Leisa: Hello, I’m Leisa Holland Nelson and welcome to another edition of Woman Mean Business where we’re going to take you up close and personal with extraordinary women doing extraordinary things. My guest today is Carolyn Rodz, the Founder of Circular Board, a collaborative accelerator for women entrepreneurs. Carolyn, welcome to Women Mean Business.
Carolyn: Thank you, I’m glad to be here.
Leisa: Tell us about Circular Board.
Carolyn: Circular Board is a collaborative accelerator which means it is a combination of peer advisory, mentorship and access to capital, really giving women all the resources that they need to help scale their businesses.
Leisa: How do people find you? How do they come to you? What’s the process? Tell me a little about that?
Carolyn: We find women from all over; right now in our current cohort we have women from Australia, South America, from the UK. The majority are in the United States, we work a lot with different co-working spaces, we work with other startup groups, women’s networking groups; we really scour the globe looking for top tier women with incredible business concepts who might not be tapped into all of the resources that they need to grow. Our goal is really to bring them and connect them with all of the things that they need to take them to the next level.
Leisa: This is so exciting and I know that your experience with Circular Board and even prior to it has brought you to the exciting conclusion that you should have an event; tell us about that.
Carolyn: We are so excited; we’re having the Circular Summit here in Houston and it is a bringing together investors, mentors, startup experts, national media all go get in a room together and have the conversation about what is next in terms of women’s entrepreneurship. I think everybody’s familiar with the statistics around women entrepreneurs; they are starting their businesses with less capital, they are growing their businesses at slower rates than men and so in terms of number of women in businesses there are a ton of new businesses being founded but where those businesses are going is not where it needs to be.
And what we’ve found is that once women get over these initial hurdles they’re actually out-performing the average. And so our goal is to get them over those initial hurdles and I think the Circular Summit is our opportunity to get everybody in a room together, really talk about tactical steps that we need to take to make that happen. And there’s no better way than to getting all of these influencers together and to really figure out what it is that needs to be done so we’re really excited to have that conversation right here in Houston.
Leisa: So when is it and where is it and how do I get in?
Carolyn: It’s April 14th and 15th, it is at Hotel Zsa Zsa here in Houston and to apply – it is application only, so just get online at CircularSummit.com and fill in an application and we’ll get back to you in 5 days. So we’re really excited; if anybody knows of anybody – certainly let your friends – but that we’re looking for a really, really incredible group and a very diverse group – women in all different stages of business. We have women who are in very early concept phase, we have people who are running multi-million dollar businesses and everything in between and our goal is to get a lot of geographic, ethnic industry diversity in there so that we can get as many different perspectives as we can to really figure out how we’re going to move the needle.
Leisa: Thank you very much, thank you for being here. There you have it, another extraordinary woman doing extraordinary things. I’m Leisa Holland Nelson, President and Co-founder of ContentActive, Houston’s leading website and mobile app company. You can find me at ContentActive.com or follow me on Twitter @LHNelson. We’ll be back again next week with another edition of Women Mean Business.
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