Bette Nesmith

Class: Intro. To Entrepreneurial Studies (BDI3C1)
Date: March 2007
The Assignment: Write an essay and do a presentation on an entrepreneur. The more flashy, the more marks.
Mark: 100%

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The entrepreneur I did my project on is Bette Nesmith. Her main accomplishment was inventing Liquid Paper. I believe she is an example of a successful entrepreneur because Liquid Paper was a widely used invention in the 20th century.

Bette McMurray was born on March 23, 1924 in Corpus Christi, Texas. She dropped out of high school when she was seventeen years old to become a secretary, despite not knowing how to type. She went to a secretarial school during the day and earned her high school diploma at night. She married Warren Nesmith in 1943, but he was sent to fight in the war shortly after. She then gave birth to their son named Michael, but when Warren returned in 1946, they divorced.

She now needed to support both herself and her young child. In 1951, she became an executive secretary at the Texas Bank and Trust. It was during this time that she and the other secretaries began using the first electric typewriters, which they often found difficult to use, and made many mistakes. Bette had also taken on another job as an artist to paint windows for extra income. She realized that when she was painting, she would simply paint over her mistakes, so she applied this logic to her secretarial work, thereby inventing Liquid Paper.

At the time, the highest job position available to women was executive secretary, and Bette had already achieved this. By becoming an inventor, Bette showed that women are capable of doing more. When she sold Liquid Paper to the Gillette Corporation in 1979, she received $47.5 million.