Where are the wildly successful women entrepreneurs?

April 6, 2011
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

If you like mysteries, try your hand at solving this one: Why are the vast majority of the most successful local entrepreneurial companies owned and run by men, not women?

Take IBJ’s list of fastest-growing companies, for example. We’re collecting information for the list that will appear in June, but here’s a breakdown from last year’s list of the top 25 companies: Only six of the 45 individuals who were owners were women. Ironically, the top two companies, CSCI Consulting and Phoenix Data Corp., were owned by women—Michele Meyer and Carol Curran, respectively.

Then think beyond the fastest-growing to wildly successful startups like Aprimo, Angel Learning and Suros Surgical Systems. All sold for tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars. Can you name a local company in that league owned or even piloted by a woman?

The point of the question isn’t to somehow suggest women aren’t capable, but rather to look for reasons behind the chasm.

Is Indianapolis a men’s club? Are women funneling their energies into other goals? Something else?

ADVERTISEMENT
  • How about Angie Hicks?
    She's the co-founder and CMO of Angie's List; it's kind of a fast-growing local company.
  • How about Angie Hicks?
    She's the co-founder and CMO of Angie's List; it's kind of a fast-growing local company.
  • Founder & President, Integrating Woman Leaders, Inc.
    I believe there businesses in the State of Indiana run by successful women entrepreneurs that are not being recognized in this article. Vera Bradley, started by two women just recently took their company Public, Mary Weiss, President & CEO of Weiss Communications, Indianapolis Woman Magazine, Sharon Rivenbark, President & CEO, For Bare Feet, Inc. Cathy Cabello, President & CEO, Cabello & Associates. Just to name a few! Billie Dragoo, Michelle Meyers, Angie etcâ?¦they have done a remarkable job growing their organizations.

    There are a ton of articles written with data to support that women donâ??t self promote Corporate American which would translate to why they donâ??t promoted the growth of their companies. I think the question should state, how can we help promote successful women business owners?
    Those women are out there but they are not submitting their information to be on the IBJ Fastest Growing Businesses lists. I know that for a FACT!
  • Theyâ??re out growing our business.
    While I donâ??t have a ready answer to some of the questions posed, I do have an answer for this question: â??Where are the wildly successful women entrepreneurs?â?? I know two of them. Krista Skidmore and Andrea Cranfill are cofounders and principals of FlashPoint, one of Indianaâ??s largest human resource consulting firms. (Disclosure: I am the marketing manager for the business and I wouldnâ??t be doing my job if I didnâ??t enter this conversation!) Where are they? Theyâ??re out growing our business.

    Jennifer Holmeâ??s point about women not promoting themselves or actively seeking recognition might be somewhat true for FlashPoint. Beyond project deliverables, we spend a lot of time creating extra value for our clients. Client relations have always been our top priority. For us, itâ??s less about differentiating ourselves from male entrepreneurs or focusing on the fact that our business was started by women. Itâ??s more about being relevant to our clients and helping them achieve their business goals. Through that process, weâ??re achieving ours.

    In the last four months, FlashPoint has added three full-time consultants to handle our growing workload and a business development associate to further grow our client base, bringing our staff total to 16. We are soft launching a new suite of services called Clearly HR. These are streamlined services with a lower, fixed cost for small businesses, nonprofits, and municipalities. Clearly HR complements our fully customized work and was developed to fill a need that we continuously found unmet in the market.

    Not only are Skidmore and Cranfill business leaders but they are community leaders serving on boards such as the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Arts Council of Indianapolis, Humane Society of Indianapolis, and Indiana Humanities.

    Their talent is well-rounded, deep-seeded, and fully accessible. So, hereâ??s FlashPoint! Weâ??re crushing our sales goals, exceeding our client expectations, and having fun all the while. Now donâ??t get me wrong, we like awards and attention, and weâ??re working to earn some of that too.
    • Executive Director, Marketing and Product Development
      FlashPoint is a first class business! We work with them for leadership and management training, as well as HR policies for our company. Additionally, we partner with FlashPoint to provide a variety of HR consulting services to our customers. Andrea, Krista and the entire FlashPoint crew are amazing! In order for that to be possible, I believe it starts at the top!
    • Seek & you will find...
      Norm â?? perhaps the conundrum falls on those in the media? From a diversity perspective the best thing you could do is ask â??Where do successful women entrepreneurs hang out?â?? They are out there, just not hanging out where you do, therefore, you are not privy to their success. Successful women have many other roles to fulfill, not just their entrepreneurial role and perhaps those trump boasting enough about this aspect of their lifeâ?¦Nevertheless, if you search, you will find. Next Wednesday 4/20/11 there will be 300 in attendance at the NAWBO Indianapolis 2011 Trailblazers Event taking place at The Conrad. The event is sold out and the following successful business women and entrepreneurs will be on hand: Angie Hicks, Kathie De Voe, Susan Haber, Dr. Jennifer Satterfield-Siegel and Mary Schmid. If you are not aware of who these successful women are, then I invite you to educate yourself at www.nawboindy.org . I am proud member of that organization â?? where successful woman-owned businesses hang out.

    • Definition of Entrepreneur
      Norm, Mickey Maurer, who I believe you know, wrote a wonderful book in 2009 called "19 Stars of Indiana" in which he profiled 19 outstanding women. They included:
      Sarah Evans Barker
      Mary Bolk
      Angela M. Brown
      Alecia A. DeCoudreaux
      Christel DeHaan
      Nancy Shepherd Fitzgerald
      Eva Mozes Kor
      Jeanette Lee
      Sylvia McNair
      Patricia R. Miller
      Nancy Noël
      Mercy Okanemeh Obeime
      Jane Blaffer Owen
      Ora Hirsch Pescovitz
      Ernestine Raclin
      Sharon Rivenbark
      Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
      Becky Skillman
      Carolyn Y. Woo

      If you look at this list is that each of these women are leaders in their field and approached their particular field with excellence and an entrepreneurial approach. They are just not in "fastest growing companies" necessarily because their efforts go beyond revenue.
    • Less Talk, More Action
      It's been enjoyable reading the comments posted to this piece. I appreciate the additional information individuals have made to help shed a little more light on the talented women entrepreneurs in our market.

      I also find it interesting how we define successful entrepreneurs. Per the article above it is defined as individuals who have sold their companies for a large profit. I don't disagree with that measuring stick, however I think there are more qualities that contribute to a successful entrepreneurial venture, like providing an environment for meaningful employment, a venture that supports growth for its staff, happy clients and profitable, sustainable growth.

      I will go ahead and add another name to be recognized as a successful local woman entrepreneur. Kelli McLemore, an owner and the woman who leads all business development activity for The Basement Design + Motion. Interesting that she is a primary growth driver for this young organization which has both feet firmly planted in the creative space and the technical space. The organization has experienced significant growth, drives revenue into the State and is not afraid to push the creative and technical boundaries on behalf of its clients.

      Why is she not plastered in our local press repeatedly? Growing the business takes time, focus and genuine interest in our client relationships and staff accomplishments. That leaves a little less time for chasing press as both Sharon and Susan eluded to above. In full disclosure, I am one of Kelli's business partners and have the had the pleasure of witnessing her succeed first hand.
      • Sellouts
        Jacob, I see that you're article categorized women as being wildly successfull if they sold their businesses for a large profit. Did it ever occur to you that women's aren't sell outs? It's our nature to grow and nuture something dear to our heart. The same as most women don't abandon their children, I would believe that the same is true for thier businesses. While men are driven by profits, women tend to be driven by relationships. Think about it.
        • Forgot a few
          Christel DeHaan and the two women who started Vera Bradley are good examples. There are plenty of other examples, though under the radar screen...let's face it, there aren't a lot of billionaires in the State.
        • Read a little closer
          Christine,
          You may want to read my comment a little closer. Here is a direct quote so you can review once again. For your convenience I will provide the ENTIRE paragraph here, "I also find it interesting how we define successful entrepreneurs. Per the article above it is defined as individuals who have sold their companies for a large profit. I don't disagree with that measuring stick, however I think there are more qualities that contribute to a successful entrepreneurial venture, like providing an environment for meaningful employment, a venture that supports growth for its staff, happy clients and profitable, sustainable growth."

          I would also caution you to suggest that relationships and profits are mutually exclusive. It is possible to achieve both. If you don't believe me I suggest you ask some of the successful individuals noted in the comments that follow this article.
        • commodity tips
          This blog Is very informative , I am really pleased to post comment on this blog.Option tips is dedicated towards unfurling the expertise of those Option veterans in the Indian Stock Market domain who are involved in providing option tips.Commodity Tips

        Post a comment to this story

        COMMENTS POLICY
        We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
         
        You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
         
        Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
         
        No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
         
        We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
         

        Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

        Sponsored by
        ADVERTISEMENT
        1. Uh, sorry Johnnie, but you are incorrect. Despite the assertions by yourself and various defenders and captains, sports attendance is NOT off significantly at most sporting events in the US. Variances in attendance has been in the range of single digits, both + & - for years now. MLB has had most of its best overall attendance nubers in the last decade, and that trend has been consistent for most major sporting events. The number one issue cited by most fans when asked about attendance is the overall cost of attending. The presence of HD and big screen televisions in home doesn't even register, as a factor for not attending an event. VALUE in the product is the key, and apparently is something lacking in the current ICS. What other explanation is there when with what is routinely touted as the "best" racing on the planet, fans are staying away in DROVES. A "close" title battle into the last event at Fontana, with the "cars and stars" of the ICS, and who showed up? MAYBE 8K. Sorry, but HD TV isn't to blame for that kind of fan apathy.

        2. Do you need finance to establish your business ? Are you interested in getting a loan at 3% from our private company? If so please Email: suntrust_oil@blumail.org

        3. If she was worth the $ the public outcry over direct tv dropping them would have kept them on their dishes as we have seen with other companies. I too quit watching channel 13 after she showed up since I left channel 8 because of her all show rather than production results. When Randy on 8 corrected her she had a big head and incorrectly challenged his correction for pronunciation of a city. Other antics while she matures was too much for me with her very inaccurate forecasts. All the forecasters were predicting rain until Thursday except Chris. They predicted sunny on Thursday but instead of rain until Thursday upon which the sun would finally make it out in full glory Chris was right on the money just as I too predicted looking at the radar on weather.gov. One thing I love about Angela is the fear you can see in her every time it thunders in the winter. It far exceeds the entertainment value of her body language (high heel noise drags, depression, etc) when her forecasts are so incorrect. Her hair stands on end, you have to see it!!!

        4. Good Day, Apply For A Loan I am Mr Fernadez Antonio, a private Loan lender and a cooperate financial for real estate and any kinds of business financing. I also offer Loans to individuals, Firms and cooperate bodies at 3% interest rate We offer any kind of loans. email us via fernadezloaninvest@outlook.com LOAN APPLICATION FORM First name:......................... Middle name:......................... Last name:........................................ Date of birth (yyyy-mm-dd):....................... Gender:........................................... Marital status:................................... Total Amount Needed............................... Loan Duration.................................... Address:.......................................... City:............................................. State/province:................................... Zip/postal code:.................................. Country:.......................................... Phone:............................................ Fax:.............................................. Mobile/cellular:.................................. Monthly Income.................................... Occupation:....................................... Best Regard, Mr Fernadez Antonio.

        5. i will love to share my testimony to you all the people in world i got married to my husband about 2 year ago we start having problems at home like we stop sleeping on the same bed,fighting about little things he always comes home late at night,drinking too much and sleeping with other women out side i have never love any man in my life except him. he is the father of my child and i don't want to loose him because we have worked so hard together to become what we are and have today .few month ago he now decided to live me and the kid,being a single mother can be hard sometimes and so i have nobody to turn to and i was heart broken.i called my mom and explain every thing to her,my mother told me about DR.okoro how he helped her solve the problem between her and my dad i was surprise about it because they have been without each other for three and a half years and it was like a miracle how they came back to each other. i was directed to DR. okoro on his email:okorospell@gmail.com and explain everything to him,so he promise me not to worry that he will cast a spell and make things come back to how we where so much in love again and that it was another female spirit that was controlling my husband he told me that my problem will be solved within two days if i believe i said OK So he cast a spell for me and after two days my love came back asking me to forgive him i Am so happy now. so that why i decided to share my experience with every body that have such problem contact Dr okoro the great spell caster on his email addresses spellcasterforlove@outlook.com

        ADVERTISEMENT