With the downturn of the economy, many businesses, both small and large, are going belly-side up, which only perpetuates the situation. But women struggling as entrepreneurs or even just as professionals can turn to Julie Coyne, a National City women’s business advocate and branch manager of the National City Kenwood Branch.
Coyne works to provide women, particularly entrepreneurs, the resources, education and networks to take their business to the next level, whether they currently are in the planning, execution or stabilization step of their business. Women’s business advocates also work to ensure that women’s businesses receive the exposure they deserve, “so they can be just as successful as their male counterparts,” Coyne says.
To start the advocate process, Coyne sets up a face-to-face appointment with the interested woman, which usually takes place at the woman’s place of business. This way, Coyne can see women in their own element, where they are more comfortable, and “It’s a lot of fun to see where they do their business every day,” Coyne says.
During the appointment, Coyne gets to know each woman and her business, including where the business is in the scheme of things, where the woman wants the business to be, and what challenges the woman and/or the business is experiencing. A common challenge lately has dealt with financial problems. If that’s the case, Coyne asks her client critical questions to help the client realize how she can be spending her money more efficiently and where she doesn’t have to be spending her money at all. Coyne also can offer advice from a financial point of view, which includes the evaluation of the woman’s finances and the types of investments she has.
After learning about the woman, her business and her finances, Coyne offers advice on what steps to take next. Advice might lead the woman to the Small Business Administration, the Service Corps of Retired Executives or the Women Excel programs offered by the Cincinnati Chamber of Commerce. The Women Excel programs include a leadership program called WE Lead and a mentoring program called WE Link.
And the best part of everything? The invaluable information, resources and network advice are free. Unless the woman decides to take advantage of the resources that National City has to offer, there are no fees attached to consulting with a National City women’s business advocate.
If you would like more information, Coyne will be heading into maternity leave soon, but you can visit the National City Women’s Web site for more information.
Photographer: Amy Storer-Scalia
Models: Julie Coyne
Location: National City Kenwood Branch