INNOVATION TAKES COLLABORATION

IT IS TRUE: WE CANNOT DO IT ALONE

By Kristiina Hiukka, Founder of Women in Innovation

SEATTLE, Wednesday, March 6, 2013 — We all need a little help. Whether I’m a woman with an idea, in a start up phase or running a micro or a small business, for profit or non profit, the answer is the same: we all need help.

I’ve been curious what kind of help women in business need and this is what I hear from them: “support and advice.” They readily admit: “I cannot do this by myself.”

I’ve met with several women entrepreneurs in the last couple of weeks and asking them about their most urgent needs. Their dimmed eyes reveal a lack of sleep and overwhelm. There are not enough hours to do it all. They are at their capacity yet they are doing their best to keep up with the demands of ever quickening pace of business. They all feel like they are falling behind, not matter which industry they are in.

But: they do love their missions. Their hearts are burning with the desire to make an impact. Whether creating great social ventures from renewable energy sources or income generating work for at home moms or renting work spaces for professionals. Or anything in between.

What do YOU need?

I’m passionate about making women in business feel resourceful and  “resourced”.  It is frustrating when women whose work could transform the world are held hostage to lack of not only funding but also lack of “resourcing” with trusted advice.

Where do YOU go for advice?

On Valentine’s Day I attended Women 2.0 conference in San Francisco and witnessed the electrifying energy of women who are creating businesses in all fields of life.  Several speakers (entrepreneurs) repeated the same message: “your passion for your product or service is not enough. You have to go after a BIG market in order to show your capacity to scale and therefore get financing.” 

How BIG can your market be? 

Is your innovation and your business going to reach more than 100 million people?  Women 2.0 conference wasn’t for lifestyle microbusinesses. It was catered mostly for Silicon Valley techies who are going to disrupt the market place like Bia Sport (angel.co/bia) in personal health or solar powered energy or in factory sourcing for apparel designers and manufacturers (MakersRow.com) or apps for various purposes like Greengar Studio’s Whiteboard for iphones.

What are you developing that can reach millions of people?

Just last week the Puget Sound Business Journal reported that Seattle is ranked number 2 of the Top Ten Cities for Women Entrepreneurs in the Nerdwallet study after San Francisco.  Among other things, they looked at how much support there is for women entrepreneurs, and how “friendly” the city is towards female business owners.

Where do you find the best support for your growth as a business woman? What supports you the most?

I’ve researched some hundred organizations geared toward helping women in business to network, become educated and mentor each other. Even though San Fran and Seattle are mentioned as the most women friendly business cities, most of the so called “women’s organizations” – member organizations with a mission to help women entrepreneurs – are headquartered in the East Coast.

Do you find so called “women’s organizations” helpful in reaching your goals? Why? How?

I’m curious: what would the perfect support look like for a woman with an idea that has a potential for a true innovation. What do you think? What’s your experience?

Email us, comment here or join the conversation in the WOMEN IN INNOVATION LinkedIn Group or on our Facebook page

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