I’m in Pittsburgh this weekend addressing one of my favorite groups in the world: Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship (V-WISE).
A premier training program in entrepreneurship and small business management. V-WISE helps women veterans and female military spouses/partners find their passion and learn the business savvy skills necessary to turn an idea or start-up into a growing venture. V-WISE is operated by the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University (IVMF) in cooperation with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
For decades, I’ve worked on breaking down the financial literacy divide, bringing families the tools they need to create a generation of financially responsible children. In the 1970’s, as a young 20-something grad, I entered the corporate world as one of the first female executives in the banking industry. I broke glass ceilings, picked out chards of glass, broke some more ceilings, leaned in, and finally leaned out when the celling became concrete.
I then became president of a small bank. While there, I witnessed women struggling to make their own financial decisions. This baffled me, but my research showed that it was because we were never taught anything about money as kids. I didn’t want to pass this legacy onto my children, so I searched for books to teach them to be money savvy. There were none. The topic of teaching kids about money did not exist.
So, what does the budding entrepreneur see? A market niche and an opportunity. I created the topic of kids and money in 1988 by opening up a real bank for kids at FAO Schwarz as well as the Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship in Harlem in order to inspire 11-year-olds to start a business. I went on to write 27 books, including a New York Times #1 Best Seller (thanks to Oprah), create financial literacy curricula, and develop mobile video gaming apps.
Let’s talk about your next bold move…and make it happen!