Women Entrepreneurs

Bottom's Up: How a Kombucha Bar Took Root in Virginia

Tue, 2014-12-30 15:54

Entrepreneur: After graduating from Virginia Tech, Leslie Crews started brewing kombucha—the probiotic tea drink believed by many to have health benefits related to digestion and mood—in the spare bedroom of her Virginia Beach townhouse. 

Whoopie Pies Bake Up Big Business For This Maine Company

Tue, 2014-12-23 15:47

Learn how a former stay-at-home mom grew a home-based baking business into a sweet, $2.5 million success.

Current Trends of Small Business Ownership

This month’s SCORE infographic highlights the current trends of small business ownership. It also identifies the growing impact of female and Latino entrepreneurs on the economy and employment.

The number of women-owned businesses is growing 1.5 times faster than the national average.

Small business is the backbone of the American economy. But, who's driving small business success today? Get the facts about current trends in small business ownership.

Small business success is growing like a weed! 

Who's Nurturing Today's Businesses - women, minority, and Latino small businesses

In order to access this resource although it is available at NO Cost you must have an Onondaga County Library Card!

          After working in the industry for a number of years, I want to start my own catering business. Conversations with a couple of banks about financing have not been promising, so I’m considering approaching some friends and relatives about borrowing the startup money. Is this a good idea?         

When seeking financing help for a small business, many entrepreneurs turn to friends and family, rather than banks or other lending sources. While this approach may avert the stresses associated with loan applications and presentations before strangers, it carries its own set of risks and potential pitfalls.

About the Author

          This column is brought to you by the Merrimack Valley Chapter of SCORE, with nearly 70 current and former business executives available to provide free, confidential, one-on-one business mentoring and training workshops for area businesses. Call 603-666-7561 or visit merrimackvalley.score.org for information on mentoring, upcoming workshops and volunteer opportunities. SCORE is a national, non-profit organization and a resource partner of the U. S. Small Business Administration.  

Safe Indy

Our business started from a problem I had in my neighborhood - a house on my block was burglarized four times in one month!  I asked a police officer who lives on my block, Lieutenant Dan Green, to help us catch this persistent burglar.  We were able to catch him within a week, and this gave me a feeling of empowerment.  For the first time, I felt like we could actually do something about the crime instead of being sitting ducks waiting for the next burglary. 

A few of my neighbors started pitching in to hire Lieutenant Green to do extra patrols.  Soon we were contacted by the King Park Area Development Corporation.  They had heard about what we were doing and wanted patrols for all of King Park's neighborhoods instead of just the one we lived in.  At that point we learned that we needed to set up an official company in or to purchase liability insurance and protect the neighbors from liability.

Lieutenant Green introduced me to Detective Kevin Lauerman who had an interest in forming a patrol company, and we proceeded to set up the Safe Indy Company.  King Park was our first client and we have grown by word of mouth since then.

Victoria Rutt
My Location
615 South College Avenue, Suite 4
Indianapolis IN 46203
United States
Year Company Formed
My Successes

The biggest measure of success for us will be effectiveness.  In King Park we have seen a marked decrease in crime since we began the patrol program.

The second most important measure of success will be our ability to provide sufficient income to ourselves, our admin staff and our off-duty police officers, many of whom depend on this extra income to support their families.

We have already enjoyed overwhelmingly positive media attention.  We have been contacted several times by newspaper and television stations about our patrol programs.  The links are listed below:

Nov 13, 2014
RTV6 (ABC)/The Indy Channel - Derrick Thomas

King Park residents use safety patrols to keep criminals at bay.

June 27, 2014
WISH TV 8 - Jessica Smith

Neighbors pool money for police patrols

January 9, 2013
The Weekly View Community Newspaper - Ethel Winslow

Making Indy Safer

September 17, 2012
The Indy Star - John Tuohy

Residents hiring their own subscription police in response to decreased IMPD presence

September 25, 2012
Northwest Herald


August 10, 2012
WTHR 13 - Emily Longnecker

Public safety cooperatives help keep neighborhoods secure


What's Great About My Mentor?

Wow, where do we begin?  We have been extraordinarily lucky to have not only one fabulous mentor but three!  We could not begin to list what is great about each in this short space, but the number one thing that comes to mind whenever I think of our SCORE Mentors is SUPPORT.  We feel constantly supported and this is an amazing benefit for small businesses that sometimes feel on shaky ground or discouraged when facing a roadblock.

Unlike other mentoring services, SCORE mentors really give 100%.  Our mentors are accessible anytime, not just in our scheduled in-person meetings, but also by text and email.  They have opened their contact lists to us to try to connect us with others who can help push us forward.  They seem to really believe in us, and that helps us believe in ourselves even if we are having a rough month.  George Clinton's enthusiasm and encouraging text messages have been especially invaluable to keep us moving forward.

How SCORE Helped

SCORE has helped in immeasurable ways, from practical tools to problem solving to ongoing feedback and encouragement.


Detective Kevin Lauerman

Graduate of Vincennes University, Associate of Science in 1981 and Indiana University,  Bachelor of Science in 1991.

  • Seventeen years on the Indianapolis Police Force.
  • Ten years as Campus Police at Indiana University Police Department and Indiana University Medical Center.
  • Two years experience at LaPorte County Sheriff in jail operations and narcotics
  • Comprehensive training in the areas of security surveys for campus law enforcement, dignitary protection, special event planning and site security, including specific experience with the Pan Am Games, US Olympic Trials, and Big Ten Swimming, Track and Field Championships.
  • Threat assessment training to evaluate and prepare for threats by location and environment, physical buildings, and other relevant situational information prior to events taking place.
  • Police experience includes many years working as a robbery dective, sex crimes detective, aggravated assaults, ERG (Event Response Group training for large events, traffic routing, crowd control) and NIMS (National Incident Management System incident command training to manage critical incidents).
  • Trained as a first responder and specialty training for domestic violence intervention, cultural sensitivity training and conflict resolution/de-escalation.

Victoria Mara Rutt

Graduate of Butler University, Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude, Psychology 1993 and attended a few years of graduate classes in psychology at New York University.

Technical skills include video production and post-production, construction management, web/mobile application development.

Founded other small businesses still in existence; one that provides video production and custom online software development and one that rehabs and rents historic properties.

Member of MENSA (98 percentile high IQ society), Tops Society (99 percentile high IQ society) and Sigma Xi (scientific research honor society).

I’m considering purchasing a local, long-established dance studio. I have the training and skills to run it, but have never bought a business before. What advice can you give me? 

          Buying an existing small business can expedite one’s way into entrepreneurship. All the upfront effort has been taken care of, as has much of the learning curve. And with staff and resources already in place, you may think stepping in and taking over is all there is to it.

About the Author

          This column is brought to you by the Merrimack Valley Chapter of SCORE, with nearly 70 current and former business executives available to provide free, confidential, one-on-one business mentoring and training workshops for area businesses. Call 603-666-7561 or visit merrimackvalley.score.org  for information on mentoring, upcoming workshops and volunteer opportunities. SCORE is a national, non-profit organization and a resource partner of the U. S. Small Business Administration. 

Women entrepreneurs don't need to go it alone

Thu, 2015-05-14 08:00

Even before starting a family, Brittney Castro worried that someday she might feel forced to choose between her career and her children, a dilemma to which many working parents can relate. So in late 2012, she left her job as a financial planner at an advisory firm and launched her own practice.

"I wanted the flexibility to have a family and not worry about losing momentum in my career or balancing a strict 9-to-5 job" and a family, said Castro, a certified financial planner and founder of Financially Wise Women.

Augusta Chamber of Commerce "Women in Business"

Tue, 2015-05-19 11:30

Topic: "Six Keys to Growing your Business". Event to be held May 19th at 11:30 a.m. at the Legend's Club in Augusta, GA. Click HERE to learn more.


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