By Rieva Lesonsky
I always like hearing about entrepreneurs who are helping other entrepreneurs. That’s why I wanted to share this Inc.com article about Sittercity.com CEO Genevieve Thiers, who started an incubator for other businesses inside her office.
Theirs’ company is a Web-based babysitter matchmaking servicethat has been so successful, she landed venture capital last year in the middle of the recession. In late 2009, Inc. reports, she decided it was time to “pay it forward.” Using some empty space in her Chicago headquarters, she launched an incubator for women-owned businesses.
Theirs’ incubator has three companies so far, with room for four more. She is seeking companies that are women-owned and cater to primarily female clients.
According to the article, both Theirs and the companies she’s incubating have benefited from being around other entrepreneurs. (Part of Theirs’ inspiration was being a startup on her own with no one to bounce ideas off of.) Theirs has also begun working with a peer group of women business owners to help each others’ companies grow.
“I think that many women entrepreneurs reach a certain milestone with their companies and the standard networking events don’t work anymore since it’s a lot of people that want to seek your advice, but not a lot that can give you advice,” Theirs told Inc. “This is why I began doing both the peer group and the incubator. It’s the best way for me to both gather advice from women in a similar situation, and also help women trying to break a million with their own companies. Who’s going to pull us up other than us?”