"Yes, you can" – a motto that may sound familiar to those who lived through the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign – was the theme of the advice given to 200 English-speaking women who gathered at the 2nd Kishor Women’s Professional Network conference in Jerusalem on Monday.
The conference provides religious women with advice about building and developing successful businesses.
Kishor founder Sarah Lipman and keynote speaker Janine Kutliroff set the tone by explaining that the same multi-tasking skills that religious women use to juggle large families and produce impressive Shabbat meals can also be used to run business ventures.
Women of all ages attended the conference, many with infants and babysitters in tow, and heard how Kutliroff brought her babies to work while CEO of two high-tech firms. They also listened to Rebetzen Tziporah Heller explaining the importance of maintaining one's femininity and nurturing instincts in order to be successful as a working woman.
One track at the conference dealt with the issue of motivation and time-management. Business professionals led other workshops about raising capital, finding and exploiting business opportunities, marketing techniques, and how to register your company for taxation.
Veteran start-up guru Shlomo Kalish from Jerusalem Global Ventures presented his '10 commandments for entrepreneurs', including the need to remain agile and adaptable while developing your business. American posek (religious decisor) and Kollel Head Rav Yitzchak Berkovits explained many of the religious commandments that impact how Jewish people should run legal and ethical businesses.
The women attending the event came from different backgrounds and many were new immigrants to Israel who are looking to build either local or international businesses, ranging from manufacturing to service providers: translation, graphic design and SEO, high-tech, marketing, social media services, import/export and more.
The Conference was entitled "From Dream to Success: Tools to Build Your Business" and was sponsored by Temech - the American-Israeli Center for the Advancement of the Economy and Employment in Israel - and the Jerusalem Development Authority, whose chairman is Rav Yitzchak Pindrus, Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem. Rav Pindrus spoke about the importance of entrepreneurship to the city's economic health.
Kishor is a networking group for religious business women from the English-speaking diaspora to discuss issues of common concern. It was set up in 2008 by four women and has grown to include 200 members, who run local and global businesses and meet monthly in Jerusalem for seminars and networking opportunities. Their website is www.professionaljewishwomen.org.