The 52 year old Robin Bylenga, the owner and founder of Greenville based Pedal Chic has become an idol for female entrepreneurs. Before founding her own business of women’s athletic boutique, she used to work for a bike shop. Her first venture was to invest $500 which brought her a $1,500 return on women’s biking apparel. Her next move was to connect with a retired retail exec and tapping her own network to find mentors.
She had a bit of luck on her side when it came to raising capital for her business launch. This is pertinent because many women, especially those in their fifties and sixties find it hard to get that sort of financing. Furthermore, her trajectory to look for mentors before beginning her own journey is also one that gives guidance to the aspiring female entrepreneurs.
In a recent article published by Forbes Magazine, Alice is a solution to such problems faced by women entrepreneurs. While Bylenga was lucky to have opportunity to have resources but for lots of women out there who have difficulties in such matters, the artificial intelligence platform ‘Alice’ allows female entrepreneurs in finding government resources, mentors as well as funding. Questions on financial strategy, legal and marketing needs etc. can also be answered by these platforms.
Alice was developed by Dell and is the creation of three-time entrepreneur, founder and CEO of Circular Board Carolyn Rodz.
It is a virtual collaborative accelerator for women entrepreneurs and is a structured operation that assists entrepreneurs with capital and advice in exchange for a small ownership stake in their companies for a short time. The best part is that it is free and while it is designed with women as its focus, it is not gender restricted.