The backyard party at a well-heeled women entrepreneur's house is littered with women founders and executives who work and play together in Los Angeles. A cheese plate from the local hot spot Joan's on Third, munchies and red wine flows as evening sets. The group ranges from battle-hardened CEOs who have owned companies for years, high-level executives from a variety of prestigious companies, and freshly launched start-up founders. They laugh and share stories about their companies, issues they're facing and of course, the near-constant work/life juggle of having big goals with being young and active.
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As the night goes on, the economy comes up in conversation as everybody chimes in about life and business in the recession. After a time, the discussion shifts to options for capital for start-up entrepreneurs.
"This time around I raised capital for my company," I say as I sit legs crossed on the grass. Others share that they've relied on small business loans, loans from family, the SBA and other means. Many have funded ideas using credit cards. One by one, the women weigh in regarding the credit crunch, new legislation and how interest rates will affect their businesses and larger, the future of women's entrepreneurship.
"I'll be honest, I'm worried about it," said one guest who asked to remain anonymous. "It already seems hard to find funding and investor support. If credit isn't possible, I'm not sure how people, not just women, will launch new businesses."
It's a sentiment also echoed among The New Power Girls email subscribers, who chimed in this past week. Responses varied from confusion to concern, with a near equal split of those feeling affected by the economy and credit issues and those who are not.
"I'm not excited about it," said entrepreneur Jen Grisanti of Jen Grisanti Consulting, of the new credit card legislation. "It will not change things for me in any major way, but it'll affect money coming in."
Regardless of response, there was one current theme among the women: As the financial landscape changes for start-up and small businesses, Power Girls will be watching -- and adjusting -- to adapt to the market conditions.