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Dream It. Do It.

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This story appears in the July 2001 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Ten years ago i was the commencement speaker for the first graduating class of aspiring women entrepreneurs from WEDCO (Women's Enterprise Development Corp., then called AWED). When WEDCO recently celebrated its 10th birthday, it reminded me how far we've come in a relatively short 10 years. Not just entrepreneurial women, but all entrepreneurs.

In 1992 we were suffering from a devastating recession that flung millions of corporate managers out of America's bigger businesses and onto the streets. Desperately seeking employment, many found refuge in business ownership-likely thinking entrepreneurship would tide them over until the recession broke. Eventually, the recession did break. And the economy got much better. But a funny thing happened: Those refugees realized they liked being entrepreneurs, so they didn't return from whence they came. Instead, they invested more energy, money and time in the businesses they'd started. Many of those businesses are still standing, larger and more sophisticated than they were, a testimony to the courage of the entrepreneurs who founded them.

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