Blog: Jane Sydlowski

Jane Sydlowski is the President of AMI Strategies --recognized by Deloitte in 2003 as a "Fast 500 public and private technology company." Jane lectures students in Wayne State University's entrepreneurial program and serves on the Michigan Council of Women in Technology and Greenpath, Inc.

Jane writes about Michigan's need for a "Entrepreneurial Experience Engine."

Post No. 4

 The Token "Women" Entrepreneur

To become an Entrepreneurial State, women do need to be a focus for the Entrepreneurial Experience Engine (that I'm sure Granholm will start after reading these blogs). Statistics say that for every male opening a business, there are two women. I have a great deal of emotion around this issue. Often picked to be the token (defined as being competent yet the minority) woman on various panels, this blog J , and other venues, I find it completely shameful that there are not more of us standing up as successful women entrepreneurs. What does this say about women?

Overall, women do not mentor other women very well. In general, women are not great risk takers. In fact, the tough stomach that I mentioned in the second blog is extremely relevant for women. We are raised differently. We haven't experienced years of tough-talking football coaches (or similarly brutal training) which produce a mental "toughness." We played the flute or attended dance classes (Ok, I never danced). Although these skills are important and do contribute to life skills, they do little to help you face the music during a tough negotiation or when dealing with an abusive employee, etc..

Knowing what we know to be generally true about women and their skills, and coupling this with the fact that they open businesses at twice the rate of men, how do we capitalize on their entrepreneurial spirit for our Entrepreneurial Experience Engine? What a serendipitous opportunity for Michigan; a state with a woman governor!

I have the best kept secret company in Michigan... We will experience double digit growth over the next 5 years. I take great pride in what we do and literally kiss the door as I walk through it each morning in appreciation that it exists! If I could bottle up this appreciation and share (or sell…give me a break I am an Entrepreneur) it with everyone in Michigan so that they could really ...and I mean really... understand what it means to care that much about opening your own door to your own company, I would just do it.

Why do we care about this? Michigan's future!