Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Women Owned Business of the Year Awards

A couple of weeks ago I was sitting at my desk working on the GHC program when I received a call. A woman from the Women’s Initiative for Self-Employment was calling and asking me to be on their leadership council. I must admit I was taken aback. I hadn't heard of the organization before and I certainly wasn't used to be called to be on leadership councils of other non profits. As a marketer I'm used to securing speaking slots and awards for other members of my organization.

It soon became clear that the role of the leadership council was mostly promotional but I agreed to participate for a few reasons.

The first is that I think that unemployment and its impact on women is a huge issue in this recession. I couldn't help but think of friends who've been laid off. The Women's Initiative for Self-Employment's goal is to create a movement promoting women’s entrepreneurship and to get the word out about the Women’s Initiative’s training and support programs for low-income women who seek to become entrepreneurs. Anything that can help women become self supporting is to me a good thing.

The second reason I participated is that I enjoy using my marketing skills to help non profits succeed. I was able to include the announcement of the Women-Owned Business of the Year Awards in our newsletter and of course I'm telling everyone who reads this blog about it. I've also passed on the info to others I know so they can help seek more nominations.

The third reason is I participated is that I love to network and meet new people. The leadership council met a few days ago and it was great connecting with people in other organizations that are helping like the local Chambers of Commerce and the Santa Clara Convention Center.

The fourth reason is that as a member of the leadership council I'll get to go to one of the awards ceremonies which will be held in November. Google, as I mentioned in yesterday's blog post, is a major supporter of non-profits and it's always great to be able to participate in one of their events.

And the final reason I chose to participate is a personal one. When I was a kid my dad passed away and my mom needed to go find a job. We'd had the money for her to not work for a while but at one point it was just the two of us and something in the house broke. We had to trade my dad's small boat (which lived under our front porch) to have the repairs done. I remember being scared but we were very lucky, good friends of my father helped her get a job at his old company where she was very successful. I've always remembered that scary time and believed that everything possible should be done to enable women to be self-supporting, to earn a good living for themselves and their children. The Women's Initiative for Self-Employment supports women so they can be self supporting and self sufficient. It's a good cause and I encourage you to let women you know who own their businesses to submit for these great awards.

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