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This story is part of our 1,000 stories campaign. What’s your story?

Gail Romero

Your Name: Gail Romero

Business Name: Collective Changes, a platform for mentoring women in business

Type of Business: Social Enterprise

Business Location: Seattle, Washington, United States

Website www.collectivechanges.net
Twitter @gmr56
Facebook www.facebook.com/CollectiveChange

Reason for starting
UPDATE We started in March of 2013 and our reason for starting has a lot to do with the entrepreneur and business growth opportunities for women. In 2010 104 million women started businesses from 59 global economies. In 2012 that number increased by almost a third, yet many of them continue to fail. Research came back that those who did continue to grow and thrive directly relate to access to business expertise. Today, Collective Changes offers just in time business expertise and education using IBM/World Bank Entrepreneurs Tool kit, mentors with business expertise and the opportunity to access credit with more success with a completed business plan, marketing plan and understanding of cash flow.

How do you define success?
We define success with every woman who grows her business successfully through gaining a network of women in business, business skills, access to credit and the opportunity to become a mentor to other women. Success is about women like each of us, all over the world, who have an idea, and because they are able to build a network and gain the support of others to help make it a reality, they succeed. We know based on research that when women become economically empowered they gain social, political and economic standing in their community. They are less likely to be impacted by gender based violence and they become more able to support the education and healthcare goals for their family. Success will be the day that each of us no longer has to consider how we empower women, but know that we are. That we no longer have to wonder which companies or organizations have gender parity – it just is.

Biggest Success
We have been nominated for several prizes and awards – based on our ground breaking use of technology, strategic mentoring with Chronus software and our ability to track success. Being recognized by world leaders as an organization that is truly making a difference in the global economy through women’s business support and networking is a very humbling experience. We will continue to keep our eye on the prize – more women with social, political and economic security means more opportunity for community, regional and national awareness of the importance of women growing into the economy and the ability to build a virtuous cycle out of inequity based on gender.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Our top challenge is now funding. We will be sustainable by our third year based on how we integrate data surveys into our collective network. The data that our women will be able to supply based on their purchasing power, their decision making and their reasons for those decisions will be extremely valuable to major retailers and data miners. We already have access to the growing number of women around the world entering into business. Based on their continued engagement with Collective Changes their survey answers we will be able to expand our reach globally and increase our impact with empirical data.

Who is your most important role model?
My most important role model now is “everywoman” who has walked through walls, cryed, dreamed, driven, advocated, and shed her skin to become a leader. She is walking with us, beside us and reaches back to give us a hand. She is the mentor for each of us that we have encountered in our lives. She is the unsung hero, and her moment of impact will be felt for generations.

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