We have all heard of the glass ceiling that women entrepreneurs must break through to reach their goals. Oftentimes it is difficult for women to work their way into the male-dominated world of business. Even more than this, becoming a female entrepreneur with a solid business platform and company can be a huge challenge. Any woman willing to put forth the effort will have no trouble eventually overcoming the hurdles, and gaining the title of CEO. Beyond the title is the simple need for recognition of these women. While it may be tough to garner recognition for their innovative products, one entrepreneur is looking to change that with her program – The Next Big Zing.
Dhana Cohen, the mind behind The Next Big Zing, wants to clear something up about inventors. An entrepreneur, in her mind, is a business person with a product. They are independent business owners with a passion for their business and not having to work in the ‘normal’ corporate world as we know it. A misnomer in the world of entrepreneur/inventors is that the entrepreneur is the inventor, not the other way around. Cohen explains that this isn’t the case, the inventory of the product is actually the entrepreneur. Long gone are the days of old men with wild hair sitting around in creaky laboratories with potions brewing and beakers scattered everywhere. Instead, inventors come from all walks of life. In the case of women-inventors, such as Bobbi Brown, makeup guru, and Sarah Blakely, inventory of Spanx, the invention came before the title of entrepreneur. They had their created product in hand and what came next made them an entrepreneur, enveloping their brand around their invention.
Now with the partnership of Melinda Knight from Womentorz, a unique support program for women inventors has been founded – Women Inventorz Network. Cohen and Knight have worked to develop the right approach to giving women inventors reliable connections to retailers and the right education to mold and rework their product into an idea what will attract players and gain exposure through the various media platforms. Along with giving women inventors the means to get their product up to par with other big sellers, an exclusive Gala in Chicago aims to show off the most inspiring women inventor of the year when it takes place in February 2014. Cohen insists the hunt is on to find the brightest and most innovative woman inventor.
Beyond all this, the Gala and award program, Cohen is an inventor in her own right. Although her designs may not have reached thousands of households, here and there they have hit their mark. What is truly a source of pride, she says, is the very rocky learning curve that came along with each invention. With the expertise of knowing what not to do as an inventor, Cohen is in a prime standing to teach others the error of her ways, which is exactly what she does.
Cohen’s inspiration to continue onward is because of the industry she is in. She looks forward to the next great product idea that none have ever pushed forward before. While the world of inventors and inventions can be finicky at times, Cohen knows her field is something special, “Even though there are more unfortunate stories of inventors giving up, the ones that keep going are the ones that truly hit a cord with the world, and gets people to either think in a different way or buy something they never thought they needed or wanted.”
And when all else fails, her favorite quote from Oprah Winfrey stands fast: Challenges are gifts that force us to search for a new center of gravity. Don’t fight them. Just find a different way to stand.