See how a local executive director is using her marketing experience to nurture female entrepreneurs in Cincinnati and beyond.
Did you know that there are only 14 business organizations that are solely geared toward female entrepreneurs? Nancy Aichholz is proud to be a part of one – based right here in Cincinnati – as the Executive Director of Bad Girl Ventures.
Aichholz says she’s passionate about making an impact for businesswomen in the Cincinnati area because she is one herself. In fact, she says, it was her entrepreneurship experience as founder of NanCakes bakery that was the perfect “pre-heat” setting for her to now lead Bad Girl Ventures, a Cincinnati-based incubator for women-owned startups.
Bad Girl Ventures was listed as one of the top 10 organizations in the country in Forbes Magazine. The company comprehends what women need and the unique asset they would bring to a startup.
“We are a multi-market education based organization that empowers female entrepreneurs and leads them to successful accessing of capital,” she says. “Our programs are tailored to meet the needs of a female owned startup from idea to exit. A woman can enter our programs at various points along her journey.” The company includes seven employees, one board of directors, an advisory board, two local advisory committees, plus 200+ volunteers and a lot of generous sponsors.
After getting her degree in International Business and Marketing, Aichholz spent some time in media sales.
“That was perfect because I was selling a marketing product to all types of small businesses in order to meet their advertising needs. I spent a lot of time learning about their businesses and how I could solve their problems with media,” she says. Her experience in media sales led her to an opportunity to work for Chiquita Brands, International, which according to Aichholz, “had to be the best possible marketing job on the planet.
I loved that opportunity and am I’m so grateful to have had that experience.” Her experience at Chiquita empowered her to be qualified for her current Executive Director position at BGV.
A “bad girl” is a female entrepreneur who is bold and takes risks. “They are starting businesses in all types of industries and they support one another,” she says. Aichholz is able to bring her experience in corporate marketing, fundraising, starting and running her own successful, small business called NanCakes, and her long history of relationships in the region. Her favorite part of the job is watching women succeed.
“I love to help our entrepreneurs problem solve, believe in themselves, and make the connection that will move them forward. But in my role, I have the added blessing of being able to hire talented women into the BGV organization itself and watch them grow and thrive,” says Aichholz. “I have a passion for women mentoring women along the way. In my corporate experience, women still weren’t doing a very good job of helping each other. I am determined to be different, Success should be determined by talent, passion and drive, not by gender.”
Aichholz loves the business world, but at the same time, she is creative and energetic. “Marketing can be the heartbeat of the organization when it is done right – it isn’t just advertising. Marketing is knowing your product and its target demo, then being sure your product or service is exactly what your target will adopt/ purchase and connect to sustain them and the business,” she says. Aichholz’s inspiration comes from her three children and her faith. “At the end of the day/ end of life, that is really all that matters and if family and faith are on track, all is well,” she says. She comes back to work everyday because she loves to watch her staff develop, shine and she loves knowing her employees are changing the lives of female entrepreneurs.