Friday, August 5, 2011

Scrappy Startups by Melanie Keveles


Scrappy Startups: How 15 Ordinary Women Turned Their Unique Ideas Into Profitable Businesses.

Melanie Keveles profiles fifteen women who started their own businesses from scratch. Nancy Gruver started a media company, New Moon, that lets tween girls write articles for girls in their age group. Bev Halisky started a driving service for the elderly because she saw a need. Many seniors had no one to drive them to their doctor's appointments. Halisky's Canadian-based business has generated several franchises.

Possibly the most impressive business, however, is the one started in a war zone. Sarah Chayes, a journalist for National Public Radio, started an Arghand Cooperative in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Hoping to spur economic development in the area, Sarah started a high-end soap company. She uses native agriculture e.g. pomegranate seeds and pistachios to create natural soaps and then exports them as luxury products. Though Sarah's business is successful, it is also a personal mission.

Scrappy Startups is full of wonderful businesses started by women who did not necesarily have a business background. Many of these businesses were started by women who saw a social need e.g. Cherry Brook Kitchen, 29 Gifts, Eco-Me, Arghand Cooperative. Questions at the end of each chapter may help budding entrepreneurs realize their business dreams.