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  • Women at Work: The Passion of Female Entrepreneurs

    New York-based Xie and four other dynamic entrepreneurs shared their insights and adventures in business at the “Women in Entrepreneurship: Starting, Leading and Growing New Ventures” panel, part of the 12th annual Wharton Women in Business Conference in Philadelphia.

    When Suzanne Xie quit her asset management job at Goldman Sachs to concentrate on her online start-up, she applied to be a part-time barista at Starbucks, figuring she could use the health insurance the café chain offered. Her rejection letter turned out to be a blessing in disguise, because it meant she was able to devote more time to her fledgling business. A year later, she and her co-founder sold Weardrobe, an online community for fashionistas, to a company that was later purchased by Google.

    New York-based Xie and four other dynamic entrepreneurs shared their insights and adventures in business at the “Women in Entrepreneurship: Starting, Leading and Growing New Ventures” panel, part of the 12th annual Wharton Women in Business Conference in Philadelphia. While the speakers came from diverse backgrounds and industries, their advice to other entrepreneurs was similar — choose mentors carefully, set clear goals, be flexible, don’t be deterred by naysayers and, most of all, love what you do. “You have to be scrappy about it,” Xie said. “It is completely scary [to start a business] but the happiness you get out of that balances it out.”

    At a time when the U.S. is still recovering from a harsh recession, such entrepreneurial pluck matters. The five women on the panel went into business for various reasons — one saw a limited career ladder for women in advertising decades ago, another spotted a need for innovative financing in emerging countries and a third started a website because she needed to keep track of all her clothes. The other two women were passionate about the environment and were co-creators of green businesses — car sharing and environmental PR and advertising, respectively.

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    http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=2637

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