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Cassie Hoag, past president, NAWBO OC  

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008
My mentor said...
More entrepreneurs. More women.
As I speak with acquaintances from the corporate world, I sense that these volatile economic times will yield a new legion of entrepreneurs.  With layoffs and bankruptcies on the rise, many highly skilled executives find themselves at least psychologically ready to take that proverbial plunge into the murky waters of owning their own businesses.  While men and women both have expressed this sentiment, it’s the women who seem to have given the concept more thought, and appear more likely to actualize their dreams.

Why is that?  Perhaps it’s because women are more likely than men to have been living dual lives – where they’re balancing the demands of a career with the demands of their families.  They’re simply more familiar with the concepts of working from home or working on a flexible schedule.   Maybe it’s easier for them to tune out of their corporate existence.   And, women are nurturers by nature.  On a purely genetic level, perhaps they’re best suited to “give birth” to an enterprise and shepherd it through its infancy.

Whatever the reason, I expect lots of new entrepreneurs to be knocking on the doors of NAWBO-OC - the National Association of Women Business Owners, with its 400-member-strong chapter in Orange County.  As President-elect of this dynamic organization, I’m confident that our arms are wide open, in the tangible sense of programs and initiatives that are true accelerants for start-up businesses.  Further, we’ll learn a lot from this new wave of corporate refugees.  I envision a step-up in entrepreneurship in the next several years, and NAWBO-OC will be both a catalyst for and a representative of these newly reinvented business pioneers.