Women of the world.. you must be aware of sheEO.world

Posted Friday, June 9th, 2017. Filed Under Voices of wisdom

I attended a conference last week in which 500 women from around the greater Toronto area (and maybe beyond) attended. The event took place at Toronto City Hall which I thought was appropriate to inspire women to become inspirational leaders – the world would be different if women ran the world!

Sometimes when I attend these events I am disappointed but not this time. First thing I noticed was this incredible energy in the room. Second thing I noticed is that the women were from diverse corporate/skills background, religion, age and colour. At one point I was sitting beside a woman in her 80s.

One of the engaging exercises that they did was something called “Radical Generosity”. They first asked the women if they could receive help from others in the room for free, as mentors or guides, would that interest them. Of course the overwhelming response was, “Yes!”. They then asked the women to come forward to microphone and present, in 30 seconds or less, their “ask” and then the “ask” was posted in a google drive doc for others to engage with. If you thought you can help that person’s ask you would put your contact information into the GIVE section. As many people as possible could provide the ‘give’. So many women lined up. Many of the women’s ask were specific and directly related to their business whether it was looking for mentorship in developing their business in a certain sector, creating a logo, wanting to be connected to their target audience. Specific. My ask is more complicated because it doesn’t exist yet and pushes the status quo. I finally joined the line once I got my ask to something more specific and concrete. Unfortunately we ran out of time. The good news is that they were going to email us the link to the google docs so that we can add our ask.

I added my ask and received one email address so far. I actually took the time after the event to go through all of the asks and added my email address to a number of places where I thought I can either connect or be of assistance. I also looked for similarities in the “ask” and noted people I think can mentor or guide me. I am not sure how many women have done that. To date I have not received a follow-up email from the receiver. I have sent out two emails to no response. Hopefully this is not a measure of the engagement level afterwards. I am hoping that the Radical Generosity exercise goes beyond the day.

I will also be emailing Vicki Saunders, Founder of sheEO, directly to ask for her help. I would like to be connected to forward thinking VCs and angel investors to help guide me in creating what I call the new economy. As I have written before my focus is the millennial and Gen Z market, 18-30 year olds; developing life skills, soft skills and leadership development skills. I am looking to create an online ‘we-share’ economy of social entrepreneurs based on partnerships (collision of ideas), multiple projects, entrepreneurs without borders, teams, networking, mentoring and skills development (life, soft & leadership development). By creating this online community or tribe we can begin to share and “collide” our ideas that can be taken beyond borders and tweaked for the relevant market. Our youth today is very entrepreneurially driven and want to make a difference for the next generation. My partners and I look to bridge the gap between the social entrepreneur and VCs / Angel investor, particularly once they have gone through the incubator/accelerator program; In fact I want to be mentored myself to become a VC myself so I can help shape our new economy and support the social entrepreneur who want to make a difference and make money. After 7 years of research of the Millennial and Gen Z market as well as following the trends, I understand where the corporate world is heading. The traditional corporation will not exist “as is” in the next 5-10 years. It is an exciting time.

As far as what resonated I have to say that I walked away seeing a void in the market for incubators and accelerators focusing on social entrepreneurs. There is CSI, Centre for social innovation and Ontario Centre of Excellence that I will look into however we have not developed this area as well as it needs to be. I also see room to work with and empower women who have chosen to stay home to raise their children and through divorce or death are forced back into the workplace or the mother who now is an empty nester wants to return back into the workplace, sometimes wondering what can she do. These women, myself included, are coming back to a marketplace that is radically different from the world we worked in in our 20s / 30s. As a marketing specialist the market has changed so dramatically that at first it was overwhelming. I had to get up to speed and have taken courses and read and researched a lot. I had to build my self-confidence again. Although through my work of peeling away the layers, self-awareness and discovery I came to know that I have tremendous skill sets. I am the CEO of my home and through this and my volunteer work and organization that my family and I created I have developed my communication, leadership, decision-making, team work, and financial literacy skill sets to name a few. It took time and determination. These women need to regain their confidence and learn to brand themselves. Unfortunately Corporate Canada does not recognize the importance of raising children and all the skill sets we impart and learn, it often only regards what has been accomplished and with jobs will look at degrees and work experience. This is where sheEO can be very supportive and encouraging. It can help foster this group and show them their worth and how they can be (become) great entrepreneurs.

Finally what I walked away with after attending Valerie Fox’s talk on incubators and accelerators (which one to choose or how many) is the idea of “collision”. In my youth entrepreneur leadership development platform, I know the importance of sharing ideas and working together as entrepreneurs to come together to bring complimentary skill sets and sometimes bigger ideas and when Valerie shared the concept of collision, it all clicked. It is at those moments of being an entrepreneur that you realize how important it is to stay fluid, open and listen. I am very grateful. I will incorporate collision into my business name, site and brand.

When I first began empowering and educating my focus was women empowerment and my site was a resource site for women. Today I have shifted to the youth, our next leaders however empowering and aligning with women is still important. Being divorced I am adamant to share with women, young and old, married, divorced or single, the importance of being financially independent.

Before the conference was over, I have expressed to the sheEO people I would like to get involved and become an advisor. I encourage women from all over the world to look into becoming involved with sheEO.world This organization is truly empowering and inspiring. I also encourage women entrepreneurs to investigate Valerie Fox’s company Pivotal Point. She is instrumental and determined to bring the new wave of incubator for entrepreneurs (inclusive, engaging, interactive, and cross-fucntioning) around the world. Check out her first project THE DMZ part of Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.

I will end with my vision – removing the idea of glass ceiling for women and having the next generation of leaders not even consider this a barrier, rather building teams and projects based solely on skill set and equality.


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