Babou Olengha Aaby: Building a Crowdfunding Business around her Authentic Self

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Babou Olengha-Aaby at Crowdsourcing Week Europe 2014. Courtesy of Sebastiaan ter Bur

Babou Olengha Aaby is convinced the biggest market opportunity lies not with India, China, or Brazil but rather women. But she wants to be clear on one thing: female entrepreneurship is not a gender issue, it’s an economic one. Women-owned businesses make for good business sense and smart economics: they start small, grow slowly, and fail less. And yet they attract only 1/3 of all venture capital. The Norwegian-based Olengha Aaby wants to change all that with her new crowdfunding platform specifically aimed at what she calls “mumpreneurs”.

“My big fat dream with Mums Mean Business is to provide all entrepreneurial mothers with a triple A service: access to finance, access to mentoring, and access to inspirational role models. Our goal is to provide aspiring mothers with start-up ambitions much-needed guidance in their critical first year of business to help get them to the next level.” (more…)

Yael Benamour: Crowdfunding Music à la Française

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Starting a new business is hard enough. Leaving an entire life behind and moving to a foreign country in order to do so would be nearly unimaginable for most of us. And yet that is exactly what Yael Benamour did. “Every single day of this process was a leap of faith,” she says. “Nothing was easy.”

So what made her do it?

Yael Benamour began her career in France as a singer and songwriter. “After performing for many years, I decided to become a producer. I’d always been interested in the production side of the business and having had the experience and perspective of being a performer ultimately made me a better producer.”

So Benamour worked as a producer for several large studios as well as smaller independent labels. “While working in-house, I was approached by Marie Paule Belle, a well-known French singer. She had become disenchanted with the music industry, and asked me to manage her career. I had no intention of turning down such a wonderful opportunity, but I couldn’t do it while working at another label. So in 1998 I created my own label, Beny Music.” (more…)

Danielle Tate: Savior of Brides Drowning in Marriage Red Tape

DanielleTate_0181-XLGetting married? Thinking of changing your name but not sure? Sure but overwhelmed by the name-change process? Unsure on how to get a marriage license? Wondering if your fiancé has ever been secretly married? Just kidding on the last one but online entrepreneur, Danielle Tate, has made almost anything possible with her trio of websites aiming to solve information and paperwork challenges facing soon-to-be newlyweds.

But Tate wasn’t always a wedding-red-tape buster. As a teenager in Bedford, Pennsylvania, she had planned to go into medicine after working summers at a local doctor’s office. She enrolled at McDaniel College in Maryland and studied biology and psychology. The decision to specialize in cardiology came her second year when she received a Howard Hughes grant to spend a summer working in Ohio State University Hospital’s cardiology department.

But a career in the medical field was not meant to be. She just missed the mark in the final interview round at Baylor College of Medical in Texas. “I was pretty disappointed but I refused to move back to small-town Pennsylvania so I took the first job opportunity that came my way, selling Canon copiers and fax machines,” Tate recalls. She did the job for about a year but applied in the meantime for more senior sales positions as well as a place at Johns Hopkins’ nursing program. (more…)