NOW Corp CEO Lara Hodgson Named to 2016 Enterprising Women of the Year

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Friday, December 18th, 2015

Enterprising Women magazine has named Lara Hodgson, president and CEO of NOW Corp, among its 2016 Enterprising Women of the Year.  The annual Enterprising Women of the Year Awards is widely considered one of the most prestigious recognition programs for women business owners. To win, nominees must demonstrate that they have fast-growth businesses, mentor or actively support other women and girls involved in entrepreneurship, and stand out as leaders in their communities.

In addition to her role at the helm of NOW Corp, which has been described by a Top 5 U.S. Bank executive as a “singularity in financial services that will change everything, like the first credit card,” Hodgson also mentors a variety of young entrepreneurs, and serves on the board of Access to Capital for Entrepreneurs (ACE). She is a founding member and president of the board of directors of Atlanta Heights Charter School, and has served as an appointee of the Governor to the board of the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority and as an adjunct lecturer in finance at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Scheller College of Business.

“I am honored and humbled to be named among such an accomplished group of business and community leaders from around the world who join me in receiving this award,” said Hodgson. “Everyday I feel fortunate to work with and to serve remarkable entrepreneurs and small business leaders, some of them Enterprising Women award winners, to help them accomplish their goals and realize their dreams NOW!”

NOW Corp, itself a WBENC-certified women-owned business, is committed to help bridge the access to capital gender gap by making $100 million available to women-owned businesses through its flagship offering NOWaccount, the payment solution that works for B2B. While the number of women-owned firms grew at 11⁄2 times the national average between 1997 and 2014, and revenue and employment growth among women-owned firms tops that of all other firms except the largest, publicly traded corporations, they continue to receive less than 5 percent of the total small business loan dollars and only 7 percent of venture capital, according to a recent report by the Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee.

“I believe strongly that there is an often overlooked source of capital that can be used to grow a business that may be more powerful than debt or equity,” said Hodgson. “Cash flow from operations, the company’s actual revenue.”

With NOWaccount, small businesses can receive their revenue immediately in a way that is not a loan, is not factoring, feels like but costs less than accepting a credit card for payment, and is invisible to their business and government customers.  The use of NOWaccount actually strengthens the balance sheet, helping small businesses become better candidates for additional sources of capital such as loans and lines of credit.

As large corporate and government organizations strive to increase spending with women-owned businesses, NOWaccount provides individual small business suppliers access to up to $1 million of their own capital at any one time, or up to $8 million throughout the course of a year, enabling them to take advantage of these significant growth opportunities with their corporate and government customers.

“The recipients of the 2016 Enterprising Women of the Year Award represent an amazing group of women entrepreneurs from across the United States and as far away as China, Egypt, South Africa, Uganda, the United Kingdom, and Portugal,” said Monica Smiley, Publisher/CEO of Enterprising Women. “We could not be more proud to recognize their accomplishments as CEOs of fast-growth companies, community leaders, and role models and mentors to other women and girls. We look forward to shining the spotlight on them at our 14th annual awards event in late February.”