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Archives: April 2009

Swine Flu is Good For Business

Posted by: Colleen Debaise on April 30

Now, we're not saying any entrepreneur would keep their fingers crossed for a worldwide epidemic of swine flu, but if you happen to be in the business of making hand...

House Passes Credit Card Reform, But Leaves Out Small Business Cards

Posted by: John Tozzi on April 30

The House just passed the Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights, which restricts some aggressive tactics by credit card companies, like arbitrary rate changes, applying payments in a way that maximizes...

Do Entrepreneurs Need a Boss?

Posted by: Amy Barrett on April 30

In reading the news about Bank of America shareholders voting to strip Ken Lewis of his chairmanship title I wondered whether small companies need to think about such things. In...

Will Credit Card Reform Abandon Small Business Owners?

Posted by: John Tozzi on April 29

Congress is scheduled to vote on the Credit Cardholders Bill of Rights Thursday, which would protect cardholders from some aggressive practices like two-cycle billing, applying payments in a way that...

Need Venture Capital? Drop the Phony Commando Act

Posted by: Colleen Debaise on April 28

Now here's an interesting tip that came from last week's NYC Entrepreneur week: If you're trying to impress a venture capitalist, don't pretend you're a Navy SEAL. Amish Jani, managing...

Swine Flu Prompts Contingency Planning

Posted by: Nick Leiber on April 28

Does your company have a plan in place if your employees want to work from home because of worries about swine flu? It's worth thinking about now, even though the...

When You're Ready to Find the Investor of Your Life

Posted by: Amy Choi on April 24

Not to beleaguer the point or anything, but relationships matter. It was true back in October 2007 - long before the crash, if anyone can even remember such a time...

The Softer Side of Male Entrepreneurs

Posted by: Colleen Debaise on April 24

I often attend events for women business owners - such as those sponsored by WBENC, NAWBO or Count Me In - and so it's unusual for me to walk into...

Are Incubators the Answer for Companies Looking for Funding?

Posted by: John Tozzi on April 22

When Rod Underhill co-founded music sharing site, he had venture capital calling him up before he even had office furniture. The company, which Underhill notes did not have a...

Business Struggling? Take a Bike Ride

Posted by: Nick Leiber on April 22

For months, we've been reporting on creative approaches small companies across the country are employing to offset slipping sales, from layoff alternatives to discounting techniques. Now Dancing Deer Baking...

Painting a Downturn

Posted by: Amy Choi on April 21

The recession looks different for every community, as we discovered when we went across the country to find out how small businesses were faring in different small towns across America....

Advice for Student Entrepreneurs

Posted by: John Tozzi on April 20

Some entrepreneurs who got their start during or shortly after college shared lessons learned this morning at a panel for New York Entrepreneur Week at NYU’s Stern School. My biggest...

Venture Capital Funding Disappearing -- Will It Come Back?

Posted by: John Tozzi on April 20

Venture capital investments dropped to the lowest level since 1997 in the first quarter, with just $3 billion invested, according to the MoneyTree report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and the National Venture...

Bedroom Startups

Posted by: Nick Leiber on April 17

Michelle Conlin wrote about startup founders living together to save cash in the wonderful BTW section of this week's magazine. We're reposting her piece here to make sure our blog...

Teaching Entrepreneurship

Posted by: John Tozzi on April 17

NFTE's top Global Entrepreneurs Photo by Margaret Fox The National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship held its annual awards ceremony last night in New York, an event that brought together...

Record Store Day Tomorrow

Posted by: John Tozzi on April 17

Tomorrow (April 18) is the second annual Record Store Day, a marketing campaign started by a coalition of indie music shops. Local shops are holding sales, hosting live bands, and...

A Promising Sign for Small Business Loans

Posted by: Kimberly Weisul on April 17

It seems that the secondary market for Small Business Administration-backed loans may actually be thawing out a bit. Banks that make SBA-backed loans have historically been able to sell the...

When a Junk-Loan Buyer Buys Your Loan

Posted by: Nick Leiber on April 17

What happens if your bank fails, your loan gets auctioned off by the FDIC, and a junk-loan buyer comes a-calling? There's a revealing story about this scary scenario in today's...

Marketing to People With Disabilities

Posted by: Colleen Debaise on April 17

This week I attended the Disability Matters Conference, the brainchild of Nadine Vogel, a former executive at MetLife who started her own company, Springboard Consulting, to advise companies on how...

Selling Used Stuff: A $9 Billion Market

Posted by: John Tozzi on April 16

Stores that sell used stuff -- second-hand clothes, old records, antiques, and other vintage items -- did $9 billion in business in 2007. That's according to numbers released today by...

Down and Out, But Not Without Perks

Posted by: Amy Choi on April 16

Most small business owners are probably more concerned with making sure to keep their own staff employed than offering perks to the legions of unemployed around them. But it might...

New York City Entrepreneurship Week Starts Next Week

Posted by: John Tozzi on April 15

Just a quick heads up to fellow New Yorkers: check out free panels and other events next week as part of New York City Entrepreneurship Week. Lots of VCs and...

Cuba: Open for Business?

Posted by: Jeremy Quittner on April 15

Cuba has been on lots of people's minds lately, particularly with President Obama's recent decision to lift parts of the decades-old embargo on the tiny island state. Small Biz has...

Presenting to an Angel Investor? Three Mistakes to Avoid

Posted by: Kimberly Weisul on April 14

When I asked to sit in on a screening meeting of the Tri-State Private Investors...I learned how to get angel investors to roll their eyes, chuckle, and throw their hands up in frustration. The mistakes entrepreneurs made in their presentations were sadly predictable.

How much do venture capitalists care about business plans?

Posted by: John Tozzi on April 13

Tim Berry of Palo Alto Software takes issue with a post at the WSJ's Independent Street about research that says VCs don't make funding decisions based on business plans. (Press...

Born in ... your cube?

Posted by: Amy Choi on April 13

Entrepreneurship is no stranger to college campuses, as pointed out in a Consumed column this weekend in The Gray Lady. Personalities from Rick Rubin to Mark Zuckerberg have hatched businesses...

New Orleans Business Plan Competition to Announce Winner

Posted by: John Tozzi on April 12

If you're in New Orleans on Saturday (April 18), check this out: 504ward, a group dedicated to keeping young and talented workers in New Orleans, is announcing the winner of...

Get your government contracting game on

Posted by: John Tozzi on April 10

Selling to the government can help any business, especially as private demand declines. That's what the stimulus plan is all about -- temporarily using public spending on infrastructure and other...

A Reality Show About Small-Biz Layoffs?

Posted by: Colleen Debaise on April 10

There's been a bit of buzz this week over Fox's controversial new reality TV show, Someone's Gotta Go, in which employees of struggling small businesses decide which of their co-workers...

If one door forecloses, does another open?

Posted by: Amy Choi on April 10

Without sounding like too much of a beast, I do believe there has to be some sort of silver lining in the foreclosure crisis. And I don't just mean for...

Small Business Lending Grows In Cleveland

Posted by: Colleen Debaise on April 09

KeyBank announced this week that it’s surpassed its goal of providing $2 billion in capital to women business owners – and it’s done that three years ahead of schedule, despite...

Tapping Investors' Retirement Cash to Fund Small Businesses

Posted by: John Tozzi on April 09

Would you put your retirement money into a start-up or other small private company? More people may be doing just that, as other retirement investments like stocks and bonds have...

A taste of social entrepreneurship

Posted by: Amy Choi on April 06

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to spend the day at Greyston Bakery to learn about their mission of providing jobs to the community of Yonkers, N.Y. The...

The Entrepreneurship Job

Posted by: John Tozzi on April 03

Another 663,000 jobs vanished in March, according to this morning's Labor Department release, with a staggering 5 million jobs lost in this recession. One consequence that we've written about is...

MySpacing your business

Posted by: Amy Choi on April 02

So the beta version of MySpace Local, a directory of local businesses, may be helpful for entrepreneurs who want to tap into the wealth of social networking opportunities online. It...

Bootcamp for New Orleans entrepreneurs

Posted by: John Tozzi on April 02

I'm late on this -- have had a crammed couple of weeks and thus the blogging drought -- but wanted to highlight an event out of New Orleans last week....

White House Town Hall a Bust for Some Entrepreneurs

Posted by: Jeremy Quittner on April 02

Franz Hofmeister, president and CEO of 70-person Quaker Bakery Brands, traveled all the way from Appleton, Wis., to attend President Obama's first Town Hall meeting on March 26 at the...

Recession hits everything. Even the funnies.

Posted by: Amy Choi on April 01

Brenda Starr, girl reporter, was laid off this weekend by her newsroom boss B. Babbitt Bottomline. She's not alone in her comic axed-ness — office cubicle mainstay Dilbert was fired...


What's it like to run your own company today? Entrepreneurs face multiple hurdles new and old, from raising capital and managing employees to keeping up with technology and competing in a global marketplace. In this blog, the Small Business channel's John Tozzi and Nick Leiber discuss the news, trends, and ideas that matter to small business owners. Follow them on Twitter @newentrepreneur.

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