SecretBirdsHQ, an emerging market entrepreneurship community for women and girls. Empowering, encouraging and supporting female entrepreneurship.
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We serve women in the pre-startup and startup phases of their businesses' through Nest Creation. We serve girls in disadvantaged communities through Nestling Pop Ups.
Greetings Aspiring Rare Birds and Rare Birds, 

Welcome to No. 54 in flight!


"The characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts."

Culture and your Pre-Startup and/or StartUp

What is it? Is it your Vision? Values? or Mission?

How do you plan to create your company culture?

Do you believe it is too early to start establishing your culture?

"Culture is a sustainable advantage."

"Culture is not an option, it is a necessity."

This week in flight we are dedicating time to develop our company cultures.

It has a significant impact on the operations of our businesses'. In a few years when our businesses' are much bigger than they are now; what will our employees say?  

How are we going to go about building our cultures?

Let's think about our story. Why we started. Let's think about who we will hire. Let's think about how we would like to grow. Let's think about what type of ethics our companies will espouse?

Remember every Bird has two wings, some choose to fly with one. Are your wings fully fueled? Share your secrets and share your success. See you again in 7 days. Can't wait to share again. As always flying for you.

Sharing with you,
As you go through this experience of building your business, you will experience many hardships and there will be times where you will feel the proverbial moments of, "Throwing in the Towel." Our latest #RareBirdTalk provides some insight into why patience is important as you build your business. 
If you have recently started blogging or if you would like to start blogging there are a plethora of tools available. Here are a few tools to help you get going. 
"Last week we discussed the importance of sharing secrets. This week we shift our focus to success. What is success? The answer to this question varies with each individual. For some it is the opposite of failure. For others it is the pinnacle of achievement, a position or thing obtained through hard work. Depending on one’s perspective success can also be a journey. In order to build community, we must share success."  

Read our community's latest blog post of sharing success. 

How Female Entrepreneurs Are Crowdfunding for Startup Success

"So how does crowdfunding actually work? There are three distinct types of crowdfunding, according to a report by Ventureneer, a digital media and market research company."

  • Rewards-based crowdfunding: Funders receive a tangible item or service in return for their money. Some businesses collect the cost of the item from customers before the product is manufactured, some beta test products with consumers, and others raise money in exchange for a token gift. Online platforms include Indiegogo, Kickstarter, and Plum Alley.
  • Equity-based crowdfunding: Investors receive a stake in the company. Currently only friends, family, and accredited investors (people with verified net worth greater than $1 million) in the U.S. can invest in a company for equity. Online platforms include AngelList, CircleUp, Crowdfunder, and Portfolia.
  • Lending-based crowdfunding: Small businesses pitch their credit to investors who will lend money for interest, rather than for a piece of the company. Online platforms include Lending Club and Prosper.
Read more from our MVA this week from our Daily Chirp
This week we share a new post with you from our Life of a Female Founder series. Elaine Slatter based in Ontario, Canada is the founder of XL Consulting and the Fabulous Fempreneurship Book and Community. 

"I am the founder of XL Consulting Group, a consultancy helping businesses with strategy, business and marketing plans as well as website design.  We help many people who are setting up their businesses for the first time or businesses that require a new direction.  After a 30 year career as a marketing executive and corporate CEO, I thought all this valuable business experience in a large international corporation could be used to help people start their own businesses or increase revenues in an existing business."

Read more from Elaine here
"A Story Changes The World"

This week we have a new blog post in our Entrepreneurship Purpose Section of our Aspiring Rare Bird Series from Hillary Strobel.  Hillary is the Los Angeles-based Founder of social enterprise The Flyways. 

"Once upon a time, there was a little girl who was obsessed with literature. She read so much that her kindergarten teacher put her into advanced reading classes. Her book collection began to take over her shelves at home so that she needed new ones all the time.

About the time that this little girl was 9, she witnessed a boy her age being cruel to another little girl. “Why,” the little girl thought, “did this boy have to target this girl? She goes home crying every day and the adults punish him and yet he does not stop.” This haunted the little girl for many years, until she was able to go out into the world on her own and discovered the reasons behind injustice."

Read more from Hillary here

Risky Business

Janet Brown, our regular blogger has another post for us under the Entrepreneurship Lifestyle section of our Aspiring Rare Bird series. 

"As humans our innate passion to know the outcome rather than not, which doesn’t always sit well. My personal demonstration is knowing the business needs to earn money to profit.  When this doesn’t happen the brain reverts to, this is too risky.  Digging deep into the dilemma, it’s about my money mind set.  This has kept me at jobs that weren’t challenging but gave me an income (safety net). Now I, deep dive and explore the results I want to happen."

Read more from Janet here. 
The Caribbean Nest of SecretBirds launches in December. Every week we share with you some of the Aspiring Rare Birds and Rare Birds that will be featured on said platform. Join us as we countdown to the Caribbean Nest. 
Abbelle Johanna Bakr

This week we meet Abbelle Johanna Bakr was born in Georgetown, Guyana which is on the Continent of South America to parents Rita and Abu Bakr. At the age of six (6) years old she moved to the Bronx, New York where sheattended Our Lady of Angels Catholic School. Outgoing and athletic, Abbelle played basketball, softball and held many school positions including honor society.

At age 13, Abbelle and her mother moved to New Jersey where she attended St Vincent’s Academy and
Clifford J. Scott High School. During these years Abbelle enjoyed writing short stories, poems,
competing in track and field and participating in various clubs to include: modeling and science clubs.
An aspiring Doctor, Abbelle began as a pre-med major, however changed her major in sophomore
college year to Psychology and Education. This was mainly due to her fascination of human behavior
and after recently giving birth to her first daughter, a desire to educate and mold young people. Abbelle
attained her B.A. in Education and Psychology from Rutgers University in 1997.
Abbelle continued in the field of Education, working with young children and counseling disadvantaged
youth in her neighborhood.

After being promoted to School Director, Abbelle went back to the University and became certified in
Accounting and Business Management. All of this led to the journey or path that she continues to
pursue today.  Abbelle currently works in the field of Financial Management and Consulting. Since moving to St. Croix in 2002 with her family to include her two daughters Che’na and Adynah , Abbelle has pursued a career as an Entrepreneur and is currently the owner and operator of IBCVI &Co., a Financial and Business Management Company. She is also the founder of Integrity Women In Business Center, Inc., a non-profit organization that supports local women, women-owned /and or disadvantaged businesses. The organization supports its local community by offering seminars and workshops, technical assistance and other outreach services.

Abbelle currently operates these businesses out of her 1500sq ft business center space, in the Mt.
Welcome area of St. Croix. The Business Center offers internet café, wellness bar, conference and
seminar space, high speed internet and all the amenities necessary for producing effective and efficient
business on the island of St. Croix and beyond. Abbelle has worked with the Virgin Islands Department
of Agriculture as the Grant Manager and is well known in the Farming Community as she continues to
advocate on their behalf. She is also the well known voice and contributor on the locally broadcasted
show Money Talk and More (now the Economic Roundtable) with Anthony Weeks.

Abbelle serves her community in many different arenas to also include her membership in the, St. Croix
Chamber of Commerce, Business and Professional Women’s Club (locally) , New Horizon’ Women’s
Democratic Club,& Co., East End Democratic Club and Women & Co.(International).
Abbelle was recently accepted as an Executive Student at Harvard Business School, where she will
continue Post Education in the areas of Finance and Business; and has been recently selected and
honored by the SBA as an Emerging Leader in the Puerto Rico / Virgin Islands Region.

Abbelle’s professional career continues to expand as she now produces her own blog as well as
launching her financial management coaching series.

Mae, is Christian Arab, born in Baghdad of parents from Iraq and Lebanon. She grew up in Europe and the United States. She is the Managing Director of Star Publishing Company Ltd., based in St. Lucia, which produces the STAR Newspaper, Tropical Traveller and SHE Caribbean Magazine.  Mae holds a Bachelor's Degree in International Relations from the prestigious University of San Diego and considers herself a proud St. Lucian. 

SHE Caribbean is the only magazine dedicated to the Caribbean Woman. Visit SHE here

Damaly our Caribbean Rare Bird would like to thank you for all your votes!

Damaly, the founder of won the Women in Travel Summit Global Ambassador contest by way of the people’s votes.  Damaly has won Global Ambassador from the five nominees to compete for it.  She is a Latina representing the women in travel industry for the Women in Travel Summit taking place on April 21-23, 2017 in Milwaukee, USA.

Damaly will be the face of the summit. Her travel pictures will be on all of WITS ’17
promotional materials such as posters and in social media. She will also be attending
the summit, take part in all the activities and be honored in the WITS ’17 Global
Ambassador party.

Damaly founded Backpacking the Caribbean in February 2013, after she backpacked
throughout Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico alone for almost four
months. Noticing the lack of resources to help plan and understand the Caribbean
outside touristic traps and realizing the challenge of navigating the islands she returned
and created
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