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Sen. Booker, Tory Burch hold women entrepreneur Q&A

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U.S. Sen. Cory Booker
U.S. Sen. Cory Booker - (Andrew George)

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker and designer & CEO Tory Burch gathered together Friday at Liberty House in Jersey City for a discussion on entrepreneurship. The event was held specifically for women entrepreneurs with New Jersey businesses and focused on the major challenges women face when starting a business.

The major challenge facing women entrepreneurs is access to capital. Despite founding 60 percent of small businesses, only 7 percent of venture capital deals are given to women founders and CEOs.

“I was lucky enough to have a network of people,” Burch said of finding capital to start her business. “It was a series of unexpected events and just being flexible.”

To this end, Burch has partnered with Bank of America to form Elizabeth Street Capital, an initiative aimed to help women entrepreneurs start their business. The team has coupled with Community Development Financial Institutions to make affordable loans available for women entrepreneurs.

Burch spoke on the powers of free marketing on social media.

“We built our business for social media,” said Burch. “There was no budget for advertising, so we had to be resourceful.”

Booker expanded this view of the power of social media.

“Social media has a multiplier effect of exposure,” he said. “If you have 200 followers, and they have 200 followers, you are directly connected to thousands of people.”

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Andrew Sheldon

Andrew Sheldon

Andrew Sheldon covers technology and education. His email is andrews@njbiz.com and he is @AndrewsNJBIZ on Twitter.

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