Laura Yamanaka

_Laura Yamanaka

A Champion in Leading Women

Ep. 93 - Laura Yamanaka has an extensive history of leading and supporting women in business as the past president of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO), President of the Los Angeles chapter, and Chair of the NAWBO Institute. She has been featured in Los Angeles Business Journal and a Los Angeles Times article “Nurturing Female Entrepreneurs.”  She is president and co-owner of teamCFO, partnering with startups, and small to midsize businesses to improve company performance and growth by providing quality financial accounting and business consulting services. Laura talks about how to tell the story of a business in numbers.  She feels her success is founded in the lessons her great grandmother shared with her. Most recently, teamCFO received the Asian Business Leadership Award, a national award sponsored by Wells Fargo Bank and the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce Education Foundation.

"When you're in business, it's ok to have a business plan. But on the same token, you have to be aware of opportunities." 

Before founding teamCFO with her colleague, Laura had over 8 years of experience with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Ernst & Young where she managed a diverse portfolio of clients and provided services including audit, mergers & acquisitions, litigation support, IPO and SEC projects and filings. Her extensive private industry experience includes tenures with GE Capital, Zenith Insurance, Quaker State Corporation, and the Heritage Insurance Group. Because she has “been there” she tells about the difference in working for a very large vs. small business.

Listen to this episode to learn what it takes to run a business that helps others run their own business and be successful. You will also learn the positive aspects of a partnership and how to start and sustain one for a long time.

Top Takeaways:

  • The importance of going after your heart’s desire as a young person
  • How to spot a need or a gap in the market and find a way to cater to it
  • Why women need to have a career to progress themselves even as they pursue family
  • The difference between a high-profile corporate job and starting your own business
  • The ingredients of an excellent business partnership
  • How to be courageous enough to be aware of opportunities and take them.
  • The power of making a difference and making money while at it
  • The functions of the NAWBO organization and its contribution to helping build women and their businesses

Key Moments:

She explains why she changed her mind from wanting to be a journalist to an accountant [3:27]

Why she was inspired to start her consulting business to help small businesses with her skillset [6:15]

How Laura was inspired by her great grandmother to be a hardworking woman with a skillset [7:32]

She explains the difference between a corporate job and being a business owner [11:14]

How to establish an effective and long-lasting business partnership [13:50]

She explains how sometimes being open to opportunities can be of great benefit [18:15]

She describes her success story as being able to make a difference while still making money [20:30]

Learn the functions of NAWBO and how the organization helps women with their small businesses [23:28]

What are the functions of the NAWBO foundation? [28:43]

Website teamCFO

LinkedIn: Laura Yamanaka

NAWBO LA President

National NAWBO Leadership

Testimony on Business Venture Capital

National Women's Business Council

US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce

Building Bridges