Women In Entrepreneurship

Gina was very fortunate to be invited by Jane Dauffenbach to participate in a panel discussion Women in Entrepreneurship at UW-Whitewater.

Being an entrepreneur is challenging for women and men.  No matter what, when you decide to invest yourself into starting a company from a seedling of an idea, it’s like jumping into the deep end of a pool and struggling to get back to the surface and swim.  Jane and her company have been very successful manufacturing products that do amazing things for the environment clearing debris from water, worldwide.  Jane inspires everyone who knows her and Gina learned a few things from the other panelists that may help to inspire you.

One question that always comes up is, “Why did you want to be an entrepreneur?”  For Gina, it was the realization, back in 2008, that she could do the same job, but better if she ran her own company…virtually.  Virtual companies were unheard of then, and were even considered as hobbies, not real brick and mortar business.  Yet, she realized that with the tools available using cloud technology, our company and its team could be run from anywhere and at lower cost.  When COVID caused businesses to pivot, we were already leading a successful business.

An important understanding when starting a business is that it’s ok to fail.  Failures present the opportunity to learn from your experiences and help mold a better company.  Entrepreneurs know that failure is not an option, yet may still be an outcome.  

The panel also addressed what keeps entrepreneurs going.  For Gina, commitment to her ideas, company, direction, and passion for the mission.  Other panelists admitted that it would be “easier” to just get another job but all agreed that it wasn’t the direction that they wanted to take with their company.    

People always wonder where to get seed money to get started?  In our case, we had very limited funds, but chose a direction that had a low cost of entry.  Gina understood that even though the risk was real, that she was starting with basically change in her pocket, there were better ways.  Using some savings and planning on how she could make it work our company was born.  For others with larger capital needs, getting people to believe in your vision and buy into it and want to be a part of it in some way is another challenge that entrepreneurs face.

All of the panelists agreed on the answer to the question, “What would you tell an entrepreneur to be aware of?”  The answer is to be able to stop your day and spend time on yourself, partner, and family.  The penchant for success and drive that is needed to make your small business grow can cause much stress.  Be sure to find time to put the company aside for a little bit and recharge yourself and relax in a social setting.

Panelists and the audience showed passion for entrepreneurship.  With over 5.4 million filings to start a new business in 2021, the dream is alive and people are pursuing it.  To all of them, Gina and all of us at Integral Recruiting Services wish good luck and success.