business student organization invited a panel of women entrepreneurs to share their expertise at a recent event. From championing an idea, to choosing financing, to overcoming naysayers, the panelists offered the following advice for aspiring women entrepreneurs.

Community is key
"Don't look at other women as competition; look at other women as your rock to lean on. Thrive on every conversation because you'll find you get a nugget of wisdom from every person you talk to."

-Katie Sanchez
Founder, Bee Free Honee

When in doubt, forge on
"I always thought there was this book everybody else had that told you how to start a business. But there isn't. The good news is you don't have to know it all. Women tend to feel like they need 100 percent of the answers, where men need only 60 percent before digging into a venture. So stop waiting around and just go for it."

-Lili Hall
Founder and President, KNOCK

Learn to delegate
"As much as I love to do everything myself, knowing how to enlist help allows me to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. It's about keeping perspective about what really needs to get done at the time. Everything in moderation, including moderation."

-Natalie Herrild
Founder, Modiron

Be flexible, be resolute
"The plan isn't always going to work out the way you intended, and that's OK. As an entrepreneur, your day can change on a dime, but you have to stick with it. If you have a great idea and you love what you do, don't let anyone push you off your path. Keep pursuing your idea."

-Mary Leonard
Founder, Chocolate Celeste

Don't copy your competition
"Don't compare yourself to others. You're going to forge your own way. Make what you do an extension of yourself, and I promise you will succeed. Be authentic, that's what creates wonderful stuff."

-Hannah Barnstable
President and Founder, Seven Sundays Muesli

About Women in Business
Women in Business is dedicated to bringing women together in business-related fields through networking, speakers, volunteering, and social events. The student organization helps students of all kinds develop skills to succeed in the business world.

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