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The Reality Of Online Entrepreneurship

(category: Entrepreneurs, Word count: 270)
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Who doesn't want to run a business from their home and wear a bathrobe to virtual business meetings? Since the go-go days of the dotcom boom, the ideal of starting an online business has drawn many to try their business legs in the challenges of online commerce. And indeed, the statistics are attractive: Fifty-five percent of American households are wired for the Internet, and nearly a third, or 32 percent have made a purchase online, according to the US Census Bureau. There's buckets of money being made online, but who's making it and who's not?

When one speaks of "making money online," one creates an image of simply turning on a computer and getting money out of it as if it were an ATM machine. In fact, the Internet, and all the commercial features of it, are merely tools in the entrepreneur's toolbox that should be used alongside other, more traditional tools. When you're building a house, sometimes that high-tech, laser pointing thingamabob is great, but sometimes you just need a hammer. And so it is with online business, and supplementing all that high-tech with old-fashioned business, or in many cases, supplementing old-fashioned business with some high-tech, is what it takes to be successful. Success online comes not in replacing the old with the new, but blending them together.

With a few high-profile exceptions, most businesses that "make money online" successfully aren't exclusive virtual sales companies, but instead, they use the Internet as just one of several sales channels. While people are buying things online, they enjoy having the Internet as an option

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The Fine Art Of Juggling Business And Motherhood For Mom Entrepreneurs

(category: Entrepreneurs, Word count: 1022)
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Like every entrepreneurial mom, two of the top priorities in my life are my family and my business.

My Story. I have always been a driven person. I knew what I needed to do to earn my next promotion. I took every class and seminar that I could find to help me get ahead. When I was in my early 20's, all my colleagues were men in their 40's. If I had kept going, I would certainly have reached upper level management.

My desire and drive for status in the corporate world came to a screeching halt on a day in late 1993-the day I became Jackie's Mom. That day, as all Moms understand, my priorities dramatically shifted. Life was no longer "all about me". I wanted to spend as much time with her as I could. Suddenly work and school were unimportant. I began looking for opportunities to work from home or for good part-time jobs.

It is not easy to juggle business and motherhood. I do not claim to be an expert. After Jackie was born, I spent several years in the corporate world not realizing there were other opportunities for me. While I worked full-time, my constant concern was that I was missing everything while my child was in daycare for 11 hours a day. Because I know children are only little "for a short time", a cloud of overwhelming sadness was constantly hanging over me. In my efforts to overcome this concern, I was fortunate along the way to find several excellent part-time jobs, and I even job-shared for a year. I have actually only worked full-time for half of my daughter's 12 years. Yet it still never occurred to me that I could leave the security of a corporate job to have my own business.

Thankfully, the entrepreneurial bug bit me in late 2002. I now have my own business, and I love every minute of it. I am much happier and I am able to set my schedule around my children's important activities and, on occasion work with them beside me. I recently sat at breakfast with Jackie and asked her when she has been happiest with my work schedule. She too was happiest when I was able to take her to school and pick her up myself and attend all her important activities.

My husband, Terry is about to begin working in my business full-time, too. While we are looking forward to being together more and working together to help build our business, this will be a major life change for us. Our son Cole (age three) is currently in daycare for three part-time days each week. Last week we discussed some of the adjustments we will need to make with Terry being home more. We made the commitment to juggle taking care of Cole and working in the business the remaining two days a week for the next two years until he starts kindergarten. We know it is best for Cole, that this time is a special time to be with him, and he is worth it.

I have learned many things as a Mom Entrepreneur, and I would like to share two of them. The Importance of Being Present. Several months ago, I had a breakfast meeting with my business partner and one of our networking organization members. The member was sharing some of the things he had learned in a workshop. I will never forget when he said, "You are not listening, you've never listened, and you are not listening now..." Then he explained how he realized he hadn't been listening to his own daughter. I immediately understood what he was saying and my heart sank. I thought of my children. Although I had always wanted to have as much time with them as possible, I had become involved in growing my business. While juggling both work and family, I had stopped listening. I had been fooling myself and I had been very wrong. I apologized to my daughter that day. I changed immediately, including even little things. For example, while ironing on stars Jackie had earned in P.E., I took the time to talk about how she had earned the stars. I understood how much I was going to miss unless I was present all the time. Working moms often struggle with the lack of time spent with their children, but when we are present, every moment we spend with our children can be special quality time.

The Value of Teamwork. One of the most important things we can do for our families is to have open communication. I am not afraid to ask for help from my family. I try my best to communicate my upcoming schedule ahead of time. When I have a particularly hectic week, we talk about what is happening, if it's temporary, acknowledge the stress it puts on all of us and handle it together. As a team, we worked out a plan for the days when I leave early to attend a breakfast meeting. When I say, "I have a breakfast meeting tomorrow," everyone knows what to do. For example, my husband takes care of our son and drops him off at preschool. My family understands my commitment to them is, if at all possible, I will only attend one breakfast meeting a week. I communicate with them what is happening in the business and try to involve them in it, too. We are all in this together. As the business succeeds, we all succeed.

You can help, too. I love to help others, and as I continue my personal journey towards a more balanced life, I want to collect the experiences of other entrepreneurial moms. I am also writing a book for Mom Entrepreneurs. The comments submitted for these articles could also be featured in the book. It is my goal to share your stories so that we can all help each other to master the fine art of juggling business and motherhood.

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Why Cash Crate Is The Best Gpt Site In The Industry

(category: Entrepreneurs, Word count: 536)
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When I first set out to find new ways of earning money online, Cash Crate was the first GPT (get paid to) program I came across. Assuming it was just another internet scam, I skimmed their website and moved on. But a few days later I couldn't stop wondering about it. If their claims were true this could be a nice extra income stream for me. Not really expecting much, I went ahead and signed up. Now, several months and several hundred dollars later, I can tell you that Cash Crate is definitely NOT a scam. After having a good experience with them, I went on to sign up for several other GPT sites, many of which I have made quite a bit of money at, but Cash Crate remains my favorite for several reasons, which I will address in this review.

What Is Cash Crate?

Cash Crate is a Get Paid To site that allows you to earn money by taking surveys and completing trials and offers. Companies are always looking for consumers to try their products or services. GPT programs, such as Cash Crate are hired by advertising companies to provide these leads. Cash Crate gets paid by these companies; they then pass on up to 75% back to us.

How Are You Paid?

Cash Crate automatically sends you a check each month for the previous month's earnings. All you need to do is earn a minimum of $10 to each month to qualify for payment. I can't even begin to tell you how easy this is. I was able to do this within the first few hours of working with Cash Crate. Within a few days I was up to over $50.

Do You Need to Refer Anybody to Earn Money?

Absolutely NOT. You can earn quite a bit of money without referring a single person. If you are like me though and enjoy recruiting new members, there is a very good income to be made this way as well.

Cash Crate has one of the best referral programs available in the GPT industry. This is one of the reasons that Cash Crate remains my favorite GPT site. Cash Crate's excellent referral program makes it not only lucrative, but also easy to refer others to. In my experience, once people understand the power behind this referral program they are very eager to join.

Cash Crate pays you 20% of what your referrals earn and 10% of what their referrals earn. Plus once your referral earns enough to cashout for their first time (only $10) they also give you a $3 bonus. Once you have 50 active referrals under you they raise your referral commissions to 25%!

I compared Cash Crate's referral system to other GPT sites and this is what I found: Between the high referral rates offered by Cash Crate, their quick crediting, and consistent payment history, Cash Crate holds the most earning potential. After several months of working with close to 20 different GPT sites, I can tell you that I consistently earn far more money at Cash Crate than any other GPT site.

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Why Entrepreneurs Fail

(category: Entrepreneurs, Word count: 843)
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In my 25 + years working with professionals in Business Development, universally I've discovered that they have learned to think like entrepreneurs. This is what has allowed them to rise to the top of their profession. Each would tell you that along the way they have learned how to think differently.

True entrepreneurs struggle with their business opportunities for a variety of reasons. Among the most obvious are a lack of capital, lack of understanding about marketing, and personnel issues. However, from my own entrepreneurial experience and knowledge of others, there are three major reasons individuals fail in entrepreneurial ventures.

They tie the success of their business with their own self worth.

They neglect to set realistic goals and plans for themselves and their business.

They are not prepared to pay the price of success.

True entrepreneurs with the right thinking prevail over a period of time. They have learned to understand the axiom Roles, Goals, and Tolls.

Roles

Successful entrepreneurs, in contrast to those who struggle, have learned to separate their roles in life from their self worth or self-identity. They understand that role performance or failure with their own venture is not a judgment of them as an individual. People who tend to equate their self-worth to their composite role identity are inherently risk-adverse and look to maintain the status quo. Being able to differentiate these two identities allows them to be risk prone vs. risk adverse, a key ingredient to success as an entrepreneur. Individuals who have risked failure, experienced it, and learned from it, have not only learned how to differentiate their role identity from their self-identity, they have learned the lessons of risking and failing. They understand that early failure in ventures is a natural part of successful startups. They are able to embrace those experiences, learn from them quickly and move on. This is critical to success as an entrepreneur. They must be willing to face and deal with early failures in order to prevail over time.

Goals

Even though much is said and written about goals and plans being necessary for success as an entrepreneur, few people learn the mechanics of successful goal setting and planning. It's not the plan but the planning that is important, and the goal setting process allows them to develop the confidence to take risks and fail. Successful entrepreneurs are not only goal driven and goal oriented; they have learned to execute the process of strategic and tactical goal setting and planning. Visualizing goals, writing them down and putting together a detailed plan for achievement provides the confidence and motivation to prevail. More than just business or operational plans, they have goals and plans for all the important roles in their life. They have learned early that if they aren't working their own plan they are probably part of someone else's goals or plans. They chart their own destiny, embrace risk-taking leadership positions, make adjustments as required and prevail over a course of time.

Tolls

Finally, entrepreneurs understand that there is a toll to pay. To be successful in any role in life you must be prepared to pay full price one time. There are really no overnight successes as an entrepreneur. In fact, I've heard it said that overnight success generally takes 15-20 years. One of the early tolls that entrepreneurs are quite often forced to face is the "re-making" of themselves that can include growing beyond their current circle of contacts. Since most people tend to stay within their own psychological comfort zone, they begin to lose identity with the risk taker. They are comfortable with the type of person who is more like them. Quite often the entrepreneur moves on to a different circle of associates who understand the journey. Stepping out, being your own person and venturing into the risk prone unknown is lonely by itself. Consequently, there can be a newfound stress in old relationships. It's been said before that pioneers get shot in the front and the back, and only through a process of differentiating role performance from self-worth, being risk prone, prevailing through adversity, sticking to your goals, and adjusting your plans will you be prepared to pay the daily toll.

An entrepreneur has much to learn in order to be successful, including the day-to-day mechanics of running a business, producing products, delivering services, making money and dealing with people. The biggest challenge of all is developing an understanding of themselves. They come to grips with what they want and what motivates them; this sustains their willingness to prevail over the long term against adversity. Successful entrepreneurs have learned to transform their thinking, allowing them to prevail where others fail along the way.

Bill Scheessele is the President, Founder and CEO of Mastering Business Development, Inc., a 25-year Business Development consulting and training company. MBDi consults with firms in the energy, nuclear, engineering, pharmaceutical, IT, and other highly technical service industries helping them build proactive Business Development teams. He can be reached at 704.553.0000 or info@mbdi.com.

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What It Takes To Succeed In Business

(category: Entrepreneurs, Word count: 415)
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Business if tough in today's world! Most small businesses go bankrupt or are closed abruptly in the first five years. Over the course of the next five years many of the remainders also "pack up" shop and lock their doors. Why do so many businesses fail?

The reasons lie in three main spheres. Those spheres of influence can be labeled personal, customer, and operations.

The Personal Sphere deals with the owner's personal motivation to start a business. For example, if an owner wants to start their own business, but isn't willing to make the sacrifices necessary to make it thrive, then they are at a disadvantage when compared to other motivated businesspeople. When a business starts for the first time often it doesn't have a lot of money. Owners are required to sacrifice time, money, and happiness to succeed. If you can't do that, it is unlikely that such a business will flourish. Many times owners thought they could handle the hardship but once the novelty of "being your own boss" wears off they close the door.

The Customer Sphere is one of the most important components of your business. Without customers you do not have sales, without sales you do not have money and without money you do not have a business. Many factors go into generating a good customer base. In the beginning you must have a cost effective marketing strategy that targets your intended buyers. This can be done by developing a psychological profile of your customer and then advertising in those places that they frequent. Because it is more expensive to get a new customer than it is to keep one you must make sure they are satisfied with your business and product. Keep in touch with them by sending them a follow-up letter with a survey.

The Operations Sphere is only second to the Customer Sphere. In operations you must have an appropriate method of reducing costs, keeping track of paperwork, and maintaining improvement. Operations can also take into effect the tax paperwork, accounting, scheduling of workers, benefits or any non-producing functions.

If all of these three components are well thought out and are appropriately designed you will increases your chances of survival. Failure to understand the integral details of your business and what it takes to succeed may mean failure in the long run. If you are having difficulty putting all the pieces together then consider a small business consultant.

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The Offer S On The Table

(category: Entrepreneurs, Word count: 443)
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In twentieth century America while young boys learned construction with Lincoln Logs, little girls instinctively cuddled a Raggedy Ann. Even today Raggedy Ann's red yarn hair, patched pinafore and button eyes offer images of another era as she celebrates her 90th birthday in museums and private collections.

But in 1958 Barbie was born. All grown up and designed with fantasy. This was no rag doll. Barbie's hair was real and brush-able; her wardrobe generous and trendy. The 'Barbie' figure was to become the ultimate achievement of the perfect body. Playing with Barbie during formative years, young girls have acted out all of their dreams.

The new millennium brought new images for females. Lifestyle issues changed the way the media influenced the female psyche and redefined some old messages about life, love and growing pains. "Stay sweet" changed to "Be strong". "Find the right man" changed to "Get your degree". Careers in nursing were discouraged as parents pushed for Computer Science.

While professional women are up from 48% in 1993 to 50% today, they still hit a glass ceiling when it comes to the corporate pay scale. Some would blame it on the more aggressive male who thinks nothing of asking for his pay raises. There is truth in that observation; women tend to let the high quality of their work speak for itself.

Can white-collar females have successful relationships with blue-collar males? Good question. Confucius once said, "Ignorance is a woman's virtue", but you won't sell that idea in the twenty-first century. Ironically%2oes to your trainee. Cutbacks eliminate your job. While this is not always the case, it happens often enough when considering life in the fast lane.

There is another way. Certainly not as glamorous but pulls in a six figure income without a resume or a business degree of any kind. This is the best time to begin an online business.

Launch one today - you don't have to make it all up from scratch. There are first-class recipes out there! Do it because it's still the likeliest, fastest, and best way to get rich. Do it because of how universally accepted being an entrepreneur has become. Do it because it is a way out and a way through; think of the wake you'll create!

Do it because we're not rookies anymore, because the risk-reward equation has flipped. Do it because there is something within you that is uniquely yours; you own it yet rarely acknowledge that it's there. The offer's on the table! It's time now to bring it out, give it a title and share it with others.

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Planning Ahead Of Everyone Else To Win

(category: Entrepreneurs, Word count: 1539)
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What does it take to plan like a champion?

Well lets take a look into our minds a little bit to answer this question.

For these next questions, I need you to be extremely honest with yourself. No need to lie, no one else but you will know the answers.

1) Are you afraid to fail your plan?

2) Do you regularly plan ahead?

3) Does your plans involve EVERYTHING you ever wanted?

4) Do you plan ahead with your business and family in mind?

5) Do you visualize your plan being achieved?

6) ** How far ahead do you actually plan???

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That wasn't so bad was it???

It's important to always ask yourself these questions. Doing so will ultimately lay out what it is that you want in life. Business & Family should always be considered together.

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So let's take a look at why all these questions help you to determine what it is in life and how it will affect you forever...

1) Are you afraid to fail your plan?

Beating The Failure Blues:

Failure... ooooooo no one wants to fail. Unfortunately for many of us, we tend think of failing when we write out our business plans. The reason we do this is because we've all failed at something before. Everything we do starts with a plan. Most daily plans are sub-consciously planned out before they are executed. This process only takes a fraction of a second. The ones we tend to remember are plans that we've "consciously" created. Most of these are ideas we've never finished, and projects that never even got a change to start.

They key to beating the "failure blues" is simply to train your mind to visualize everything you want from your plans. Viewing something you want should always resemble a movie clip full with: sensory rich images, along with sounds, smells, and sense of touch. This combination is what make visualization a success. This is true because our minds think in images. Visualizing your plans consciously will better help your sub-conscious mind to remember what it is that you want to accomplish. This also tells your sub-conscious mind you serious about this one.

1) Do you regularly plan ahead?

Come-on, be honest, do you actually sit there and make a good attempt to plan out your future, every single day? NO? Why not? Is it not that important to you?

Failing to plan is the same as planning to fail!

Planning everyday may seem like a lot of work to do but in actual reality, once it becomes a habit, it becomes second nature.

Study shows that it takes an average of 21 times for something to become a habit. For example, once you've driven your car 21 times +/- it becomes 2nd nature to you. Your sub-conscious mind takes over and drives for you

Your "conscious mind" is the captain of your ship (the brain). If you don't consciously make a direct command to your "sub-conscious" (the crew), nothing will ever get done. You must be strict with the crew for 21 days to make sure they will do their duties on a daily basis. After time, the crew will automatically know their own task by heart and carry them out for you.

Planning out everyday will better define to your "Crew" what it is they are required to accomplish. It builds unity within your mind. This unity will ultimately be the staging point to reaching your goals.

2) Does your plans involve everything you wanted?

When I say everything, I mean everything. I have this little special note pad that stays on my desk at all times. Within it are countless ideas of everything I ever wanted at that very moment.

At that very moment meaning, whatever it was that I wanted to have in my life "at that moment" that would make me happier. Doesn't matter what it is. For you, exactly what right now would make you happy? A nicer car? $5,000 in your bank account? More clients? Better search engine ranks?

Writing exactly what it is that you want will give your mind a "TO DO LIST". Once your mind has its "TO DO LIST", your sub-conscious will search through your memory banks for an example of how to accomplish your "to do list". If your mind doesn't find anything within your memory banks, it will eventually start shooting out ideas and tips for your conscious mind to complete.

I should also note that writing down something is like etching it right into stone when it comes to your mind. It's like your mind is the piece of paper, you need to write something down in order for it to come back later and revise what it is that you wrote down.

3) Do you plan ahead for your business and family?

Well why wouldn't you? When I think about my business, I think of what it will do for me, my friends, and my family in the future. At the moment, I am currently not married nor do I have any children but that doesn't mean that I am not thinking about the future with a family in it.

Always consider business & family the same. They are a both part of yours and the their future.

4) Do you visualize your plan being achieved?

Visualization is the fruit of success.

Do you ever find yourself visualizing yourself in that car you always wanted? Who visualizes you and your family on some beach in Mexico somewhere? Who visualizes you winning the "entrepreneur of the year award"? ....YOU DO!

In order to be happier and more successful, you need to get better, you need to get better. I repeat, you need to get better.

Visualization should be a daily event. Take a moment everyday, even for 30 seconds and visualize all the sights, sounds, smells, and feelings of everything involved with your daily plans.

For example, lets pretend that you have a presentation to do and like most people who have done a presentation, you are extremely nervous.

Take a moment about an hour before the presentation. Visualize yourself walking into the meeting feeling great, confident, and relaxed. Hear the people having a good time, see them smiling and paying attention to you. Try to smell a nice cologne within the room that makes you smile when taken in. Last but not least, see all the people around you congratulating you on a job well done after the presentation. See yourself having a nice, warm, rich tasting coffee while discussing your successful presentation with your boss, employees or even your potential clients.

I guarantee you that if you make it a habit to prepare yourself with visualization in that fashion before any presentation, you will have better, more vibrant feelings afterwards.

This very same technique applies for your goals. You must see yourself driving that car, the way the air feels in your hair, maybe the way the engine sounds. Whatever you can think of that will let your mind wander into your goals and dreams, use it!

5) ** How far ahead do you actually plan???

This is by far the most important. The most important only because it takes a little from all the above questions I've talked about.

What is the furthest you've ever planned ahead? I'll put money on the fact that it's not far enough. Dare to be bold, be strong in your convictions. Don't be afraid to think outside the box.

So how far do I allow myself to plan ahead??? 200 Years!

No joke, my goals have included a timeline of around 231 years ahead in the future. See I don't only think about how I want to improve my life, I concentrate on something higher than life. I concentrate on my family history that is yet to be written. We all would like to leave a family dinesty to our future family members. Well, why aren't you planning ahead for it???

Don't be shy, afraid, uncertain or embarrassed, just do it. Keep doing it within your note pad that you write in. Keep thinking about your children, their children, your great, great, great grand children to be.

Think about them. Wouldn't it be nice if they could look back and say wow, my great, great, great grand father had the vision, the dedication and the will to think of me. Think of the impact you could have on those to be. Even go as far as writing a letter to the individuals who will be in your families future. Tell them what you have planned and why.

What if what you do now, affects someone 4 generations down the line in such a positive way that they feel the need to pick up were you left off? If it wasn't for your vision, it would of never happened.

Better yet, it hasn't happened yet, so how about you pick up that pen and start your future right now, this very moment.

On that note, I won't keep you from writing your future.

Good luck & remember to see everything happen the way you want it to happen!

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Strange And Innovative Ideas

(category: Entrepreneurs, Word count: 402)
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People seem to be coming upwith strange and very innovative ideas to promote their sites and also come up with sites to promote businesses and their brand names. Just a few months back, we had this euphoria where a student got a website up and was selling pixels on his website at the rate of $1 per pixel. Many rip-offs followed this and they too proved quite a bit successful thus making everyone associated with the site very happy. The businesses which put their ads on the site, however invisible they seemed to be in the muddle of ads, also seemed to be happy with the visibility that they got.

Now a slightly different and improved version seems to be doing the rounds on the net. It is called the 'One in hundred thousand' website and it can be found at http://oneinhundredthousand.com.

This site is based on the concept that they get your name on the internet (rather, on this site) for $3. The name can be that of an individual or that of a business. And they also link to your homepage (if you have one) as part of the name. To maintain some exclusivity (after all, they cant get the names of 6 billion people on to the site), they have restricted themselves to only 50,000 names and promises to be up for 5 years.

This site seems to have been started by a young man and though it seems a bit similar to the million dollar home page idea, it has its own uniqueness and its advantages. For businesses, it is like having an ad on the net, that too at a place with high number of visitors and for individuals, its just a chance to get the thrill of seeing their name on a website and to see their name when they do a search on google.

The webmaster asks us to view this as another home, a home on the internet for our name and which would be well maintained by him for the next five years. Its a strange idea but it is indeed something that might catch on in due course of time.

People, especially young ones, seem to be coming up with strange and innvovative ideas to keep themselves and help others keep ahead of the competition. Things are sure getting interesting. So what next? A website on the moon??

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Company Brings Hope To African Entrepreneurs

(category: Entrepreneurs, Word count: 379)
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News reports often tell of the struggle to lift Africans out of poverty. One entrepreneur is doing her part to bring hope to that continent through a business endeavor that is now bringing its products to the world market.

The desire to help others is what originally led South African Elmare Lombard to leave her successful psychological practice after 15 years to start a natural aromatherapy line.

From experimenting with essential oils and plant-based oils in her kitchen to eventually seeking international markets for the line, Lombard has made her dream a reality today. Her Molo Africa line is now being distributed in the U.S. by BioPharmetics Inc.

But her company, founded with family members and community leaders, also helps establish farming projects for disadvantaged people in her native South Africa. Molo Africa has a proactive employment policy that helps single parents get jobs with the company or affiliated businesses. This initiative is designed to promote self-sufficiency and brings a sense of pride for individuals.

Molo Africa supports the independent farmers of Africa through advice and assistance; the purchase of raw products at fair market prices; and through education initiatives that help impoverished South Africans develop skills in agriculture, basic education, entrepreneurship and computer training.

The company's product line includes pure essential oils, natural aromatic room sprays, massage butters, shea soaps and scented candles. Molo is an African greeting meaning "hello." Bearing evocative African names such as "Hamba Suka" and "Sefako," the products contain essential oils that were extracted from exotic plants farmed and processed naturally in African countries.

Gertrude Mewy is an example of the kind of success story Lombard's company helped to create. The single mother from Guguletu, Cape Town, was raising her four children on a small salary as a domestic worker. But she dreamed of being an entrepreneur. With the help of the Foundation for Economic and Business Development, she started her own pottery business.

Her hard work paid off when she became a supplier of ceramic beads to Molo Africa. Its contract with Gertrude enables her to employ two full-time workers, both of whom are single mothers. Her business now supports nine people and there are plans for more business deals between Gertrude and Molo Africa.

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