Discovering innovations that matter since 2002

A female touch in banking, DIY and fashion

Financial Services

Smart, new concepts focused on women, including new ideas and concepts at Citibank, Home Depot, Tomboytools and Lego.

Opportunities

The potential market is increasing by the day: 26 percent of the 21 million businesses in the US is owned by women, and 23 percent of American women makes more than her husband/partner. Clearly a juicy market, which warrants more attention than just launching superficial ‘pro-women’ advertising campaigns. Citigroup gets it. Deutsche Bank, ING, Bank of Tokyo, and HSBC to follow? From banking to building…As far as home improvement retailers Home Depot (US) and B&Q (UK), and tool company Tomboytools.com are concerned, women should go DIY.Home Depot now organizes women’s night classes to teach girls and women home improvement skills. B&Q has come up with ‘Ladies Clubs’, held at more than 80 warehouse stores across the UK (source: FT).Taking this trend one (obvious) step further would be to set up a company that is exclusively about home improvement for women, which is exactly what Tomboytools.com is all about. In-home workshops, loosely modeled after Tupperware parties are proving to be a hit. As is the nice shopping catalog, touting tools with rubber grips and smaller handles, designed specifically for women.

Opportunities

This is where phenomena like the masses of single women becoming homeowners, and the rise in the number of divorced women, meet a DIY market that is worth $200,000,000,000+ in the US alone!Even in the world of fashion, where women are normally given first-class treatment, there’s still plenty of room for new business ideas centered on the women-only theme. US-based Lucy sells work-out wear exclusively for women, and has grown to 9 stores in the US since its launch a few years ago.All Lucy stores carry multiple brands of active wear for activities that include yoga, cardiac-training, cross-training, running and walking. Items include tee-shirts, sports bras, work-out shorts and pants, plus footwear and accessories. While it started out as a .com, Lucy is now decidedly bricks and mortar: a 10th store will open up soon in Seattle, and 11 more stores should open their doors before the end of 2003.

Opportunities

The US women’s athletic apparel and footwear market was estimated at roughly $20 billion in the US alone: yet another business concept open for initiative and competition on a global scale. >> Email this article to a friendAnd last but not least, to bridge fashion and DIY for girls, Lego just introduced its girls-only CLIKITS toys: a fashion design system that lets girls get crafty by customizing jewelry, room décor, hair accessories, tote bags, picture frames and more. In just a “clikit,” girls can snap together unique designs and personalize items to match their style. Girl Power is here to stay!?

Smart, new concepts focused on women

In banking, Citigroup is making waves with its Women and Company service. Launched as a pilot in October 2001 in Chicago, New York and Florida, and now available nation-wide in the US, the service is aimed at women under 55 with at least $100,000 in investable assets. An annual $125 membership fee gives members access to an advisor from Salomon Smith Barney or Citicorp Investment Services, newsletters and seminars, and special rates for mortgages, child care facilities and saving funds. Following in WomenandCo’s footsteps is Malaysian Affin Merchant Bank, which set up a new division exclusively for female entrepreneurs in January 2003. Both banks have realized that there is a massive opportunity in tailored services for women, as relationships between banks and women show different dynamics than those between banks and men. Some research results: Women need to start investing earlier than men, as they tend to live longer, often still earn less than men, and sometimes find themselves (temporarily) disconnected from the world of labor due to pregnancy or family demands. Most women believe they know less about investing than men do. Women tend to do more research before they make a final choice for a financial advisor. However, after choosing an advisor, women have less time available to make investment decisions on an ongoing basis, as they often have to manage a family and household as well. Women tend to be more interested in what they can eventually DO with an investment rather than in achieving a (theoretical) maximum potential on paper. More than half of all women feel financial institutions show little respect for female investors.

Opportunities

The potential market is increasing by the day: 26 percent of the 21 million businesses in the US is owned by women, and 23 percent of American women makes more than her husband/partner. Clearly a juicy market, which warrants more attention than just launching superficial ‘pro-women’ advertising campaigns. Citigroup gets it. Deutsche Bank, ING, Bank of Tokyo, and HSBC to follow? From banking to building…As far as home improvement retailers Home Depot (US) and B&Q (UK), and tool company Tomboytools.com are concerned, women should go DIY.Home Depot now organizes women’s night classes to teach girls and women home improvement skills. B&Q has come up with ‘Ladies Clubs’, held at more than 80 warehouse stores across the UK (source: FT).Taking this trend one (obvious) step further would be to set up a company that is exclusively about home improvement for women, which is exactly what Tomboytools.com is all about. In-home workshops, loosely modeled after Tupperware parties are proving to be a hit. As is the nice shopping catalog, touting tools with rubber grips and smaller handles, designed specifically for women.

Opportunities

This is where phenomena like the masses of single women becoming homeowners, and the rise in the number of divorced women, meet a DIY market that is worth $200,000,000,000+ in the US alone!Even in the world of fashion, where women are normally given first-class treatment, there’s still plenty of room for new business ideas centered on the women-only theme. US-based Lucy sells work-out wear exclusively for women, and has grown to 9 stores in the US since its launch a few years ago.All Lucy stores carry multiple brands of active wear for activities that include yoga, cardiac-training, cross-training, running and walking. Items include tee-shirts, sports bras, work-out shorts and pants, plus footwear and accessories. While it started out as a .com, Lucy is now decidedly bricks and mortar: a 10th store will open up soon in Seattle, and 11 more stores should open their doors before the end of 2003.

Opportunities

The US women’s athletic apparel and footwear market was estimated at roughly $20 billion in the US alone: yet another business concept open for initiative and competition on a global scale. >> Email this article to a friendAnd last but not least, to bridge fashion and DIY for girls, Lego just introduced its girls-only CLIKITS toys: a fashion design system that lets girls get crafty by customizing jewelry, room décor, hair accessories, tote bags, picture frames and more. In just a “clikit,” girls can snap together unique designs and personalize items to match their style. Girl Power is here to stay!?

Website: www.womenandco.com/

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