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10 Top Female Entrepreneurs – The First, Best, and Brightest

top female entrepreneurs

Women have made monumental contributions to the business world.

They don’t always get the recognition they deserve, but that’s hopefully changing. In fact, 4 out of 10 businesses in the United States are founded by women, representing a staggering 58% increase between 2007 and 2018.

In this post we wanted to honor some of the best and brightest women entrepreneurs who have built companies, and business empires, from the ground up.

Who is the First First Female Entrepreneur?

Madam C. J. Walker is widely regarded as the first, female entrepreneur in the United States. She, along with women like Lillian Vernon and Olive Ann Beech are credited as being trailblazers for women like Estee Lauder and Coco Chanel. Thanks to all of these role models, women today are stepping up and launching their own enterprises like never before. Today, women helm businesses notably in the areas of fashion, technology, cosmetics, broadcasting, and more. They deserve to be celebrated for their contributions and accomplishments. Here are some of the top female entrepreneurs in business today.

Huda Kattan – A Beauty Mogul

Huda Kattan started her career in the financial sector in Dubai. Unsatisfied with that, she saw an opportunity in a simple, but essential product for many women. Kattan realized there was a real shortage of high quality, false eyelashes for women. So, she developed her own line of faux mink eyelashes as a way to provide better services to her customers as a freelance makeup artist.

Her product quickly won the approval of celebrity and influencer Kim Kardashian. Thanks to that, her lashes sold out within one day of going to market. That success was no flash in the pan.  As of 2018, her business, Huda Beauty has allowed Kattan to obtain a net worth of $500 million.

Arianna Huffington – Founder of Huffington Post

Arianna Huffington is a successful entrepreneur who has launched two enterprises. The first is New York based news and opinion website, Huffington Post. More recently, Arianna Huffington has entered the health and wellness space by launching Thrive Global. This is a brand that is dedicated to helping to end the epidemics of stress and burnout that impact so many people.

Both brands are undeniably successful. The Huffington Post is globally recognized as one of the most powerful media outlets online. Since its foundation in 2016, investors have been eager to back Thrive. The company easily obtained 37 million dollars in VC funding. It has also established partnerships with businesses including, AirBnb, Uber, JP Morgan Chase, and Uber.

In addition to leading two popular brands, Huffington is a published author, serves on the boards of several corporations, and frequently appears on television as a respected expert. Arianna Huffington has amassed a personal net worth of $50 million.

Vera Wang – A One Woman Design Powerhouse

Vera Wang is mostly recognized as a fashion designer whose clothing regularly appears on the red carpet. She’s also exceptionally famous for her intricately designed wedding dresses. Many people don’t realize that her products also include jewelry, eye-wear, kitchen products, fragrances, shoes, and other products. She certainly has come a long way from her days at Vogue magazine, and working under Ralph Lauren.

Today, Vera Wang is a true example of female entrepreneurship. Her products are found in bridal stores all over the world. There are also several Vera Wang flagship stores across the globe. Thanks to her hard work, she has enjoyed an illustrious career. Today she is worth $630 million.

Sara Blakely – Female Entrepreneur, Shark, And Billionaire

Today, Spanx is one of the most well known products targeting a largely female audience. As popular as the product is today, Sara Blakely didn’t have an easy start in her career as an entrepreneur. Blakely first conceived the product that would become Spanx as a sales trainer in Florida. Her idea was rejected by multiple companies, mostly helmed by men who didn’t see the value in her product. Finally, the head of a hosiery company agreed to help her with her design. Blakely was eventually able to get her finished product on the shelves of Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Saks, and Bergdorf Goodman.

This certainly helped her company thrive. However, it was Oprah Winfrey who played a key role in taking the company she founded to the next level. A gift basket of Spanx products she sent to the Oprah Winfrey studios really impressed the media mogul. In November of 2000 Oprah Winfrey included Spanx on her famous list of favorite things.

Today, the business she founded is wildly successful. This is in spite of the repeated rejection she faced early in her career. Spanx is a top selling item for women all over the world. As the result of her hard work, Sara Blakely has built a huge enterprise and amassed a personal worth of over $1 billion. As one of Shark Tank’s newest sharks, she expanding her portfolio, and her potential.

Tory Burch – Fashion Icon

Tory Burch is widely recognized as one of the top female entrepreneurs in fashion. Thanks to her business acumen, she was listed as Forbes magazine 73rd most powerful women in 2015. This placed her among female entrepreneurs and leaders such as Michelle Obama, Anna Wintour, Miuccia Prada, and Lucy Peng. Tory Burch earned her place on that list thanks to her success as a female business leader and philanthropist.

Before launching her own fashion brand, Burch was fortunate to nurture her career working for some of the top entrepreneurs in the industry. This included Ralph Lauren and Vera Wang. Clearly she learned quite a bit working for these wildly successful businesses.

Today, Tory Burch remains one of the most successful women entrepreneurs in the world. Thanks to her hard work, she has earned a net worth exceeding $800 million.

Martha Stewart -The Original Lifestyle Guru

Martha Stewart is a pioneer in the lifestyle niche, and has helped paved the way for many other women entrepreneurs in her niche including Rachel Ray, Blake Lively, and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Martha Stewart’s empire dates back to the 1970s when she founded a catering company. This led to several other ventures including opening a gourmet food store and publishing several cookbooks. Eventually, her television show and brand, Martha Stewart Living was launched. Today, she is a beloved presence on TV, social media, and in print. She’s even managing to impress a new generation with her VH1 show Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party. Her magazine, also titled Martha Stewart Living still draws thousands of subscribers.

There’s no doubt that Martha Stewart is one of the most successful women entrepreneurs of all time. Her companies, investments, and holdings add up to a total personal wealth of $300 million.

Cathy Hughes – An African American Media Pioneer

Cathy Hughes may not be a household name, but her brand Urban One is responsible for creating and distributing a large share of content intended for Urban audiences. In fact, subsidiaries of Urban One include Radio One, a media conglomerate that owns radio stations in markets across the United States.

Ms. Hughes is the first black entrepreneur to helm a publicly traded business. She is the recipient of multiple awards including the Black Affinity Network Pioneer award from Babson College, and the Media Mogul award. As a top female leader in the world of media, she is credited with providing audiences of color with radio and television content that is relevant to their lives. That’s very impressive for a woman who once faced homelessness.

Thanks to her business savvy and hard work, Cathy Hughes continues to enjoy the fruits of her success as a female entrepreneur. Her net worth is $460 million.

Naomi Simson – Experience Gift Entrepreneur

Naomi Simson is the founder of Red Balloon, and one of the top ranked Australian entrepreneurs. Her company was founded in 2001 with the goal of offering individuals and business leaders the opportunity to provide the gift of experiences instead of objects. Today, many brands in Australia use the company as a resource for gifts and incentives for customers, business partners, and employees. The company has expanded its offerings to include gift hampers, location based gifts, and event gifting.

Today, Simson takes a less active role in the daily operations at Red Balloon. Instead, she spends her time investing in and providing advice to other entrepreneurs on Shark Tank, writing books to share her knowledge and insights, and public speaking. Thanks to her business success her estimated net worth is $40 million.

JK Rowling – Novelist And Film Producer

It would be impressive enough if JK Rowling was simply known as the author of the Harry Potter series. Of course, that’s only one of her successes. Rowling is also a film producer. Her book series has expanded into a wildly successful business that includes merchandise, theme parks, games, and apps. Rowling also enjoys a prolific social media presence.

There is no doubt that she has earned her place among top female entrepreneurs. Not only is she a popular author, she is tremendously successful. JK Rowling has accumulated a net worth of $54 million.

Eva Wong – Financial Technology Entrepreneur

FinTech refers to the business niche that combines finance and technology. Eva Wong is a leader in this niche, and one of the top entrepreneurs in Canada. She is the co-founder and COO of Borrowell. Her company is a personal finance brand that uses technology to assist customers in reaching their financial goals.

Evan Wong is known for building diverse teams that are capable of reaching their goals and solving problems.  She’s also a leader at packaged meats company, Maple Leaf Foods and management consulting firm Oliver Wyman. Her net worth is unpublished.

More Top Female Entrepreneurs

There are so many more trailblazing female entrepreneurs than are listed here. These entrepreneurs are responsible for employing millions of people, and are represented in virtually every industry.

Who is the most famous female entrepreneur? That depends on who you ask, and the criteria you set. There’s no doubt that media mogul Oprah Winfrey would make the list for many. So too would entertainment icon Beyonce Knowles. If finances are a key criteria, then there is no doubt that Chinese business mogul Zhou Qunfei would be a top contender.

In any case, while underrepresented in the past, female entrepreneurs play a big part in the global economy – and fortunately, their numbers and contributions are rapidly rising.

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6 Different Types of Entrepreneurs – Which Are You?

Which type of entrepreneur are you?

When you think of an entrepreneur, do you think of an intense, type A personality who is relentless about success? Do you think of someone who is fiercely independent? You wouldn’t be entirely wrong. There are certainly entrepreneurs who fit that description.

What you may not realize is that there are many others who do not. As it turns out, entrepreneurs vary widely when it comes to goals, working styles, and personality types.

Here, we’ll explore six different types of entrepreneurs, and how each can use their talents to succeed.

Which one are you?

1. The Opportunity Seeker

Opportunity seekers are predictors and trend-watchers. They know what is likely to be popular with customers in the near future, and are able to rush to market with products and services that meet those needs.

Of course, that doesn’t necessarily mean capitalizing on the emerging trend itself. Many good opportunists have found ways to cash in by starting businesses in complementary industries.

For example, as smartphones became more popular, and more expensive, people began to realize that there was a big market for accessories and repair services. Today, you can find stores in every city that will replace broken smartphone screens, and sell you a variety of accessories.

In addition to being able to sniff out great opportunities, these folks are experts at sales and promotion. They enjoy the process of marketing their products, and engaging with potential customers.

There are a couple of potential negatives though. Many opportunity seekers tend to be a bit impulsive. In addition to this, not all opportunities pan out.

This is an entrepreneurial type that should be prepared to temper excitement with thoughtful planning. Or simply be prepared to absorb some losses alongside your successes.

2. The Serial Entrepreneur

Some people are in love with being in love. Serial entrepreneurs are in love with launching new enterprises.

While many start a business with the dream of growing it long-term and passing it onto their children, serial entrepreneurs have a different plan. They will grow a business until it’s a success and move on to start another company.

In many cases, the serial entrepreneur earns their money by selling the companies they start. Others create long term profitability by positioning their companies for franchising. Some simply build a powerful team to run things while they busy themselves with their next venture.

If this resonates with you, that’s wonderful. You’ll just need to be aware of a few things. Serial entrepreneurs have to be relentlessly honest with the people they work with. Even if you aren’t one for long term commitment, chances are you will work with people who are putting their hearts and souls into your business.

When you are ready to move on to your next business, be certain to do so in a way that is ethical and considerate.

3. The Multi-Talented Entrepreneur

Some people are drawn to the idea of starting a business because it allows them to learn new things, and engage their talents in many ways. These are the entrepreneurs who are heavily involved in every aspect of their business. They are truly, hands on business owners.

The multi-talented entrepreneur can do a little bit of everything. They make it their business to be able to jump in and help with any problem. People who work for a multi-talented entrepreneur can count on them to stay and work late when the going gets tough.

Just be aware that there’s a fine line between being willing and able to help, and micromanaging. Use your skills to hire great people, train them well, then trust them to do their jobs!

4. The Hustler

Fubu founder Daymond John created his company with a collection of sewing machines in his mother’s apartment, and marketed his business via graffiti. He’s the classic example of a hustler entrepreneur. He started small, worked with what he had, and built his company from the ground up.

Hustlers are talented at getting friends and family members to pitch in, and help them with their budding enterprises. They are the entrepreneurs who will take on second jobs, cut expenses, and bootstrap whatever funding they can to move forward.

In addition to this, they are great motivators. Nobody works as hard as a hustler, and that makes a big difference when it’s time to ask the rest of your team to put in extra effort.

There are a few risks though. Hustlers are prone to burnout. They can also overwork their team members, or leave them feeling unappreciated. Finally, there comes a time when a good entrepreneur should focus on getting funding from investors, not simply by working harder.

5. The Buyer

Some people start businesses, only to realize life as an entrepreneur just isn’t for them. Sometimes, they simply close up shop. In other cases, they seek out a buyer to take on their company, and continue making it grow. They buyer is on the other end of these deals.

A buyer seeks out businesses to buy, and grow. They are talented at assessing a business, and determining its growth potential. They can spot undervalued assets and opportunities. Buying is often low risk, as long as there’s a proven market, and the existing business is stable.

There are a few potential drawbacks here. It takes quite a bit of capital to purchase a business that has potential. It’s less expensive to buy a struggling business, but also significantly riskier. Unless of course, the buyer has a track record of turning around struggling businesses – perhaps in a particular niche.

6. The Expert

The expert works hard to develop their talents, then they use those skills to launch a successful business. The expert is the talented software engineer who goes on to launch her own tech startup. They’re the master woodworker who goes on to build a company making custom furniture.

Because they are so good at what they do, the expert is often able to grow their business through referrals and recommendations. Many prefer to keep their businesses small in order to provide the best possible service. When they do hire employees, they tend to keep training in house. This helps them to ensure consistency.

One issue is that experts can sometimes be resistant to business growth. They want to be successful, of course, but they are driven more by their love or passion for their craft, than by pursuit of profit. This is admirable, but can be frustrating to investors and partners.

Summing up types of entrepreneurs

Which entrepreneurial type describes you? No matter which one (or ones), successful entrepreneurs have all kinds of personalities, backgrounds and talents. Knowing your type simply provides insights into the ways in which your style can work for and against you. With dedication, any entrepreneurial style or spirit can make the future bright.

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How to Start a Business With Little to No Money

How to start a business with no money

There is an overwhelming percentage of people who are unsatisfied with their jobs. With so many people working jobs that have nothing to do with their interests or passion, it’s no wonder that this is the case.

Of course, while everyone wants to work a job they love, the immediate need for money to pay bills forces most of us to settle.

And so we dream of a better job, or often the ability to start a business of our own.

But that’s expensive right? And hard to do?

Actually, it doesn’t have to be.

If you’re among the many people who have thought about starting your own business, this article is for you. Read on to find out a proven plan for starting a business with little to no money.

1. Start with belief

The first thing you need when starting a business is belief. You can do this. People do it all the time, often with little to no resources. As long as you are willing to put forth some effort, and face challenges with grit and positivity, you can succeed.

2. Find your expertise

While it helps in some instances, you do NOT have to have a graduate degree to start a business or even a degree at all. The only thing you really need is advanced know-how in whatever it is you’re trying to do or sell.

Ask yourself, “what am I good at?”

Or “what am I interested in, that I could be good at?”

You might be good at writing, or graphic design, or interior design. You may be able to build things, or fix things.

Skills range from common (ie. working with computers) to obscure (baby-proofing a home). So think both inside and outside the box when brainstorming ideas.

3. Start small

Understand that any kind of business you start based on an expertise, you can start small. Even a single client can catapult your career. People refer others. Your reputation builds. With a success story and a good marketing message, suddenly, you’re in a position to promote yourself.

Once you have a small but loyal group of clients, you can grow bigger as a business.

4. Keep your day job

Have confidence in your ability to succeed, but don’t expect to be an overnight sensation.

That’s why it’s important to keep your job as you’re starting out. You have to be able to take care of yourself in order to take care of your business.

Don’t see this as a bad thing. Rather, think of your job as a stepping stone to help your business grow. The money you get from your day job can be invested into your business until your business is making money for itself.

5. Think minimal investment

Service-based businesses are one of the best types of businesses you can start if you don’t have much money to invest. For example, babysitting or nannying, blogging, photography, dog walking, graphic design, house cleaning, lawn mowing, the list goes on and on. Each of these businesses requires a level of investment that almost anyone can afford.

There are many more services that are in demand, but these three are good places to start. Know your skills and create a business that works for you.

6. Make Use of Free Business Tools

When starting your business, make use of every free business tool that is available to you, especially ones that will help to expand your business.

For advertising, there’s Yelp and Google My Business. Both are places to collect reviews, list your hours, location, contact details and website.

There are free tools for building your website like SquareSpace, free tools for hosting online meetings like Zoom, free tools for email marketing like Mail Chimp, free contact management solutions like HubSpot, and on and on.

Summing up starting a business with little to no money

Starting a business with little to no money is not impossible. In fact, it’s something people just like you do every day. Start by believing in yourself and finding an expertise that you can bring to your local community (or online community) that requires skill, but limited investment. There’s demand for it. Keep your day job, but start exploring opportunities to go out on your own – starting today.

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Being More Productive at Work – 7 Tips & Tricks

Tips for Being More Productive at Work

Recently, we released a blog post and infographic about increasing office productivity. It focused on how employers could foster a healthier and more productive work environment for employees.

Of course, there’s only so much that an employer can do.

A lot of responsibility for productivity and efficiency rests with the individual employees.

Your productivity is up to you folks! Frankly, it doesn’t matter how many hours you spend at the office. It matters what you do with them. The more productive you are, the more valuable you’ll be, and the more confident and accomplished you’ll feel.

So today, we’ll discuss 7 helpful tips for maximizing your time and being more productive at work.

1. Make Lists

It’s easy for simple tasks to clutter your day and mind, distracting you from the bigger, more important ones.

Creating lists will help you visualize the big picture and prioritize each individual “to-do.” Try Trello and Simpleology to help you keep your tasks organized.

Also, it can be helpful to break a large daunting task into smaller, more manageable sub-tasks. This will help you from becoming overwhelmed, and will give you  a better idea of how long a task might take to complete.

Besides, it feels very satisfying to cross something off a to-do list.

2. Prioritize

If making lists is the first step, surely prioritizing is the second. Most of us waste too much time getting smaller, easier tasks out of the way.

I know. I know. We just acknowledged how good it feels to cross an item off the list. But being productive is not about getting things done. It’s about getting the most important things done.

High value work comes first. If you’re not focusing on your biggest, most pressing projects, that too is wasting your time and talent.

3. Stop Multitasking

It might feel like you’re accomplishing a lot in a little amount of time. But that might not be the case.

Dividing up your focus between several tasks at once can hinder your ability to complete them efficiently and comprehensively. In fact, researchers have done studies showing that multitasking inhibits productivity and wastes time.

Get used to devoting 100% of your energy to the task at hand.

4. Leverage Productivity Tools/Apps

Productivity tools are everywhere today —  for every industry and every task imaginable. That’s because automation saves you time, and helps you stay focused on the tasks that truly require your personal attention.

Start researching productivity tools for your daily tasks to free up time, streamline workflows, and foster faster, more efficient communication.

5. Give Yourself a Break

No one can stay at peak productivity for hours and hours on end. In fact, it’s suggested that 52 minutes of work, followed by a 17 minute of break is the ideal formula for productivity.

So give yourself a break! Plenty of them. And do something you are passionate about (ie. music or art over scrolling through Facebook) to maximize the benefit you get from your break.

Besides, sitting for long periods of time is not only hazardous to your health, but it can cause you to have low energy. Most office workers are at their desks for around 8 to 10 hours every day, so it’s important to get up and get some exercise.

Try scheduling set times throughout the day to get up and move, or to give your brain a mental break from work-related tasks.

6. Get Rid of Distractions

Social media can be a huge time waster.  Constantly stopping what you’re doing to check your texts, Facebook, or Twitter is distracting. It makes it hard to focus on your tasks.

Cut distractions by turning off notifications for emails, social media, texts and voicemail. Apps and browser extensions can help.

Of course, there are all kinds of other distractions too. Think about what distracts you and take steps to remove them. Close your door, clean off your workspace, put on classical music or white noise.

7. Set Personal Deadlines

It’s easy to draw out open-ended projects beyond a reasonable timeframe. That’s why it’s important to set personal deadlines. Personal deadlines keep you accountable to yourself, and ensure you stay focused and productive.

Divide larger projects into subtasks and set deadlines for those. This will keep your projects moving and progressing.

Summing up Tips for Being More Productive at Work

Being busy does not equate to being productive. It’s up to each and every person to make sure they are spending their hours usefully, and being efficient with their time. To recap, here are 7 things that will help you stay productive and maximize your time usage:

  1. Make lists for yourself, and break down projects into subtasks.
  2. Prioritize to ensure you’re focusing on high-value work first.
  3. Stay focused on one task – don’t multi-task!
  4. Find tools that streamline your work, processes and communications.
  5. Give your mind and body a rest with well-earned breaks.
  6. Think about your distractions and take steps to eliminate them.
  7. Impose personal deadlines to keep you accountable.

What’s your best tip for being more productive at work?

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9 Easy Ways to Save Paper at the Office

How to reduce paper usage at the office

Environmental conservation is at the forefront of domestic and international discussion. As such, many people ask what they can do to reduce the production of waste in their daily lives.

There are many things we can change at home. But the workplace is equally important considering how much time many of us spend there.

The workplace has also been a place where enormous amounts of paper is used, copied, stored, and wasted.

As technology has advanced, conserving paper has actually gotten much easier. But some effort and green choices can make a real difference as well.

Today, we’ll discuss 9 ways you can save paper at the office.

1. Think Before You Print

When all you need to do to print is click an icon on your computer screen, it can be tempting to print anything and everything. Stop for a moment and consider whether you really need to print that memo or document.

Maybe you can send it around via e-mail or share reading materials with a co-worker during a meeting. If a piece of paper is just going to get tossed in the bin a short time after it’s printed, you probably don’t need the information it contains to be in physical form.

Pro Tip: If you do need to print, think about whether you need to print the whole document, or just part of it. Selective printing is an easy way to reduce paper usage at the office.

2. Application = Conservation

So many work-related tasks that used to rely on paper usage and exchange can now be done with apps. Slack is a great tool for team-communication and file sharing. Evernote is awesome for organization, idea dissemination, and note-taking. Asana makes collaboration and project management easy, tidy, and electronic. Google docs is an effective way to collaborate on documents and spreadsheets without the need for printing and paper.

And there are SO many more. It’s time to find and adopt applications that can help your office save paper as well as time.

 3. Print on Both Sides

Don’t forget your printer has the option of two-sided printing. It might not be inappropriate for official documents. But, it’s but certainly useful when it comes to internal ones.

As an environmentally-conscious employer, take a moment to write down guidelines for two-sided printing. Specify which documents should be printed only on one side, and which can utilize both sides. This eliminates confusion in employees and gives them an easy route to reducing paper waste.

4. Set up Direct Deposit

Checks are paper too! Why not give your employees the option to set up direct deposit? That would also save them a trip to the bank, which saves time and gas. Bonus win for the environment!

5. Reduce Label Usage

Many offices use printed labels with their address that they can stick onto the envelope to be mailed out. Between the labels themselves, and the paper they are printed on (that ends up in the trash), a lot of paper gets wasted.

The Eco-friendlier solution is to print addresses directly on the envelopes. Stamps can be printed too. Try to implement this strategy anywhere you would ordinarily use labels. You’ll be surprised how many opportunities you find.

6. Shred & Recycle

Sometimes the best way to reduce waste is to recycle the waste you’ve got.

Make it easy for employees to get into this important habit. Encourage the separation of paper and cardboard from other trash. Make bins accessible and convenient.

Shredders can help, as undoubtedly some paper will be too sensitive to add directly into the recycling bin.

7. Archive Electronically

Archiving information is a necessary practice for many offices. But filing cabinets aren’t the only way to store important documents. Not only does paper archival waste paper and office space, it’s also harder to search and sort. Paper is also more likely to age or get damaged in the long run.

Thankfully, all kinds of electronic options and tools exist. It’s time to research options that fit your company and office needs.

8. Use Email

No surprise you’d find this one on the list. Whether you’re contacting employees, clients, or companies who serve you, use email whenever possible. It’s a fast, paper-free option that virtually everyone is familiar with, and comfortable using.

9. Switch to Online Faxing

Does your office fax? If so, you can likely save a lot of paper on both the sending and receiving ends. FaxBurner is an app-based and online faxing service that eliminates the need for a physical machine, ink, and paper. Faxes are archived in the cloud for easy retrieval. Copies of incoming and outgoing faxes are also sent to your email.

Summing up Ways to Save Paper at the Office

Conserving paper in the office is a must for all Eco-conscious employers. Many employees relish the opportunity as well. Besides, it not only saves trees and other resources – it saves money as well.

In some cases, technology is the answer. In others, it’s a choice to adopt a new habit or process that reduces paper waste. Either way, there are countless ways to pitch in and play your part.

What did we miss? How do you save paper at the office?