The Chairman, CEO and Designer of Tory Burch LLC, named as one of the most powerful women in the world by Forbes in 2015, Tory Burch is an American fashion designer, businesswoman and philanthropist who has won several awards with her luxurious designer brand.

Launched in 2004 with a small boutique in Manhattan’s Lolita neighbourhood, Tory Burch, the brand has grown into a global business with more than 130 freestanding stores, an online store and a presence in over 3,000 department and specialty stores around the world.

We Need Female Entrepreneurs

Based on our experiences, women entrepreneurs see the world through a different lens and, in turn, do things differently (as I do compared to my three brothers and three sons: not better, just differently).

tory burch female entrepreneurs heels agency demi karanThis is reflected in the kinds of businesses we start, whether it’s Coco Chanel, who learned the trade of a seamstress as a child, Estee Lauder, who turned a passion for skincare and make-up into a beauty empire, or Oprah Winfrey, whose media business focuses on helping women to reach their potential.

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, there are 126m women operating new businesses and another 98m at the helm of established ones. Even when women are active business owners, they do not reach their potential: women own almost three in ten American firms, yet employ only 6% of the country’s workforce and account for barely 4% of business revenues.

In only seven countries do women take part in business at rates equal to men’s.

It’s clear that there’s an imbalance within the workplace and we must all work together to bring about change by empowering and supporting female entrepreneurs on their journey.

Investing in businesswomen will boost the economy for everyone. – Tory Burch

Not A Passing Fashion

Narrowing the gender gap in employment will increase global income per person by as much as 20% by 2030. But the benefits go beyond the bottom line. Women business leaders inspire other women to pursue their dreams. They may also find it easier to balance work and family outside the traditional corporate world. In emerging markets, women reinvest 90% of their earnings in their families and communities—which means that investing in women is an investment in our collective future.

The world needs women entrepreneurs, and women entrepreneurs need all of us. It is time to provide the support and tools to ensure that, in 2014 and beyond, women-led businesses flourish.

The Tory Burch Foundation

I launched our company in 2004. I had a concept and, with the help of a small team, began developing it out of my apartment. As our company has grown, I’ve learned about the obstacles that women in business face, from balancing work and family (my greatest challenge) to securing finance. These are among the reason why in 2009 we created the Tory Burch Foundation (TBF) to support the economic empowerment of women entrepreneurs. Drawing on our experiences as well as on conversations with businesswomen from Manhattan to Marrakesh, I see three priorities.

tory burch female entrepreneurs heels agency demi karanFirst, access to capital. When it comes to finance, women face particular hurdles, from lack of collateral to discriminatory regulations and ingrained gender bias. But, financial institutions must do a better job of banking on women’s potential by thinking creatively and forging partnerships, like Coca-Cola’s $100m initiative with the International Finance Corporation, to give more women a shot at the resources that can enable them to start up or scale up.

Second, nascent businesses need support to flourish. I have always believed in the value of mentors and, to this day, turn to trusted advisers from many different industries for insight. Most women don’t have that support, which helps explain why women have fewer opportunities for entrepreneurship than men.

A growing number of groups, with support from organisations, are building networks for women. As we have seen at our TBF mentoring events, there is a tremendous need for these connections. Our entrepreneurs often develop networks with women they meet at our events. Whether you own a restaurant or design clothing, you face some of the same challenges and can learn from each other.

Third, women need entrepreneurial education. Winning business concepts are just as likely to be conceived at the kitchen table as in the garage or at business school, but research shows women doubt their capabilities and fear failure more than men. Training can equip women with the confidence to see bold ideas through.

Fashion designer and entrepreneur Tory Burch is an inspiration for many aspiring entrepreneurs. In addition to being the CEO behind an internationally-renowned clothing line bearing her name, she is also the philanthropic driving force of the ‘Tory Burch Foundation’ (which aims to support women business owners and their families).

Tory Burch Entrepreneurial Tips

When starting a company, you must… Have a unique idea, absolute focus and the tenacity to follow through.

The best business advice I’ve received is… Always be transparent and straightforward.

Never underestimate… The importance of being an information gatherer and doing thorough research.

I love what I do because... It’s the perfect balance of being creative and entrepreneurial.

Never be afraid of… Change. It’s usually hard but often is essential.

My greatest talent is… Recognizing talent in others and building a fantastic team.

My biggest challenge is… Balancing work and family.

I overcome that challenge by… Prioritizing. My boys and stepdaughters come first and everything falls into place after that.

I hope to one day… Build the Tory Burch Foundation into a global organization.

Follow Tory Burch Foundation link for further information. A must for all female entrepreneurs, truly inspiring and empowering.

Hope you enjoy the following inspirational insights by Tory Burch.

On entrepreneurs…

Being an entrepreneur isn’t just a job title, and it isn’t just about starting a company. It’s a state of mind. It’s about seeing connections others can’t, seizing opportunities others won’t, and forging new directions that others haven’t. – Tory Burch

tory burch female entrepreneurs heels agency demi karanOn aiming high…

If it doesn’t scare you, you’re probably not dreaming big enough. – Tory Burch

On “quick” fixes…

We may live in an age of instant messaging, instant gratification, and Instagram, but there is no way to short circuit the path to success. It takes hard work, tenacity and patience. – Tory Burch

On learning …

Even if you’re not yet an entrepreneur, you can be entrepreneurial in everything you do. If you view each step as an opportunity to learn something, there is always something you will take away from that experience. – Tory Burch

On the journey…

Remember: if the most unique ideas were obvious to everyone, there wouldn’t be entrepreneurs. The one thing that every entrepreneurial journey has in common is that there are many, many steps on the road to success. – Tory Burch


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