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A few weeks ago, I had the honor of joining our CEO, Jean Case, as she gave a keynote at the Kauffman Foundation’s first annual Global Women’s Summit in Kansas City. The Summit was organized by Kauffman’s FastTrac program as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Not surprisingly, the Kauffman Foundation held a top-notch event, bringing together an impressive group of women entrepreneurs for a day that combined hands-on session with inspiring keynotes, including Jean’s fireside chat with Lesa Mitchell, VP at Kauffman and chair of the FastTrac program.

I thought I’d share some of my favorite quotes from Jean’s session – but be sure to check out the entire video, included below!

On the role of women in getting the economy back on track:

“You’re exactly what this country needs right now, and you might be the secret to economic growth…. There is a tremendous opportunity for women to step up…to really bring jobs and economic health back to the nation…women are a critical segment that hold nothing but upside potential.”

On thinking bigger:

“Vision is really important…one of the mantras we’ve adopted at the Case Foundation is Be Fearless…What I want to say to you is, “Be Fearless”…if you envision taking a company forward, are you dreaming that you’re the next Google? Because if you’re not, you’re selling yourself short.”

On the importance of exuding confidence in selling your business idea:

“People are only ever going to be as confident in you, as you are in yourself.”

On the importance of self-advocating:

“Great opportunities really come along when you’ve convinced someone that you’re great.”

On the criticality of networking:

“At the end of the day, it’s relationships, relationships, relationships…” Skills first, not gender: “Don’t think of yourself of a woman first…being a woman is a beautiful thing…but we don’t have to lead with that.” “I really think men want to see women succeed… I think this is about getting women in the game in really meaningful, blockbuster way.”

On encouragement:

“I had a mother who said, ‘you can be anything you want to be in this world…don’t let anyone or anything hold you back’… we can never say that enough…making people believe in themselves, and particularly young girls and women, is a really valuable tool we can leave behind.”

On the role of competitive sports in developing women’s entrepreneurship skills:

“I think competitive sports play a huge role…they learned how to lose better than I learned…[as an entrepreneur] there will be a lot of failures along the way… competitive sports teach women how to lose, and how to have someone cheering you on.”

Watch: Fireside Chat with Jean Case



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