Business Books for Women - Small Business Trends

Business Books for Women - Small Business Trends

Business Books for Women - Small Business Trends

Posted: 01 Oct 2020 08:30 AM PDT

by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

Following the success of Lean In and Why Women Should Rule the World, the authors of the bestselling Womenomics provide yet another informative and practical guide to understanding the importance of confidence—and learning how to achieve it—for women of all ages and at all stages of their career. Claire Shipman and Katty Kay combine research in genetics, gender, behavior, and cognition to explain why girls can rule the world—all they need is confidence. The duo offers an empowering, entertaining guide for girls to become bold, brave, and fearless.

The book is a product of interviews with visits to the world's leading psychologists who explain how we can all chose to become more confident simply by taking action and courting risk, and how those actions change our physical wiring. They also interviewed women leaders from the world of politics, sports, the military, and the arts to learn how they have tapped into this elemental resource. Ultimately establishing how a lack of confidence can impact leadership, success, and fulfillment. This book should be on your list of leadership books for women.

Why do women not negotiate as well as men? Why are (some) women not taken as seriously as men in the workplace? The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-Assurance—What Women Should Know explains the relationship between confidence, resilience, risk, and reward. After research that includes hundreds of interviews, the authors offer an insightful look at how internalizing cultural stereotypes can hold women back from competing. Female entrepreneurs will learn that it's not enough to know they are doing when it comes to performance situations.

Thanks to the Covid bailout, the stories of small business fraud keep rolling in - The Guardian

Posted: 24 Sep 2020 11:26 AM PDT

Maybe it's just a dark side of my nature, but I love stories of financial fraud. What makes these people do it? How can they sleep at night? And these are heady times for fans of small business fraud stories.

Thanks to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) coronavirus bailout and a slew of investigations made public recently by the justice department, the stories of fraud continue to roll in.

Take Joshua Bellamy. The 31-year-old wide receiver – well, former wide receiver – for the New York Jets has been charged with obtaining millions in PPP loans by submitting false documentation and then spending the money on things like jewelry, expensive clothes and about $63,000 on what must have been one hell of a weekend at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Florida.

Speaking of Florida, where so many of these things seem to happen, there's the roofer who applied for and received PPP money, and then rather than using it for payroll instead allegedly took $689,417 of it and bought a 40ft boat.

One Virginia business owner and his wife got a little more complicated. They allegedly formed four shell companies and over a three-week period applied for 18 PPP loans amounting to more than $6.6m under the pretense that the money would be used for payroll commitments that didn't exist. They actually got $1.4m of the money and promptly tried to flee to Poland where they were caught at the airport.

Then there were the bankers – yes, big surprise, I know – at JP Morgan Chase who I guess saw all that government cash flowing to those small business owners and apparently decided – because they don't make enough themselves – that the money would be much better off in their pockets rather than being used for silly things like employing people or paying rent. So they made false applications for Economic Injury Disaster Loans and deposited the funds in their personal accounts. Until, of course, internal auditors noticed the transactions and notified management who fired the culprits.

Want a few more?

There's the young (22 years old) entrepreneur in Texas named Lola who applied for PPP money to cover the costs of "several employees and large payroll expenses" but in the end had neither. There were two men in Spartanburg, South Carolina, who were caught allegedly "laundering" more than $390,000 of PPP money through casinos and a heroin and meth ring and there I was thinking Walter White was dead. There's the Seattle doctor who had a criminal history and allegedly sought millions in PPP loans for businesses with no actual operations by submitting applications with made up numbers and fake documentation. And the marketing guy in San Diego whose latest and most brilliant campaign was to create fake employees and pitch the government for money except that idea, like most marketing ideas, turned out to be not-so-brilliant.

My favorite is a guy named David Hines who got $4m in loans and used it to buy a Lamborghini, jewelry, clothes, nights at the Fontainebleau Hotel and thousands of dollars on "dating" websites.

There can not be any doubt that there are many others out there that we don't know about, happily living their lives in Poland or elsewhere because they figured out how to steal taxpayer money and get away with it.

As I wrote previously, the stimulus process was flawed because it had to be: money needed to quickly get in the hands of small business owners who truly needed it and we all knew there were gaps in the process. It's important that the government investigate, if only just to show that they're paying attention. They'll never catch all the crooks. But as Congress discusses the next round of PPP let's hope all these Netflix-worthy stories don't give too many other people ideas.

The Women’s Organisation supports 4,000 people in lockdown - Liverpool Business News

Posted: 01 Oct 2020 03:24 AM PDT

Award-winning Liverpool-based social enterprise has reached out to more than 4,000 people since the start of the COVID-19 crisis in March, including more than 1,000 entrepreneurs

The Women's Organisation
The team at Liverpool social enterprise The Women's Organisation

More than 4,000 people have accessed support via Liverpool social enterprise The Women's Organisation since the start of the COVID-19 crisis in March.

This includes support for more than 1,000 entrepreneurs and a further 2,000 people accessing online training and events. The remainder contacted the award-winning organisation for one-to-one support on the phone and online.

Following the introduction of Coronavirus restrictions in March, The Women's Organisation immediately redesigned its portfolio of services to operate fully on an online and telephone basis.

Its Liverpool and Manchester operations have helped existing small and medium-sized enterprises navigate the uncertainty and upheaval caused by national and local lockdown measures, whilst also providing support for entrepreneurs embarking on launching their own ventures.

This includes offering much-needed professional advice and support for sole traders and small businesses who have been affected by pandemic restrictions, along with the inevitable setbacks, and have faced an uphill battle to access financial and technological packages to help sustain their business .

The extensive support programme also targeted businesses who experienced a surge in demand for their services and needed to rapidly develop their technology capacity to help drive sales and deliver products and services to customers.

Since lockdown began, The Women's Organisation has delivered more than 160 online training courses, events and webinars for both its personal development and enterprise support offering.

Around 2,000 women and men have attended online sessions organised by the social enterprise, while more than 1,050 virtual business advice appointments have been provided to help women across the Liverpool city region start, sustain or grow their businesses.

It has also taken on more than 330 new clients – 70% of whom were to explore new business ideas, which shows that, despite the massive disruption to business and personal lives, there is still an appetite to become self-employed.

And, during the past six months, The Women's Organisation has supported in excess of 4,000 women and men with their enquiries and connected them to relevant support networks across the region.

Among these is the Enterprise Hub programme, for which The Women's Organisation is lead partner throughout the Liverpool city region.

It coordinates and simplifies the business start-up and growth support available into a 'one front door' access point through one-to-one advice with a dedicated business advisor, either by video link or over the phone, alongside a programme of business training.

The Women's Organisation has also introduced new programmes and events to directly deal with issues arising from the pandemic.

A new service offers a special two-day Managing in a Crisis: Be Resilient course from Enterprise Hub Skills which looks at what it means to be resilient, offering practical tips to strengthen personal resilience, business resilience, and other areas of life which might have been impacted by COVID-19.

Managing in a Crisis is a fully-funded service aimed at women who are running a business, or working in a business, and finding it difficult to manage under current circumstances.

Another service introduced in response to the pandemic is Rapid Response, a series of free events and online webinars to help business owners improve their entrepreneurial skills, maintain momentum, and thrive throughout the pandemic. Sessions are led by industry experts who have, so far, covered topics such as accessing finance, promotion and marketing, innovation, and wellbeing.

And drawing on it's on the ground experience of working with women, the self-employed and SMEs throughout the pandemic, The Women's Organisation has also played a pivotal role in lobbying the Government on vital issues which have been impacting on individuals, local communities, and the business ecosystem.

Leaders from the organisation have led on lobbying efforts on issues including the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) which set women entrepreneurs at an unfair disadvantage for having taken maternity leave within the last assessment period.

Jackie Williams
Jackie Williams, enterprise director at The Women's Organisation

The grant application process did not previously take into account any loss in profits due to taking time out from trading within the last assessment period when calculating the average profits, substantially bringing down the average, and therefore the grant available, for thousands.

Now, the scheme has been extended so that women are able to submit a claim based on older self-assessment returns for a fairer grant calculation.

Likewise, lobbying efforts from the organisation also saw the introduction of additional discretionary funding for the thousands of businesses, including those in shared spaces, which previously missed out on vital financial aid because of how they paid their business rates.

Jackie Williams, enterprise director of The Women's Organisation, said: "We understand that this continues to be a time of crisis for individuals, entrepreneurs and businesses alike. As always, we want to assure our local community and business ecosystem that The Women's Organisation is here to support you.

"We swiftly pivoted our services to ensure that the right digital and online support was in place to help people manage personally, and to support businesses not only to survive through these turbulent months, but to thrive and explore new opportunities.

"We have supported thousands of businesses to access millions of pounds of investment, critical to sustaining their businesses and providing a route to recovery. The sheer scale of need and demand for support is unprecedented.

"With more months of uncertainty ahead as we head into autumn and winter, I would urge anyone struggling or unsure about their next steps to get in touch and see how we can support you."


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