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Remembering Outstanding Women

March 1, 2018

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March is women’s history month.  I appreciate that at least women get a month a year, but, surely, it is time to realize women have and are making history every day. As we all reflect on the tragic loss of life at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, I have been reminded […]

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Martha and Me

December 29, 2017

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As another year passes, I am reflecting on how  Martha and I became buddies when she had been dead for almost fifty years.  Who knew that a marketing assignment for the grand opening of First National Bank of Rochester, NY’s refurbished headquarters in the grand Powers Building would change the direction of my life? As my consulting […]

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Inspire Young Children with Harper’s Hair and Business Model

April 19, 2017

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Though Martha Matilda Harper lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, her path from servant girl at age seven to the creator of modern retail franchising and a pioneer in social entrepreneurship provides powerful lessons for all of us today, especially our young generations.  As a grandma with three pre-kindergarten grandchildren, I think […]

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It Is Our Turn, Martha!

September 15, 2016

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What an impact one poor Canadian girl  born on  September 12, 1857 had on thousands of other poor servant and factory girls.  Today that woman,  Martha Matilda Harper,  would have been 159 years old and her legacy lives on, but reminds us there is more to do. Harper created modern retail franchising around the world, putting […]

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Dare to Make Your Dreams Come True

April 22, 2014

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Stop bellyaching that life is unfair.  You are right.  We don’t all get dealt a good hand.  The question is what will you do about it? In the 1800s when life was totally gloom and doom for poor women, Martha Matilda Harper had a dream, to break our of servitude and control her life as a […]

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Martha’s Simple Lesson

October 18, 2013

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Following the NPR Morning Edition story on franchising (www.npr.org),  Lea Kemp, Library curator at the Rochester Museum and Science Center called to share how sixth  graders were impacted by Martha Matilda Harper.  Seems the Museum’s charter school was teaching business to their sixth graders and Lea shared Martha’s story.  A youth piped up, “So, Martha treated […]

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Reboot American Values

September 12, 2013

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The game is stacked.  Unless you go into certain fields and maneuver a golden parachute, expect to watch the rich get richer and the poor poorer.  According to September 11, 2013 Associated Press article, “the gulf between the richest 1 percent and the rest of America is the widest it’s been since the Roaring 20’s. […]

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Making A Difference

December 6, 2012

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As I reflect on the our world today and its incredible divisiveness, greed, and hatred, I find inspiration from those special people using business for social change, folks who are determined to apply good business thinking and practices in an effective way to make an economic  difference in people’s lives.  Surely Martha Matilda Harper was […]

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Time for Business Basics

June 19, 2012

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It’s graduation time and lots of young people are moving on up and becoming (we parents hope)  self-sustaining men and women.   Hopefully, they have been taught to read, write, and think clearly.  Perhaps they have even been to taught to think creatively and not simply regurgitate back answers, but to even think through new […]

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Turn Change Into Dollars $

November 3, 2011

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Women and Social Entrepreneurship ©Jane R. Plitt Women have always been at the center of social entrepreneurship as initiators and recipients.  Given the current world protest against the recent market abuses, it is particularly timely to understand what has and is being done to use business for social change and to urge women’s involvement in […]

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