Today's interview is with Linda Weston and I was so excited to have her on the show because she leads an incredible organization in Oregon that supports entrepreneurs across the state.
Linda has been the Executive Director of the Oregon Entrepreneurs Network since 1999. Since then OEN has increased the number of programs to support entrepreneurs, helped to expand the capital network, and has extended its programs statewide.
Prior to that, she spent 18 years in the tourism industry in Eugene, 15 of those with Travel Lane County, and the last eight years as CEO.
In 1996, Linda was recruited by the American Basketball League to serve as the startup General Manager of the Portland Power women’s professional basketball team. Although the ABL was undercapitalized, and ultimately failed, the Portland Power was successful.
In 2002 and 2005, Linda was selected by Portland Business Journal as one of 25 outstanding Women in Business. In 2005, she was one of three national finalists for the “Supporter of Entrepreneurship” award in conjunction with Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. In 2007, she was recognized by Northwest Women’s Journal as one of “100 Most Powerful Women” in the Northwest.
I just LOVE this conversation because Linda talks about what it was like to be the only woman in a room of entrepreneurs when she first took the position as Executive Director for the organization in 1999 and how she managed to become the leader she is today.
She also highlights opportunities she sees for female entrepreneurs to get their businesses off the ground and what she believes it takes to succeed in the start-up environment.
I hope you enjoy!