Empowering a Billion Women by 2020 launched by Ingrid Vanderveldt

Source: Upstart Business Journal 

Author: Caroline McMillan Portillo. Bizwomen reporter

"After 8 years in my own mastermind group - The Billionaire Girls Club - I know first-hand how transformational cultivating these relationships can be. These women have introduced me to serious players, provided numerous opportunities from speaking to publishing, given me feedback, advice and have flat out told me the truth. They have helped me grow my business, been champions for my personal growth and have been a constant source of support.  
One of our Billionaire Girls Club members, Ingrid Vanderveldt was recently featured by BizWomen in an article called, "On the Hunt For Her First Billion" where she talks about how important her own mastermind group was to her success. 
Turns out we're really lucky because many of the top women leaders I speak to feel like they're out on their own. Even if they are running wildly successful companies, they are often too busy heads down scaling their businesses to actually step back and focus on strategy and what's driving the business…and more importantly what's driving them. They also tell me how rare it is to meet other women who get what it's like to operate at their level and how excited they'd be to finally have an intimate setting where they can get honest feedback.
This is exactly why I wanted to provide other women with the same opportunity by creating the Art of Leverage Mastermind Group for 5 extraordinary business women. This is the process I use with my clients to remove all limiting beliefs so they can scale, multiply their valuations, get tied in with partners from Hearst to Coca Cola and create the biggest impact possible even when they have minimal resources. The Art of Leverage Mastermind starts with the biggest point of leverage, mindset. Mindset matters. It shows up in the messaging they use, what they offer, the people they hire, the partners they choose, the asks they make and their bottom line. We then focus on messaging so that they're perfectly positioned and monetization so that they implement those tweaks that can maximize profits with ease and grace. And, these women now have the ability to leverage each other. " - Nicole 

Ingrid Vanderveldt officially launches her global mentorship program at SXSW — and you can join it. 

The UpTake: Ingrid Vanderveldt, who has built and sold two tech companies, launches her own global mentoring program at South by Southwest.

Ingrid Vanderveldt has built and sold two tech companies. She's worked with dozens of others. She's hosted her own TV show on CNBC. And she knows this much in her core: Entrepreneurs need mentors.The rest of the world knows this: If Vanderveldt wants to empower a billion women in the next five years, she needs a full-blown movement.That's where her global mentorship program comes in. And amid the hubbub of South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, Vanderveldt announced its official launch on Sunday night. She also introduced a key corporate partner: global consulting company Frost & Sullivan, which will be helping companies around the world get involved.Vanderveldt's movement is called "Empowering a Billion Women by 2020," and she began working on it when she was Dell's first entrepreneur in residence, a post she left last fall. The entrepreneur in residence position is traditionally found at venture capital firms. At Dell she worked to bridge the gap between the company and the small business owners who need its technology. She started the Dell Innovators Credit Fund and also launched her own passion project, Empowering a Billion Women by 2020, a company founded to put a mobile device in the hands of every woman around the globe.Think that's lofty? At Dell, she reached 600 million women.The program is also about giving women the support they need to be successful in business.Until Sunday, the platform had only had a private launch.

But for months, Vanderveldt has been galvanizing women across the globe around the idea of supporting one another to boost their success as leaders and entrepreneurs.And their medium for doing so is mentorship.The number one issue that keeps women from leadership is lack of confidence, Vanderveldt said. "People build confidence when they can take action," she said. "And people can take action when they find a mentor."Now, any woman around the world can sign up, for free, to be a part of the movement, which operates on a pay-it-forward model.Women who have mentors will also mentor other women. Once they sign up, every woman is put in one of five categories based on her income level or business's revenue.The first is for women who've lost everything and have nothing to start with. The second is for women making up to $50,000 a year with their business. The third is for $50,000 to $250,000. The fourth is for $250,000 to $1 million, and the last is for women whose businesses bring in more than $1 million in revenue a year.Every woman will be mentored by someone in the group just above them — someone who isn't so far removed from her protege's situation that she can't relate, Vanderveldt said."She's gone through what you have," Vanderveldt said. "She knows your challenges and opportunities."The program also includes 25 handpicked global ambassadors who working in their communities to evangelize the program and effect change in local policy. The global ambassadors are mentored by Vanderveldt herself.

And once women have a mentor, Empowering a Billion Women by 2020 wants them to create their own "circles of five" — made up of like-minded people, peers, who are dealing with similar situations.Vanderveldt's has met in a group of five for the last seven years. They call it the "Billionaire Girls Club."Members include: Vanderveldt; Carrie Silver-Stock, the executive director of Empowering a Billion Women by 2020; Nicole Casanova, founder of Casanova Ventures, a consultancy that helps startups scale; Traci Fenton, founder of WorldBlue, a company that works to bring democracy to the workplace; and Sarah Endline, founder of chocolate company Sweet Riot.None of them are billionaires (yet), but every month, they have a standing conference call to discuss their ideas, struggles and plans. In the weeks between, they text and email. And one a year, they gather for an informal meeting, to talk, laugh and do yoga face to face."Now we've created a platform that invites more corporations, more policy makers, more media committed to the success of women worldwide," Vanderveldt said. "And we're really bridging those organizations to women in a way that helps them grow and thrive."