In a previous post, I mentioned I would be interviewing some of my former classmates about their capstone thesis projects for NYU. Here is my interview with fellow NYU alumna Tiffany Winbush.
Tiffany Winbush is a public relations strategist and social media consultant who provides PR, social and branding strategies to women-owned businesses and organizations that promote initiatives for women and girls. Her interests include empowering women and girls, technology, start-ups, and volunteering with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a non-profit organization that focuses on scholarship, sisterhood and service. Connect with Tiffany on LinkedIn and Twitter.
1. How did you choose the topic of Women Entrepreneurs as the subject for your capstone thesis?
I’ve always had a passion for encouraging and promoting other women. I actually launched a blog several years ago that highlighted the outstanding accomplishments of women, which I’m also currently promoting. I decided to focus on women entrepreneurs for my capstone thesis because I am passionate about helping women entrepreneurs grow their businesses through the implementation of effective public relations strategies.
2. What were the most surprising things you learned when researching the topic?
Through my research, I learned that the number of women entrepreneurs has grown by leaps and bounds. The State of Women-Owned Businesses Report, released by American Express OPEN highlighted that women’s businesses have grown faster than their male counterparts in the 10 years in which the research was conducted. Unfortunately, while there are more women business owners, those businesses are not seeing the same type of revenue growth as male-run businesses.
3. What are the top three things women entrepreneurs could improve upon?
Women entrepreneurs are certainly holding their own against male-run businesses and even corporations. But women entrepreneurs could improve their businesses by increasing their network in order to form authentic relationships. Women also have difficulty gaining access to capital. If venture capital firms primarily led by women are not adequately funding women-owned businesses, it is the responsibility of other women to pool their resources. Also, women entrepreneurs could work on improving their confidence as business owners. My research revealed that women are less confident in their ability to run successful businesses, especially when compared to men.
4. What are the biggest misconceptions about women entrepreneurs?
From my research, the biggest misconception about women entrepreneurs was that women create businesses in order to create their own schedule that allows for raising a family. While this may be the case for some, women entrepreneurs want to start high-growth businesses just like their male counterparts. A flexible schedule is desirable, but women realize growing a company doesn’t always involve a flexible schedule. Additionally, women are launching companies at a younger and younger age, many don’t have families and probably aren’t planning for them anytime soon.
5. What advice would you give to women entrepreneurs?
My advice to women is to go get it and use resources that are available to them. Within the past several years, organizations have formed to ensure women entrepreneurs are networking effectively, have access to capital and even organizations that have turned ideas into full-blown businesses. These programs are targeted towards women, so take advantage of them. Women shouldn’t downplay their gender to feel they’re on equal footing with men. They can still be seen as equals.Connect with Giuliana on Google+
Categories: Entrepreneurship, Higher Education, Interviews