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Patricia Handschiegel

Patricia Handschiegel

Posted: May 2, 2010 07:58 PM

The New Power Girls: What A Power Girl Needs To Know About President Obama's Stance On Global Entrepreneurship

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The West restaurant at the Hotel Angeleno is buzzing as people meet and chat over lunch against the L.A. skyline. One half of the restaurant is completely glass, with guest tables set against it to give diners a panoramic view of the city and Hollywood Hills. Down below the 405 freeway buzzes with lunchtime traffic, inaudible from the hotel. I'm seated with three friends and fellow Power Girls getting together for a casual lunch. With the hotel's location between Brentwood and West Hollywood, it's become a bit of a new little business spot. It also hosts an amazing brunch every Sunday with live music.

Lunch is ordered. After a few minutes of catching up, the conversation shifts to our companies. Each of us is the founder of a startup business, among the growing number of women entrepreneurs throughout the country. As everybody shares what's new and what's happening with their projects, I mention connecting with Robert Litan, VP of the Kauffman foundation, one of the largest foundations in the U.S. devoted to entrepreneurship. Robert and I chatted via email regarding the recent Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship. During the Summit, President Obama addressed the potential entrepreneurship has in creating opportunity and solving poverty.

It's something that the women at the table can relate to. More than ever, women are taking advantage of entrepreneurship to create opportunities for themselves. Every woman at the table on that sunny afternoon is one of them. What's more, a very large number of women entrepreneurs (including myself) are cause-oriented.

Today's new modern women entrepreneurs and executives aren't just contributing to the bottom line in America but are lending a hand to people around the world.

"I think it's just so great that there's a cause oriented entrepreneurial vibe right now," added one of the girls as we sip champagne and dig into lunch.

It goes beyond the traditional donations or empowerment activity to include a new push for solutions to problems and issues around the globe, from clean tech to healthcare to education. President Obama talked about the young specifically, but it's a movement that includes entrepreneurs of all ages, stages, races, origins and backgrounds -- and particularly women. Studies have shown that women owned companies are more likely to benefit others.

In fact, dozens of companies have proven that there's business in the business of creating solutions for problems in the world. It's everything from sustainable clothing to microfinance to coffee and beyond.

One of the most exciting parts of the President's speech was the announcement of several new exchange programs launched by the U.S. that will bring business and social entrepreneurs together from around the globe to solve issues and create opportunity. Most specifically, he referenced the growing number of women in technology fields worldwide that will have new opportunity to learn and grow in new U.S. programs.

As we finished lunch and parted ways, each of us off to return to running our businesses, all I could think about is that despite recessions, turmoil and changes, in many ways there is more opportunity than ever, not just to make money but a difference as well.

To find out more about the President's speech at the event, or to learn more about the Kauffman foundation, visit here and here.