Posted on 23 April 2013.
Kimberle Levin in the Montco Radio studio
BLUE BELL PA – Serial entrepreneur Kimberle Levin thrives on the chaos of starting new businesses. With 10 companies under her belt, she has real-life knowledge to share.
Levin, who teaches Montgomery County Community College’s award-winning “Starting a Woman-Owned Business” program in Blue Bell, has now expanded her audience with a new show she created on Montco Radio, the college’s student-run Internet radio station.
“The Female Entrepreneur” airs Mondays from 10-11 a.m., and offers straight-up advice to women hoping to launch or grow their own businesses. Guests can hear the program free at Montco Radio, here.
“Every week, I chat with women who have started companies, sold them or shut them down. We talk about the entire journey of the good, the bad and the very ugly!” exclaims Levin, 49, who has a guest bookings lined up 120 days in advance. Listeners are encouraged to tweet questions during the show to @KimberleLevin.
On Monday, April 29, Levin will host Sandra Yancey, chief executive officer and founder of eWomenNetwork
, one of the top online resources in North America for connecting and promoting women and their businesses.
Yancey is an award-winning entrepreneur and international business owner, as well as an ABC radio show host, author, movie producer, speaker and philanthropist. She dedicates her time to helping women achieve their goals. Additionally, she is the co-founder of MyGlow.net, an international social network for women.
“Sandra and I connected through Twitter when the show first began, and then through LinkedIn.” Levin stated. “Initially, we were going to schedule an audio interview since Sandra lives in Texas. However, she was going to be on the East Coast for her North American roadshow tour, so I thought it would be great to invite her to the studio. We’re thrilled she could fit time in her schedule to come to the show,” Levin added.
While some of Levin’s guests come from farther afield, others are closer to home, including MCCC students who have started their own businesses.
Despite changes in U.S. society, according to Levin, women still have a very different journey from men when they decide to go into business. Almost all women are engaged in multitasking in their everyday lives. Starting a business adds complexity that is sometimes difficult to handle since it interrupts the family routine.
“Starting a business is not easy or everyone would be doing it,” Levin says of starting a company. “But men, if they have a support system at home, it can be easier for them. The balance of roles is different. Women have dreams, too,” she adds.
In her MCCC class, she finds that women often have multiple ideas for businesses that they need to winnow down to a single, solid one. They also should examine whether their idea passes Levin’s test of “will the dogs eat it?”
“If the dogs are willing to eat it, what are they willing to pay for it? If they’re willing to pay for it, will they come back for more? If they come back for more, will they tell all their friends about it? This is a simple test of can an idea become a business,” she adds.
In mulling this, some would-be entrepreneurs may find that launching one’s own company “is just not for them,” as Levin says.
That did not hold true for her. A former secretary, over the past 25 years Levin has founded several companies, and is identified in the business world as “a serial entrepreneur.”
“I’m not afraid to jump in and launch a new venture. In my mind, it’s going to work,” she says, adding that if she can visualize a business, she can make a company out of it. Of the 10 companies she started, only two had to be shelved. JVC Technologies, Telcom Assistance Center, KizTri3, Teknuko and The Kimberle Levin Companies are just a few of her launchings.
Today she consults and mentors entrepreneurs and business leaders across the company. “When you’ve sat in the chair of an entrepreneur and know what they’re feeling because you’ve been there, the trust between you becomes instant,” Levin states.
Photo from MCCC