I believe in women. I believe women’s success is central to the success of the evolving business market, our economy and our society – and NOW is our time and opportunity to harness that power in concert with technology and like-minded people to shape a better future for ourselves, our families and others.
With twenty years of experience in technology and digital media in Corporate America, I've produced content, designed online platforms and developed audience experiences with marketing and highly profitable monetization strategies. I thrive on independence, the power and process of creation and engagement. One of my finest creations is my son. He was born at a time when our country was depressed economically and emotionally – it became palpable in our day to day lives, affecting decisions and how we represented and treated one another. I could see that in the news headlines, divisive content being produced and audience reactions. I experienced it firsthand at work with management doing whatever it took to earn money and people doing whatever it took to stay employed. I was raised in Central Pennsylvania by parents with a strong work ethic who value people and community. I built and managed award-winning teams to create engaging digital platforms. Over time, the spark that drove me was diminishing - I was working in an unhealthy environment that affected me, my work, family and co-workers. I was witnessing the evolution of a society I did not want my son to grow up in. I was 40 and felt compelled to do something about it. Women’s consumer power had been central to my work and I have been an active advocate for women throughout my life and career. I went on many long walks and asked myself, “How can I best serve those who I believe in?”
Around the same time, I attended my first entrepreneur event where I learned about Conscious Capitalism. Conscious Capitalism is a new movement in the business world adopted by companies such as Starbucks, the Container Store and Whole Foods. These companies operate with the belief that capitalism with a higher purpose and conscious leadership can be a source of nourishment not only for those seeking a return, but for all stakeholders affected by the business. They develop strong cultures and create win-win relationships with their stakeholders - employees, customers, investors, suppliers and the environment. Their profits and stakeholder loyalty prove their merit. This is the type of company I always wanted to work for – those who drive great profit and social impact by focusing on purpose and people. Attending that event opened a door in my life that I’ve walked through and haven’t looked back since– it was the beginning of Shenami, a Benefit LLC and Conscious Capital company that provides committed woman entrepreneurs a virtual business ecosystem to grow their businesses.
Like the Kauffman Foundation, many economists and all woman entrepreneur supporters, I subscribe to the belief the growth of the women-owned business market is fundamental to stabilizing and reshaping America’s economy. A woman entrepreneur’s success – financially, emotionally, spiritually, physically and mentally – creates a ripple effect, impacting her family, professional stakeholders and community. Today there are over 9M female entrepreneurs in the United States. Last year nearly 1300 women a day took the leap into entrepreneurship…that’s a lot of ambition and capable talent! For the past few years, I’ve immersed myself in the needs of women entrepreneurs - they need help in accelerating their growth and achieving their full potential. In concert, we’ve leveraged technology and people to create a proprietary platform for a woman entrepreneur to utilize in assessing her business’ current state of readiness, mapping her growth journey, connecting her to resources, tools and a community of peers and matching her with local experts. As a Benefit LLC, our purpose provides a direct benefit to the communities we serve. Our model of facilitating connections between local entrepreneurs and experts supports thriving community relationships and local economic development.
In 2014, Shenami was invited to be a part of the Conscious Venture Lab’s Acceleration Program at the Maryland Center for Entrepreneurship (MCE) in Howard County, MD. There, we gained access to a marvelous host of information, activities, skill development, expert connections and were facilitated through a process that shaped our business into a viable market opportunity. Today, my team and I are thriving in launch mode and ready to make waves!
Shenami translates to She Wave - an unstoppable force of nature, reshaping our future. Our team needs more money to continue developing our virtual small business accelerator ecosystem and are excited to be a part of the Women Who Tech Challenge and this crowdfunding campaign.Join us in creating an impact, one woman, one community at a time. Together, we can and WILL create a Shenami. Thank you for your support!
Michelle May, Founder & CEO
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