Boot camp to help women shape up their businesses

    By Adrienne Burke | Small Business

    If every woman who owns a business in the U.S. were able to bring on one new employee, they’d collectively add 8 million jobs to the economy. That statistic is one inspiration for a new boot camp for women CEOs announced this week by American Express OPEN.

    Recent research from the small business division of the financial services company shows that women are starting businesses at a rate 150% higher than the national average, and that “their revenue and employment growth rates exceed all but the largest, publicly traded corporations.” But only 2 of every 100 women-owned firms have crossed the million-dollar threshold. It’s easy to see how unlocking the full potential of the other 98 percent could have an impact.

    OPEN for Women: CEO BootCamp will kick off with a daylong summit in New York on September 20. The agenda is not yet set, but registration is free and open on a first-come-first-serve basis to all women entrepreneurs, regardless of industry, size, or revenue.

    Following the summit, an ongoing series of events (to be announced here soon ) around the country and online will take the boot camp national. Events will be designed to help women entrepreneurs develop what AmEx calls the “three fundamental pillars for successful ventures: confidence, competence, and connections.”

    Going through the camp will teach you to “shift your mindset and behavior to embrace your innate strengths and boost your business,” sharpen skills like “harnessing the power of money, building and leading a team, learning to love the spotlight and tackling tough decisions,” as well as to network, build an advisory board, and find a mentor, promises AmEx. OPEN President Susan Sobbott adds that camp courses will help women “work on the business rather than in the business” and to “identify growth opportunities that have an impact on local communities while contributing to the U.S. economy.”

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