Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘small business’


When residents of Holyoke, Colorado, saw local businesses struggling in the pandemic, they stepped up.

Sometimes it’s hard to know where to start when many problems call for attention at the same time. In one small Colorado town, the almost unimaginable generosity of the community helped neighbors — and built a lifetime bond.

Cathy Free reports at the Washington Post, “Brenda Hernandez Ramirez thought she might have to close the doors of her family’s small-town Mexican restaurant for good when she was temporarily forced to shut down in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“With bills piling up and no income, ‘we weren’t prepared for the challenges that covid-19 brought,’ said Ramirez, who owns Taqueria Hernandez in Holyoke, Colo., population 2,313.

“When she and her employees heard in late March that a Help Holyoke campaign had been started to assist small businesses, Ramirez said she felt grateful, thinking she might get a few hundred dollars to help pay her utilities.

“Two months later, when Holyoke Chamber of Commerce Director Holly Ferguson stopped by with a check, Ramirez was shocked to learn that people in her farming community had donated their government stimulus checks and dipped into their bank accounts to raise $93,592 — enough to help every business in town affected by the shutdown.

“In addition to about $2,000 to pay her restaurant bills, Ramirez also received smaller checks for each of her six employees.

‘We were overwhelmed with emotion,’ said Ramirez, 24. ‘Feeling our community’s support during the pandemic gave us the ambition to keep on going. I’m beyond thankful.’

“The Help Holyoke fund came about after Tom Bennett, president of the town’s First Pioneer National Bank, wondered if people might be willing to part with the $1,200 stimulus checks that most had received from the federal government.

“Even during normal times, it’s not easy to run a business in a small town, he said. … ‘Having our restaurants, bars, salons, the gym and movie theater shut down was unprecedented. You start thinking, “What if that was me?” ‘

“Bennett contacted Ferguson, Phillips County Economic Development Director Trisha Herman and Brenda Brandt, publisher of the Holyoke Enterprise, and arranged a meeting at the newspaper’s office to talk about his idea to help save their downtown. …

“The group members quickly developed a plan: They would get the word out about Help Holyoke through the Enterprise, the local radio station and social media, plus enlist high school students to help call everyone in town. Once the donations were collected, they would cut checks based on how many employees each business owner had to lay off. …

“Karen Ortner, a family and consumer sciences teacher at Holyoke High School, rounded up members of the Family Career and Community Leaders of America club she advises and put the teens to work calling every household in Holyoke.

“ ‘We split up the phone book with two other student organizations — the Future Business Leaders of America and the Future Farmers of America,’ she said. ‘Almost everyone the kids called said they’d give what they could.’ …

“ ‘This is a supportive, tightknit town,’ added FCCLA President Amy Mackay, 17. ‘Everybody knows everybody and they knew exactly who that money would be going to in the end.’ …

“ ‘This was the best way we could make a difference,’ said Nancy Colglazier, 67, executive director of Holyoke’s Melissa Memorial Hospital Foundation. … Colglazier and her husband, Harvey Colglazier donated one of their $1,200 checks to the fund after seeing how abandoned their downtown had become, she said. …

“Said chamber director Ferguson, ‘Some gave $10, some gave $100 and little kids came to my office to empty their piggy banks,’ she said. ‘Everyone did what they could and showed overwhelming compassion.’ …

“In addition to receiving about $3,500 from Help Holyoke, Veronica Marroquin, 44, who runs Veronica’s Hair and Nail Salon, also received checks from customers who wanted to pay for the haircuts they missed due to covid-19, she said.

“ ‘I’d been really worried, and I got teary-eyed when I saw everybody’s generosity,’ Marroquin said. ‘I’m close friends with my clients — they’re family. But this took it to a new level,’ she said. ‘None of us will forget their kindness.’ ” More here.

Read Full Post »

Here’s an upbeat story about the contributions of immigrants.  It relates to an area of Erie, Pennsylvania, that got a shot of adrenaline when entrepreneurial refugees began opening markets to serve various ethnicities.

Erika Beras reported at PRI radio’s The World, “Much of Erie, Pennsylvania is a food desert — people don’t have easy access to fresh or nutritious food. But [stores] run by refugees are popping up and making a big difference.

“At UK Supermarket, Samantha Dhungel pulls bags of vegetables out of the freezer. In her cart are onions and eggplant, but she pulls out a vegetable she only knows by its Nepali name. It’s a leafy green that her Nepalese husband uses in his cooking. …

“Before this store opened two years ago, there were a couple convenience stores and a few fast food spots around. All of them sold food that wasn’t nutritious, says Alex Iorio. She’s the public health educator for the Erie Department of Health. She says this place is different. …

“Most of the stores carry fresh foods and whole-grain items. Before, if people in the neighborhood wanted fresh vegetables, cornmeal or nuts, they’d have to drive across town or to the suburbs.

“Then two years ago, Pradip Upreti, a Nepalese refugee, opened UK Supermarket. … He wasn’t trying to solve the food desert problem — none of the store owners were. They just wanted refugees in Erie, who make up 10 percent of the city, to have access to specific foods.

“People would drive distances and buy up items like jackfruit and halal pizza. Then they’d resell those items to people in their community. Upreti saw a business opening there. …

“Upreti’s store carries mostly South Asian foods. Across the street is an Iraqi owned store that carries lots of spices. Around the corner, another Iraqi store specializes in fish and meats like lamb and goat. And there are well over a dozen more stores like them.” More here.

Many immigrants become small business owners. Happily for their neighbors and other people who enjoy foods from around the world, some of them open grocery stores.

Photo: Erika Beras
Pradip Upreti, center, stocks shelves in his Erie, Pennsylvania store, UK Supermarket.

 

Read Full Post »

Interested in doing well by doing good? Consider attending the April 29-April 30 Providence event hosted by the Social Enterprise Greenhouse and the Social Innovation Initiative at Brown University.

According to the nonprofit’s website, the 2016 SEEED (Social Enterprise Ecosystem for Economic Development) Summit “provides a comprehensive support system to inspire, start, grow, and sustain successful social enterprises. …

“This year’s conference theme is Growing Businesses with Impact. We will explore the unique challenges facing a social enterprise at three stages of growth, with half day modules devoted to launching, growing and transforming. 

“Whether you’re a social entrepreneur, student, academic, impact investor, policymaker, or plain ol’ fan of ‘do well, do good’ business, we hope you will join us. This year’s conference will include free coaching, a ‘Buy With Heart’ market, lunchtime roundtable discussions, and a pitch competition. …

“The conference is hosted jointly by Social Enterprise Greenhouse and The Social Innovation Initiative at Brown University, in collaboration with sponsors The City of Providence, The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation and Worldways Social Marketing, as well as knowledge partners Bridgespan and Neighborhood Economics/SOCAP.

“SEEED is the first impact conference in the US to adopt a ‘pay what you can’ ticket model so that the event is accessible to everyone. However, it costs us $200 per participant. Therefore, we ask all attendees to pay what they can to support our mission (the minimum payment to register is $1.00). … For any questions contact info@segreenhouse.org.” Register here.

The keynote speaker is Willy Foote of Root Capital. According to Sacha Pfeiffer in the Boston Globe, “This year, the Cambridge nonprofit Root Capital expects to have surpassed $1 billion in loans made to small businesses in the developing world, a sector neglected by large commercial banks. …

“Because many farmers in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America don’t have the traditional collateral needed to borrow money, such as property deeds, Root Capital relies on less conventional ways to judge creditworthiness. For example, it accepts future production of harvests — including cocoa, coffee, cotton, fruit, and nuts — as collateral for financing. That approach has been a success; Foote says Root Capital’s repayment rate is about 97 percent. …

“Root Capital doesn’t just loan money; it also offers financial training to rural entrepreneurs, helping them improve their business skills and strengthen their market connections.”

Read more about Foote and Root Capital in the Boston Globe article.

Photo: Heidi Gumula
The Social Enterprise Greenhouse has its headquarters at 10 Davol Square, Providence. 

Read Full Post »

If you are a consumer these days, after Black Friday comes Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday. I do love Giving Tuesday as there are so many worthy causes to choose from, and you don’t have to go farther than your computer to donate. This year I am torn between a food bank I admire and my favorite refugee nonprofit, although I do love the Granola Project. Maybe I will do something for all three.

But tomorrow is Saturday, and I am headed down to Providence to help Erik with the kids while Suzanne has a Luna & Stella birthstone-jewelry trunk show at Talulah Cooper Boutique on Traverse St, just off Wickenden (12 pm to 5 pm).

While we are on the subject of Luna & Stella (the parent of this blog) you should know that now through Cyber Monday (November 30, 2015) only, you can get 40% off all earrings, plus $20 off orders over $100 anywhere on the website — with code SHOPSMALL.

This season, Suzanne is into mixing her jewelry with some vintage lockets she has found. The ones in the picture are all from the Greater Providence area, long known for jewelry making.

Photo below: Rhode Island Foundation
A Luna & Stella trunk show pictured in a profile at “Our Backyard,” which features Rhode Island people and businesses, here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

Massachusetts Avenue in East Arlington is shrinking. After contentious debate, the town decided to widen the sidewalks, add barrier islands in the street, and new plantings and benches.

The job is not done, but in spite of construction and less room for vehicles, the traffic doesn’t seem to have increased — one of those counterintuitive results that designers tout. The goal is to make the street more pedestrian and bike friendly and allow more community activities on sidewalks. Through the tree committee, John has been involved with the beautification side of things.

One of the issues that gets raised when a major disruption like this is afoot is the effect on small businesses. Neighbors are making a point of shopping local, hoping that Arlington merchants won’t suffer.

And to make sure residents don’t forget how important that is, there is an amusing signage campaign — signs saying that “Businesses are [fill in the blank] during Construction.”

For example, “Businesses are Opalescent during Construction.” Other Mad-Libs-type adjectives used are Quirky, Colorific, Radiant, Prismatic, Harmonic, Niblicious, and Excellent.

Below, I include a couple of the signs. And I tried to show how the project is coming along — the wide sidewalk, the plantings, the bench. I look forward to seeing how the residents begin to make use of their new public spaces.

091915-shop-local-despite-construction

101715-support-small-biusiness

101715-bump-out-sidewalk

101715-widening-the-walk

101715-wider-walk-allows-benches

Read Full Post »

At Christmas, Yuriko sent a translated Japan News article about the business she runs with her husband, who retired rather young. She told me the newspaper, called Yomiuri Shinbun in Japan, “has the largest distribution nationwide. We were really busy after that.”

The article mentioned that Japanese retirees starting small businesses or finding work at a reduced rate is a growing phenomenon, so I Googled around to see if I could learn more.

Kanoko Matsuyama writes at Bloomberg Businessweek, “When he retired three years ago, Hirofumi Mishima got right back to work. After aging out of a $77,000-a-year job as an industrial gas analyst, he spent six months trawling the vacancy boards at a Tokyo employment center.

“Fifteen days each month, Mishima, 69, rises at 4 a.m. for an eight-and-a-half-hour shift overseeing the supply of hydrogen gas to buses. His daily commute has risen from three hours to four even as his earnings have dropped by more than a third. ‘Keeping a regular job is the most stimulating thing for me,’ he says. ‘Now, I work for my health. I’m very happy my job gives me mobility and helps me stay active.’

“Though Japan’s retirement age stands at 60, more than 5.7 million Japanese have continued to work past 65, either because they can’t afford to stop working or they’re looking to get out of the house. The nation’s private companies can force employees to retire at 60 if they wish, so workers often accept slashed wages to stay on, sometimes in a reduced capacity as they start collecting public pension benefits. …

“Under the current system, Japanese men exit the labor market on average at 70, and women at 67, according to a 2011 report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. ‘The pension isn’t enough to live comfortably,’ says Kazuyoshi Hirota, 69, who works 24 hours a week as an apartment building manager and janitor in central Tokyo. Hirota retired seven years ago from his full-time security job at Asahi Group Holdings. His wife, 70, works as a cleaner. It’s not just about the money, though: ‘Life is boring without work,’ he says.”

More here.

My friend Yuriko runs a consignment shop. Her husband does financial consulting in the same storefront, which gives Yuriko flexibility to run out and look after her 90-something mother-in-law.

Photo: Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert

Read Full Post »

Martha Bebinger had a great story at WBUR recently. It’s about an immigrant from Burundi with a mission.

“There were still drops of dew on the stalks of thick, spear-shaped leaves Fabiola Nizigiyimana slashed and tossed into a box one early morning.

“ ‘We call them lenga lenga, in our language,’ she said, laughing the words. “They are [a] green.’

“The 40-year-old single mother of five farms a one-acre plot in Lancaster. She’s one of 232 farmers who share the 40-acre Flats Mentor Farm. Last year, Nizigiyimana helped found a co-op that teaches farmers, many of whom can’t read or write in English or their native tongue, how to turn their plots into a business.

“They get help with packaging and selling their goods to local restaurants, ethnic food stores and farmers’ markets, many of them creating budgets and balance sheets for the first time.

“Nizigiyimana [was] honored for her work … at a White House ceremony after being selected as one of 15 USDA Champions of Change, who represent the next generation of farmers and ranchers.”

Read about all that this optimistic, cheerful woman has overcome and what challenges lie ahead for her business here.

Photo: Martha Bebinger/WBUR
Fabiola Nizigiyimana helped found a co-op that teaches farmers how to turn their plots into a business.

Read Full Post »

Last fall, I blogged about the worthy Granola Project, which gives employment to refugees in Rhode Island. It is housed at the social service agency Amos House in Providence. I bought some of the granola at the farmers market a just last week.

Now Sarah Shemkus has written for the Boston Globe about a similar initiative for refugees in Massachusetts, but with the goal of helping refugee women to spin off companies on their own.

“Moo Kho Paw fled the violence and oppression of Myanmar for a refugee camp in Thailand nearly a decade ago,” writes Shemkus. “Five years later, she, her husband, and their baby daughter resettled again, this time landing in Springfield.

“As she adapted to her new home, Paw started looking for a job … That’s when she learned about Prosperity Candle, the Easthampton company where she has now worked for three years.

“ ‘I love the job,’ Paw said. ‘It helps me to pay the rent, to buy the baby diapers.’

“That’s precisely what Ted Barber, 46, hoped for when he and partner Amber Chand founded Prosperity Candle in 2010. … Sales are only part of its mission — the company says its real goal is to help women in and from developing countries by teaching them new skills and creating jobs. …

“In Easthampton, the company employs refugees such as Paw to make and package candles and fulfill orders. Currently, up to four refugees are working there at any given time, though Barber expects to hire more as the business expands. …”

The idea for an enterprise like Prosperity Candle first occurred to Barber when he was working in Africa, helping entrepreneurs build small businesses. …

” ‘I realized I wanted to do something different.’ …

“Rather than giving away money or supplies, [his] company would provide women with the resources, skills, and support they need to start a sustainable businesses. …

“Prosperity Candle formed as a low-profit limited liability company, a structure that requires the business to put its social mission ahead of profits.”

More.

Photo: Matthew Cavanaugh for The Boston Globe
Moo Kho Paw (left) and Naw Test made candles at Prosperity Candle in Easthampton.

Prosperity Candle formed as a low-profit limited liability company, a structure that requires the business to put its social mission ahead of profits.

Read Full Post »

“If you want to go into business during tough economic times, you might want to do it with family,” writes Lisa Rathke, Associated Press, at the Boston Globe.

“According to the Family Business Institute,” she says, “90 percent of US businesses are family owned. Some giants got their start as family businesses, including retailer Walmart and automaker Ford.

Maple Landmark, a wooden-toy company in Vermont started by Michael Rainville, now employs his sister, his wife, his mother, and his grandmother, as well as his sons.

“Rainville is willing to work long hours and do whatever it takes to keep the business going. When business softened after 2001, they bought a similar Vermont company so they could offer a broader array of toys. But between 2002 and 2007 they were lucky if they grew at all and ended up smaller by about 15 percent.

“Rainville said he didn’t have any more tricks to pull out his bag so they focused on being more efficient. …

“Brothers Charles and Arthur Anton also grew up in the family business, Anton Cleaners, based in Tewksbury, Mass. Their grandfather started the business nearly 100 years ago.

“When the economy soured, people were dry cleaning their clothes less often. But like the Rainvilles and [others] they didn’t resort to laying off employees. They cut back hours.” They were determined to make it work because it was family. More.

The infighting at some family businesses I’ve heard of make them seem like a bad idea most of the time, but I haven’t previously considered that in a recession, blood may really be thicker than water.

Photo: Toby Talbot/Associated Press
Michael Rainville employs his sister, wife, mother, and grandmother at Maple Landmark, a wooden toy company based in Vermont.

Read Full Post »

There is a new WordPress blog that hopes to create an online business benefiting an impoverished part of the world. It’s called Life Out Of The Box.

Bloggers Quinn and Jonathon write: “We left the United States in May 2012 and moved to Nicaragua to create a business that gives back to the community. Since we moved here, we’ve been traveling all over the country to find various handmade products by the people of Nicaragua and ultimately develop a line of products that we can sell overseas. Buying and selling products from these local artisans will not only help their local economy, but will also expose people overseas to the beauty of an unfamiliar culture.

“Life Out of the Box is a product for a product business. For every product that we sell overseas, we will give back a product to help educate the kids here in Nicaragua. Sell a product, give a product. One for One. We want to give the kids a useful product that will allow them to have the opportunity to live their life out of the box and pursue their own dreams. So far, these products include a variety of notebooks, agendas and pencils. We are both very connected to education and believe that it’s the best place to start in helping developing countries. It’s the root of where change can start – where kids can learn and develop their own skills to improve their country’s economy, help their families and go on to teach the next generation.

“While we’ve been traveling around the country looking for products to sell, we have also been working with various non-profit organizations to find out how we can make a difference. Overall, our journey has been very exciting and fun and we hope that you follow us in our pursuit of living Life Out of the Box.”

After Thanksgiving, the couple had a “soft launch” of their store, here, and would appreciate feedback.  My own feedback, as one who knows very little about marketing, would be to show a greater variety of products, perhaps on interesting backgrounds like sand or flowers. Also, I see a price but nothing about how to order. I realize they are just getting started.

Jonathon and Quinn could probably learn from  talking to successful social enterprises like Toms Shoes and Serrv. Toms Shoes gives footware to needy children (“with every pair you purchase, Toms will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for One”).

Serrv is a nonprofit selling crafts from all over the world. They’ve been doing this for more than 60 years, so they have a long track record, and their catalog has capsule interviews and photos of the craftsmen and women — making a great personal connection! I just got myself  couple things from Serrv.

At the winter holidays, people often like some of the presents they give to serve a dual purpose and benefit those who need help most. I wish the best of luck to Jonathon and Quinn.

Photograph of Quinn with friends: Lifeoutofthebox.com

Read Full Post »

When wars are not going on in the Palestinian territories, people try to live normal lives.

Megan Kelly writes at Global Envision that “in recent years, business development and entrepreneurship programs surfaced … and suddenly there was an influx of people trying to start their own business …

“However, many of the programs put in place lacked follow-through. Entrepreneurs were left to sink or swim on their own. ‘It was like walking them to a cliff,’ explains Samin Malik, coordinator of Women’s Empowerment Programs at Tomorrow’s Youth Organization based in Nablus. So TYO took a different approach …

“TYO’s Women’s Incubation Services for Entrepreneurs (WISE) brought back six businesses that had developed a foundation from their initial women’s entrepreneurship program—Fostering Women Entrepreneurs in Nablus—and recruited nine additional female entrepreneurs by running advertisements in local newspapers, radio, and on Facebook. The requirements were simple—businesses had to have a foundation or business plan already completed, and had to be based in the northern West Bank.

“Candidates who responded to ads underwent two rounds of interviews, designed not only to determine the entrepreneur’s eligibility for the program, but also to assess her strengths and needs moving forward. Partnering with the Small Enterprise Center, TYO sent their final 15 candidates to one-on-one coaching early in the process in order to set their women up for targeted support and success. Additionally, the year-long incubation project will provide marketing, access to capital, and financial-growth trainings, as well as business English and social-media training facilitated by last year’s Palestinian TechWomen delegation. …

“By serving as a support system to the businesswomen, Samin and Inas Badawi—a local Palestinian—provide examples of female-to-female support that is uncommon in Nablus, and try to foster the same sense of encouragement between the women they work with.”

More.

Photograph: Ammar Awad/Reuters/File
Palestinian women sit together at a newly opened upscale Italian cafe in the West Bank city of Ramallah in July 2012. Tomorrow’s Youth Organization serves as a support system to Palestinian businesswomen, encouraging new enterprises.

Read Full Post »

The Mass Challenge Awards Ceremony takes place tomorrow night at the Boston Convention Center. Erik is one of the 26 entrepreneurs who are finalists in the Class of 2012. He first read about Mass Challenge on this very blog the day before the deadline for applying!

The whole family is excited that Erik has done so well. Suzanne and John (both entrepreneurs) will be sitting at his table at the big event. Erik’s mother, lately arrived from Sweden, will be strolling the baby around South Boston with a little help from yours truly.

The Awards Ceremony includes Governor Deval Patrick. Orlando Jones will moderate. And I am a particular fan of speaker Gerald Chertavian.

A native of Lowell, Chertavian so appreciated the mentoring he received in high school that he served as a Big Brother in college and for years after. Having sold his own entrepreneurial company, he decided to give back by building an organization to give young low-income but motivated people a paid year to prepare for the workforce through internships and training.

For more on the unique approach of Chertavian’s nonprofit YearUp, now in many U.S. cities, look here.

YearUp photograph of Gerald Chertavian

Read Full Post »

I came across a nonprofit organization called BUILD on the website of the accelerator incubator MassChallenge (where Erik is among 26 finalists who will be honored at Tuesday’s awards). BUILD helps inspire students to graduate from high school by getting them engaged in an entrepreneurship project.

“MassChallenge Partner BUILD Greater Boston is gathering a select group of entrepreneurs to mentor student business teams in some of the city’s lowest performing high schools.

“BUILD is an exciting 4-year college success program that uses entrepreneurship to motivate disengaged students to excel academically, graduate from high school, and succeed in college. …

“To help students become college-eligible, BUILD also provides tutoring, test prep, mentoring, and college planning advice. Entrepreneurship is the hook — but college is the goal. Over the past 13 years, 95% of BUILD seniors nationally have been accepted to college, with 88% accepted to 4 year colleges and universities.

A student team calling itself “the Dream Team and their mentors, including MassChallenge Alumni Shonak Patel, won 1st place at the Youth Business Plan Competition at Northeastern University on June 2, 2012, receiving $1,500 to start their business.”

According to the Bay State Banner, the Dream Team’s product is an “inspirational iPhone case, made of bamboo and customizable to have the purchaser’s own dream etched into it.” More here.

See video highlights of the competition from the Boston Business Journal.

Being a BUILD mentor gave me the opportunity to use my passion for entrepreneurship to inspire greatness in others.— Shonak Patel, Charlestown Mentor and MassChallenge Alumni. 

Read Full Post »

Connecticut seems to be doing quite a lot for entrepreneurs — even rather young ones. So thanks to an annual competition for young inventors in the state, Mallory Kievman is getting her hiccup-suppressing lollipop patented and marketed by experts.

Writing for the NY Times, Jessica Bruder quotes one of Mallory’s benefactors.

“ ‘It’s very rare, when you’re evaluating businesses, that you can envision a company or product being around 100 years from now,’ said Danny Briere, a serial entrepreneur and the founder of Startup Connecticut, which nurtures new companies, including Hiccupops, and is a regional affiliate of the Startup America Partnership. ‘Hiccupops is one of those things. It solves a very simple, basic need.’

“Mallory met Mr. Briere last spring at the Connecticut Invention Convention, an annual competition for kids. ‘I went there, and I knew it would either be a hit or a miss project,’ she said. ‘People would either like it, or they would think I was crazy.’ ” Read more.

I love reading about simple but valuable solutions to everyday challenges. Think paper clip. Think Post-it note. It takes a special kind of imagination. Nowadays, given the valuation of apps, you would think solving everyday challenges was too uncool for the inventive mind. But Hiccupops will likely bring Mallory checks in the mail long after Instagram is forgotten.

Photograph: Andrew Sullivan for the NY Times

Read Full Post »

I took a tour of Mass Challenge today, an accelerator incubator program. And what is an accelerator incubator program? you ask. An incubator helps small businesses get launched and grow. An accelerator helps them get launched and grow really fast.

The program I visited may be the biggest anywhere. It has a whole floor of a gorgeous new building overlooking Boston Harbor, which the landlord has provided rent-free at least until 2014. It has zillions of sponsors and supporters, including the mayor and the governor, who don’t always see eye to eye on other matters.

Enter by tomorrow to be in the running for this year’s program and the top prize. Every entrant, whether chosen for the program or not, gets three to five professional reviews. You can enter from anywhere in the world. Caveats: there is an entry fee of $200, and your startup has to have made less than $1 million so far. Click here to enter.

From the website: “MassChallenge is the largest-ever startup accelerator and competition, and the first to support high-impact, early-stage entrepreneurs with no strings attached. Benefits for startups include:

* 3 month accelerator program. World-class mentorship and training, free office space, access to funding, media and more.
* $1M in Cash Awards. $4M+ in-kind support.
* Open to all. Any startup can enter, from anywhere, in any industry.
* No equity taken. No restrictions applied.”

And while we’re on the subject of small business, I also saw a great presentation about a new City of Boston website that walks people through all the things they need to do to get a business started in Boston. A wonderful, user-friendly site.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: