The buzz is palpable. The sounds of women entrepreneurs from all around the world, networking in Austin, Texas. Why does it matter? It matters because this is the beginning, the surging toward critical mass of women’s entrepreneurship globally. “It’s a business, economic and moral imperative to support women entrepreneurs” according to Karen Quintos, CMO of Dell Inc. in her opening remarks to the Dell Women Entrepreneurs Network (DWEN) conference.
This is my first time attending the DWEN conference, the fifth such annual gathering. We’re talking about brave beginnings and bold futures with successful women entrepreneurs. What I’m excited about is the convergence of personal passion for entrepreneurship, leadership, women, technology — all in one place. One theme I’ve heard over and over is about telling the stories of women entrepreneurs – to inspire, to show the paths, to engage women in creating a future where they can “forget the glass ceiling” according to Geri Stengel of Ventureneer.
Whether learning about stepping in to lead, where no woman has led before, as Anasuya Gupta, of CICO Technologies did in India. Or the story of turning a personal passion for sample sale bargains into a successful technology business like gilt.com.
Closer to home, several Canadian women entrepreneurs are also in attendance: Virginia Poly of Polyservicesgroup.com, who has grown and expanded her company beyond her original IT staffing business to now include managed help desk and project management services, Anna Murre of Jordan Engineering, a business automation software solutions provider for industrial and service businesses, and Marla Schwartz of Benecaid, a health benefits solution company. More stories to come…