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Help Wanted: Money, That Is
CNBC.com | October 10, 2011 | 11:42 AM EDT

With stories like von Tobel’s, it’s easy to say that women have broken through the proverbial glass ceiling. Yet von Tobel is something of an anomaly, say experts. In general, "they seem to encounter ‘glass walls’ that keep them from venturing out of big companies or structured academic settings to launch their own firms at the same rate men do,” says Lesa Mitchell, a vice president with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundationdevoted to entrepreneurship.

In an attempt to crack the glass ceiling in start-ups, a number of mentoring and investing organizations have started or grown significantly over the past few years, such as Women 2.0 , SpringBoard Enterprises , Astia , and Golden Seeds . The percentage of women among start-up capital seekers grew to about 20 percent last year, up from 12.6 percent in 2000 , according to the University of New Hampshire's Center for Venture Research. Of those women, the number who received funding grew to 13 percent in 2010, up from 9.5 percent in 2008.

"When I was selected to be part of this group [Astia], it gave me the confidence to know that I was ready to 'take the leap' to start LearnVest,” says von Tobel, today the CEO of LearnVest.com.

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