We believe women are a powerful economic force.
The Story Exchange is a nonprofit media organization dedicated to telling the personal and professional stories of women business owners. We showcase the often-overlooked entrepreneurial women around the world who are contributing to their communities and collectively making an impact on the global economy. As an independent 501(c)(3) digital initiative, we aim to provide role models to other women who are pursuing their entrepreneurial dreams.
More than 126 million women are starting or running businesses in 67 economies, creating millions of jobs and generating trillions of dollars in revenue. Yet, most of the stories that capture media attention are those of high-growth startups, many of which are male-owned and not representative of the majority of small businesses. We want to change the narrative, and tell the stories of female entrepreneurs in an array of industries who are making a difference, breaking through barriers, and driving economic growth.
The Story Exchange, begun in 2011, is led by an award-winning documentary filmmaker and a former banking executive. The team stands out for its background in broadcast and print journalism, interlaced with decades of experience in the business and financial world. We adhere to journalistic standards and maintain our editorial independence.
What We Do
Through our videos and articles, we seek to capture the entrepreneurial experience of women-owned businesses, highlighting the obstacles as well as the accomplishments. We’ve started with women in the U.S., Hong Kong and Singapore, places known for their business-friendly environments. We are continually adding more videos and expanding into new countries.
All of our videos and articles are published on this site. We actively seek broader distribution by working with a number of mainstream media partners to publish or broadcast our content. We promote our reports through social media for maximum exposure. If you’d like to feature TSE’s content on your site, please contact us here.
- TSE provides content to a number of news organizations including The New York Times and The Huffington Post.
- TSE is a media partner of the Independent Television Service initiative Women and Girls Lead, a public media campaign.
- TSE partners with organizations devoted to empowering women, including the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) and WEConnect International.
We Want To Hear Your Startup Story
In addition to publishing our own reports, we also ask female business owners to submit their personal startup stories for publication on our site. The initiative is part of our “1,000 Stories” campaign, a research project we started in October 2012 with the Center for Women’s Leadership at Babson College. The goal is to understand the unique challenges, goals and needs of women entrepreneurs.
If you’re interested in submitting your startup story, please use our form here. Occasionally, contributors to our “1,000 Stories” campaign will also be featured in our blog posts, articles and videos.
Once we collect 1,000 stories, we’ll examine the experiences of women when it comes to raising capital, creating jobs and generating revenue. Our hope is that the findings will help policymakers, the banking industry and others better address women’s entrepreneurial needs.
Who We Are
Victoria Wang, Co-Founder
Victoria Wang is a former banker and marketing consultant with more than three decades of experience in the financial world. As she rose through the ranks of corporate America, she saw very few role models or even other women to talk to at senior levels. By the time she left she wanted to find ways to mentor women and to encourage them down the path to economic independence. Not one to sit home and retire, Victoria travels the world looking for stories and is learning to play jazz piano in her free time.
Sue Williams, Executive Director and Co-Founder
Sue Williams is a film producer and director who started her own business, Ambrica Productions, in 1986 to make documentaries with an international scope and interest. Under Sue’s leadership, Ambrica has produced awarding-winning films on a range of subjects, including feature-length documentaries about China for the PBS series Frontline and biographies of two American icons, Eleanor Roosevelt and Mary Pickford, for American Experience. She has three passports, which she rotates to keep herself out of trouble.
Riva Richmond, Director of Digital Media
Riva Richmond is a longtime journalist focused on technology, global business and small business. She was most recently a senior editor at The Economist Intelligence Unit and has written for The New York Times, Entrepreneur.com, The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires and other national publications. Riva is passionate about travel and has traversed the Middle East, Europe, India and Central America. Formerly a dancer and then a martial artist, she now practices hatha yoga and surfs her local Rockaway break.
Candice Helfand-Rogers, Associate Director of Digital Media
Candice Helfand-Rogers is a news media professional with over a decade of writing and editing experience under her belt. She worked as a journalist for some of the largest news organizations in the country (including CBS Local News and The Star-Ledger). She earned her B.A. in Journalism & Media Studies at Rutgers University. In her spare time, she enjoys singing and writing content as a volunteer for the Women’s A Cappella Association.
Michelle Ciotta, Production Coordinator / Office Manager
Michelle Ciotta is a video editor, director, and comedic performer. She graduated from Boston University with a B.S. in Film/TV. Michelle is an editor on the UCB Digital Sketch team, Pocketwatch. The web series, Ground Control, that Michelle created with JVTM Comedy was a finalist in the 2013 NYTVF Comedy Central Short Pilot Competition. Her video work has been featured on The Huffington Post, CollegeHumor, Funny or Die, UCBcomedy, Splitsider, Gizmodo, Laughing Squid, and more. Learn more at: michelleciotta.com
Colleen DeBaise, Contributor
Colleen DeBaise is a longtime journalist and author of “The Wall Street Journal Complete Small Business Guidebook.” She has written about the rewards and challenges of entrepreneurship for Entrepreneur, The Wall Street Journal, SmartMoney, Dow Jones Newswires and BusinessWeek. She has been interviewed on MSNBC, Fox, CNBC, CBS and NPR. Colleen has a master’s in journalism from Northwestern University. On the side, she shares curry recipes on her food blog, CrackingCurry.com.
Nusha Balyan, Contributor
Nusha Balyan is a multimedia journalist and producer. Her previous work includes producing radio stories for NPR’s Latino USA, as well as assisting on TV shoots and stories for BBC World News America and PBS’s Need to Know. Nusha has a Master’s degree from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and is fully bilingual in English and Bulgarian.
Posted: August 24, 2011
Read full coverage of our 1,000 Stories project's findings and explore the stories on our interactive map.