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‘Leaning In’ to Encourage Women Entrepreneurs

Mark Marich

The Kauffman Foundation recently announced a partnership with Lean In, a nonprofit organization founded by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg that is committed to offering women encouragement and support to achieve their goals—specifically to help cultivate more balanced teams and more female leaders and entrepreneurs.

"Our founder Ewing Kauffman saw building companies as one of the most effective ways to realize individual promise and spur the economy," said Lesa Mitchell, vice president of Innovation and Networks at the Kauffman Foundation.

"We hope to encourage, educate and support women of all ages and backgrounds who want to start and grow their own firms."

To help spread the word about Lean In's resources, organizations and individuals interested in the cause are welcome to join the conversation online and use the free materials and programs on

Though some of the materials are tailored for women, there also is valuable information on topics that are universally important, such as successful teams and combating the negative effects of gender bias.

On, you can:

  • Read Lean In Stories of women and men "leaning in" and "leaning back" at different moments in their careers, including Mitchell's story. Visitors can share their favorite stories as well.
  • Read an excerpt of Lean In: Women, Work & the Will to Lead, the book by Sheryl Sandberg, and download guides to discuss the book with friends and coworkers.
  • Watch short video lectures on topics that will improve your communication and leadership skills, such as how to negotiate for better results and how to exude confidence in any situation.
  • Form a Lean In Circle consisting of eight to ten peers who meet monthly to learn and grow together.

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