Starting in February, the computing giant Dell, in concert with Professor David Ricketts of the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard and the data and analytics company IHS, began putting together an index that they re taking the wraps off today.What it shows: Which cities — based on 71 different indicators — are the best place to be a women entrepreneur.Yesterday, over coffee, Dell CMO Karen Quintos explained the point of the index, which is to help cities understand how they stack up against other cities in terms of providing networking, capital and other necessary ingredients for nurturing fast-growing women-run businesses.According to the Small Business Administration, small business owners produce 70 percent of jobs; the vast majority of these entrepreneurs are women, says Quintos, who notes that women entrepreneurs give back generously to the communities they support.For example, relative to the other 25 cities on the list, access to capital is much harder for founders in Munich, Sao Paulo, Instanbul, Milan, and Johannesburg.Dell, which employs roughly 100,000 people, has been forward thinking in positioning itself as friendly to women entrepreneurs.
Matt Weinberg is a White House appointee in the U.S. Small Business Administration, where he serves as a Special Advisor in the Office of Investment and Innovation.How to join the networkImagine a future where moonshots are part of our everyday reality.In this future, shipping no longer uses environmentally damaging Styrofoam but instead an organic mushroom-based material.In this future, astronauts in orbit 3D-print the materials they need while onboard their spacecraft.Our office can lend up to $4 billion annually through the Small Business Investment Company SBIC program to support the venture capitalists, private equity funds and other vehicles that invest in America s small, but scaling, businesses.
Keeping the websites for those small businesses — all 28.4 million of them — safe and secure from attack, is a huge job.A job made easier with the help of a trusted partner.Let s look at the most recent figures from the U.S. Small Business Administration:5,707,941 small businesses with employees22,735,915 small businesses without employees56,062,893 workers employed by small businesses 1
How to join the networkTechnology innovators tend to operate with an ethos that they consider diametrically opposed to that of government, frequently leading to friction and adversarial attitudes.Given the current regulatory, legal and political climate in our country, and while technology becomes increasingly more pervasive in our society, there is an urgent need for members of the tech community to devote greater attention to what s happening in Washington, D.C. All branches of government — legislative, executive and judicial — contend with a host of weighty issues that carry high-stakes consequences for the industry.Decision-making in Congress follows a tried-and-true system, with established industries deploying lobbyists, consultants and advocacy groups to relentlessly court legislators in largely the same manner they have for decades.These entrenched interests that are evident in so many government fights have battle-tested resources, long-term relationships with policymakers and experience at navigating the halls of Congress.Notably, significant new coalitions and advocacy groups have recently emerged to help guide the technology community through Congress playbook.
Taking the time to pick a great domain name can mean more effective marketing and increased traffic to your website.Here are seven tips that will help you choose a domain name that will grow with you in the future.Another thing to consider is the fact that each year more and more web users use smart devices to access websites, therefore using a smaller screen.Long, wordy URLs can get cut off and become confusing.So a short, but memorable, domain is the way to go.Carlton Smith, of Flagstone Search Marketing, says:
Increases Capital for Deployment by Approximately $600 MillionCHANDLER, Ariz.– BUSINESS WIRE –September 28, 2016–Leading venture debt provider Trinity Capital Investment Trinity today announced the recent launch of a third fund, Trinity Capital Investment Fund III, L.P. Fund III , which is expected to provide an estimated $600 million of additional capital for deployment into high-growth venture capital-backed companies over the next few years.Trinity s second Small Business Investment Company SBIC license, Fund III is one of approximately 300 SBIC s in the U.S. licensed by the Small Business Administration SBA to provide growth capital to U.S. small businesses, and receive long-term, fixed interest rate debt capital through the issuance of SBA-guaranteed debentures to complement equity invested by the fund s limited partners.This new fund provides a long-term and stable source of capital for our team, allowing us to continue investing in the country s most promising entrepreneurial companies, said Steve Brown, founding partner at Trinity Capital Investment.On behalf of Trinity, I am profoundly grateful to the SBA, our limited partners, and all of our industry stakeholders and partners who have contributed to our growth and success in the marketplace.In conjunction with this new fund, Trinity has appointed business development executive Kelli Fontaine as a director of the company.Fontaine brings a wealth of experience in business development, marketing and finance, and will be responsible for spearheading investment activities throughout the California Bay Area.I am pleased to welcome Kelli to the Trinity team and announce our first California-based hire, commented Brown.
Matt Weinberg is a White House appointee in the U.S. Small Business Administration, where he serves as a Special Advisor in the Office of Investment and Innovation.How to join the networkThe genius and creativity of American scientists and inventors has long kept the United States at the forefront of innovation and helped to drive U.S. economic success.The federal government s role in this effort often involves providing seed money for research and experimentation and, increasingly, in protecting American intellectual property IP rights in the global marketplace.Left unchecked, infringement on IP has the potential to negate such investment and stifle future innovation.The International Trade Commission ITC is a government agency with an important role in ensuring U.S. companies get a fair shake when it comes to protecting IP rights.
Landing your first paying customers is even harder.According to the US Small Business Administration, the failure rate for new startups is estimated to be around70% to 80% in the first year, and only half of those remain in business over the next five years.Why do so many startups fail to get traction?Other times it’s lack of funding.So, how did companies like Zapier, Segment, WordStream and Pipedrive not only survive and land their first paying customers, but gain traction and grow into multi-million dollar businesses with hundreds of thousands of loyal customers?
p In the United States, the small business sector represents a significant part of the nation's economic growth, with an estimated 28 million registered businesses earning 54 percent of annual sales in America.Given these statistics, there is nothing "small" about small businesses in America, except that these organizations typically follow a lean startup model, beginning as part-time businesses and growing only with time and cautious investment.Because of this limited growth model, hiring a marketing manager isn’t an option, budget-wise, for many small businesses.However, what they lack in capital, these nusinesses can make up for with creative content marketing.How can your small businesses leverage content tools and brand messaging to support your growth?Here are several strategies and software packages that every business owner should consider part of an effective marketing plan.
p Facebook and the US Small Business Administration (SBA) are teaming up with online video company Animoto, who today announced partnerships that will enable small and medium sized businesses to better communicate their business by video on social media.Animoto has joined the Facebook Marketing Partner Program, designed to enable businesses to connect with a select group of marketing companies, while the SBA's Small Business Technology Coalition will provide small businesses with technology platforms and thought leaders to help them connect with customers.The company has been taking the lead with videos and small businesses since the launch in 2016 of Marketing Video Builder, which helps small businesses and marketers create content for a video.Since the launch, Animoto added features including mobile-friendly formats like square videos, as well as a range of functionality for brand customization."Animoto's expertise in leveraging video to help small businesses makes them a great addition to the Small Business Technology Coalition," said Michael Morales, White House Fellow and senior advisor to the SBA Administrator, Linda McMahon."We are excited to collaborate with Animoto as we seek to help small businesses use technology to grow more effective and competitive."
p As Military Appreciation month wraps up for May and we recognize Memorial Day, I wanted to recount an experience I had judging a hackathon for military veterans run by VetsinTech and hosted at Facebook.Reflecting on the entrepreneurs I heard pitch at this and other veteran events I’ve participated in as a venture capitalist and advisor, I noticed a strong difference in the companies founded by military veterans — veterans are much more likely than others to create a company with a founding mission of social good .The question I wanted to answer was why these veterans were more likely to launch a company focused on social impact.A 2011 Small Business Administration (SBA) study concluded that “veterans are at least 45 percent more likely than those with no active-duty military experience to be self-employed”, and 13% of all small business owners are military veterans, according to research by Martin Bressler in the Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal.This is why one of the big ways that VetsinTech works with veterans to help them find jobs in the tech industry is through training, mentoring and networking to support the launch of their own business, with programs like the hackathon and VetCap (capital for veterans), which I co-founded with VetsinTech.We’ve noticed that many of these veteran entrepreneurs, far more than other founders by our experience, have an underlying mission driving their startup idea: they want to help other people in need.
Despite that, Linda McMahon, head the US Small Business Administration and a Trump cabinet member, visited Amazon's Seattle headquarters Wednesday to congratulate the company for its work with small businesses."I am incredibly appreciative for companies like Amazon and the growth of Amazon," she said at a small press conference, "and the support that they give for small businesses and the opportunity to grow and bring their products to market."McMahon's comments appeared to be a tad out of step with Trump's statement last year that Amazon "had a huge antitrust problem because they control so much.""I feel to the contrary," McMahon, founder and former CEO of WWE, continued.It's worth noting that Trump isn't the only one who's raised concerns about Amazon's business.McMahon's visit comes as the company has faced louder criticism over its surging growth and expanding influence in retail.
Cold morning light showers your back as you contemplate whether to file for bankruptcy or to continue believing in your startup’s mission.The risk of going belly-up should strike fear into any startup founder as the Small Business Administration estimates that: “About two-thirds of businesses with employees survive at least 2 years and about half survive at least 5 years.” Furthermore, a poll by Gallup reveals that about one-third of small business owners are uncomfortable with the amount of debt their business is in.The amount of debt in relation to a business’ equity and credit determines whether or not a loan is excessive.The debt-to-equity ratio is in part a statistical way for business owners to conceptualize the nature of debt through the amount of financial leverage it possesses.In simpler terms, the debt-to-equity ratio quantifies what you using against what you have.Knowing the ratio between the two will help you understand just how big of a risk you are taking – this is equivalent to the excessiveness of your debt.
Entrepreneurs often express the real mood of business.Even though they might be creating jobs merely in the single or small double digits, they are the backbone of what makes America great, considering that a sizable proportion of the working population is employed by small businesses.Next weekend many entrepreneurs will be ushering in Small Business Saturday, "a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities," according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.When the first one took hold in 2010, it quickly gained traction.By 2011 the U.S. Senate officially recognized the event and in 2012, an estimated $5.5 billion was spent on Small Business Saturday at local businesses around the nation.Be sure to consider these four tasks as you finalize all of the details at your business:
"The SBIRxOK program is an exciting catalyst for so many Oklahoma entrepreneurs pursuing technology-driven commercial opportunities," said Daniel Pullin, dean of the Michael F. Price College of Business and Fred E. Brown Chair in Business and OU vice president."Together these innovators will have a great deal to say about how we grow and diversify our economy to ensure our enduring global competitiveness.This is a proud day for Oklahoma and a shining example of the power of private sector, state and university leaders working together to shape our collective future."With a SBA grant of $125,000, an additional $150,000 from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology, and more than $100,000 in-kind contributions from OU, the SBIRxOK effort builds on OCAST's Small Business Research Assistance Program to increase SBIR performance through programs strategically focused on collaboration, training, mentoring and commercialization.Wavering has more than 18 years of experience from executive and principal investigator roles at two of the most historically successful SBIR-funded companies.To change the SBIR landscape in Oklahoma, the SBIRxOK effort will implement 10 new programs across Oklahoma:
Don't think too hard about a formal social-media strategy for your business, says Jack Dorsey, the co-founder of micro-blogging site Twitter."When you start saying words like ‘social media,' or phrases like ‘social media,' it becomes this big, abstract thing that of course it is hard to understand," says Dorsey, who will be joining Small Business Administration chief Karen Mills in a panel discussion on small-business best practices tonight in honor of National Small Business Week.Dorsey's presence in Washington, D.C., will add some oomph to what has historically been a pretty sleepy week celebrating small-businesses.Think about social media in a very personal way, says Dorsey."Be authentic, be genuine, talk about what you are doing every day to highlight your business," he says.Hearing updates on what you, the entrepreneur, are doing to turn the wheels and make your business operate is going to get your customers excited and bring them in your door, he says.
Editor's Note: This series takes a close-up look at the SBA's economic "clusters" designed to aid regional businesses.Read the previous installments on Minnesota, the Carolinas, Mississippi and both San Diego and Monteray Bay, California.Michigan may still be defined by its automobile industry, but it is starting to get some wind beneath the wings of its aviation industry.The small cluster of regional airports across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is joining with local businesses and economic development groups to work together to “green” the aviation industry.Four of six regional airports teamed up to “grow synergistically rather than competitively” as part of the Upper Michigan Green Aviation Coalition.Members of the cluster specialize in environmental issues such as recycling old airplane parts, decreasing the weight of planes so that they require less fuel, and encouraging the military to adopt these “green” aviation practices.
Editor's Note: This series takes a close-up look at the SBA's economic "clusters" designed to aid regional businesses.Read the previous installments on Minnesota, the Carolinas, California and Mississippi.Naval Base on the West Coast, San Diego has also become a haven for startups with a military focus.The Small Business Administration decided to invest more than $1 million in the San Diego Advanced Defense Cluster as part of its pilot regional cluster initiative to promote small-business job growth.In 2010 and 2011, the cluster received a total of $1.2 million in grants from the SBA, and is one of seven to be selected for additional funding beyond the two-year pilot, receiving another $385,000 in 2012, with an option to renew that grant for another four years.Among other things, the San Diego-based cluster used the SBA funding to help small-business members craft and write proposals and introduce them to government program managers to win business from Uncle Sam and its primary contractors, says Lou Kelly, the program director.
In Washington, D.C., celebrations will take place (and be streamed live), proclamations will be made, awards handed out and conference sessions held.Outside of attending the big hoedown in the Capitol, what can you get out of National Small Business Week?Put a sign in your shop window, or hold a special thank-you event for customers.If there isn't a local event set up, start talking to your local chamber about organizing something for next year.Go to an event and network.If you're not in D.C., there are regional events planned at all the regional Small Business Administration offices, too.
The Small Business Administration this week implemented changes to its rules governing the 8(a) business development program that are expected to allow more small businesses to qualify, access and compete for coveted federal contracts.Named for a section of the Small Business Act, the 8(a) program was created to help small, disadvantaged businesses compete in this nation’s hyper-competitive economy and gain improved access to the federal government's procurement market.Qualified applicants must be U.S. citizens of good character who own or control a small firm and are socially and financially disadvantaged.To be considered socially disadvantaged, the SBA says applicants must have been subjected to racial or ethnic prejudice or cultural bias due to circumstances beyond their control.In addition to putting such firms in the running for government contracts, the 8(a) program provides business training, counseling, marketing help and executive development.These small businesses received $18.6 billion in 8(a) contract dollars in 2009 alone.