All Articles Tagged "business development"
A new inner-city initiative hopes to push growth in these poor areas to new heights.The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), a nonprofit research and strategy organization, announced a strategic alliance with Next Street, which provides funding and other financial services for urban enterprise, to accelerate economic development in low-income areas of U.S. cities.
ICIC claims the initiative will bring job growth. The ICIC is focused on digging into the unique dynamics of inner cities, and though there’s much to learn, the organization says much has already been gained.
“We increasingly know what works in inner city economic and business development. The challenge is implementation and scale across the country. We need to bring nonprofits and for-profits together to drive results,” said ICIC founder, Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter, at the recent Inner City Economic Summit.
The two entities have worked together in the past. ICIC research helped Boston and Detroit better support new small business growth in their food industry clusters, with Next Street offering financial resources. ICIC and Next Street expect the new alliance to be up and running by January 1, 2013.
Interestingly, deeper expert analysis of the 2011 U.S. Census found some economic growth in American inner cities. Young professionals are not moving out of the cities to the suburbs with as much frequency, reports the Telegraph newspaper in the UK. The paper attributes the trend to “young adults staying in inner cities rather than buying a house as they seek a foothold in the weak job market.” It’s likely that the trend is a temporary one.
Because younger people are staying in the cities, closer to potential employment, businesses and developers are targeting young people. However, these flickers of growing fortune need to spread farther, wider and deeper into pockets of the nation’s cities.
Just like the inspirations behind Jade Gedeon’s handmade We Dream in Colour jewelry line, getting the business in gear came together on a whim. What started out as school project quickly blossomed into an accessories operation that at times became too much to handle. Graduating from Pratt Institute in 2004, Gedeon’s studies in industrial design turned out to be more beneficial than expected.
“I made some horrible stuff,” Gedeon said searching to remember the first piece of jewelry she ever created. “I used a lot of recycled weird material and Shrinky Dink plastic kits; they were these huge sheets that you could put in the oven and they would shrink down three-fourths the size. I did lots of illustrations on plastic. [My first pieces of jewelry] were almost like wearing drawings.”
After finding her niche in natural, rustic styles, Gedeon soon began making jewelry — earrings, bracelets and necklaces for herself then perfecting pieces for friends and family. Teaming up with her roommate who designed jewelry using clay and glass, Gedeon officially launched a joint website in 2002.
“She was really the driving factor in turning it into a business. She said, ‘Let’s put up a website and try to push [our lines] a little bit more,’” said Gedeon.
“It’s grown in a very organic way. Until recently I had never looked for press or stories. Things have just come to me in a manageable form and I took it from there,” she continues.
Used correctly, Linkedin can serve as the catalyst that initiates the transition to the next phase of your career. The free members-only service (there is a premium version too) can eliminate the barriers that stand between you, prospective employers, colleagues, clients and mentors. But a good Linkedin connection begins with the invitation.
After you’ve identified someone that you’d like to connect with, avoid the impulse to use the default invitation language and tailor your note to the type of connection that you seek.
On the next few pages, you will find customized examples of Linkedin invites for six different scenarios. Feel free to add additional suggestions or best practices in the comment section.
What to write when…
…you want to connect with a former boss or colleague
We worked together at [COMPANY NAME] in [DATE/YEAR] and I would like to reconnect with you. I currently work at [COMPANY NAME] and think there may be an opportunity to collaborate at some point in the future. I’d love to catch up with you sometime. Please let me know when your schedule permits.
I recently learned about PinkBoss through one of their former clients who had nothing but rave reviews for them, and I’m a fan of anything that encourages entrepreneurship. Their mission is to empower women to become economically self-sufficient through entrepreneurship, and they can help take your business idea or startup business to the next level while also providing tools and services to manage the business once it’s up and running. They’ve also got a great free resources section on their website to help prospective entrepreneurs get started.
A self-proclaimed “multi-entrepreneur,” Parker balances family and entrepreneurship with flare and a style all her own. Garnering the attention of aspiring female business owners, Parker, along with her husband, created PinkBoss, Inc, a one-stop business boutique for women in need of that extra push of support from branding and marketing to website development.
Her mission and purpose is to empower women to use their passion and skills to generate income that will allow them the flexibility to do what they love every day. Parker has taught several entrepreneurship workshops and is currently teaching her first curriculum, “The Pink Princess Guide to Entrepreneurship,” in the metro Atlanta area. She credits her success to community involvement, which landed her the opportunity to facilitate the Black Enterprise Youth Entrepreneur Conference in both 2010 and 2011.
TB: What was the inspiration behind starting ThePinkBoss?
VP: I started PinkBoss, Inc because I wanted to become a resource for female entrepreneurs that offered business services as well as consulting.
TB: How many partners and employees do you currently have?
VP: I currently have 3 employees and I am launching my Internpreneur Program and hope to have 5 interns by February 1. Our Internpreneur Program is a 4 month internship with PinkBoss, Inc offering 12 weeks of business development and compensation of over $5,000 in business start up services to assist them with their business ventures after the completion of our program.
TB: What is your ideal client profile in terms of the type and stage of business they’re in and background of the founder(s) (for example, first time entrepreneurs with a corporate background starting service businesses)?
VP: My ideal client is a woman that has a business venture in mind but needs that extra push to take the next step. She is lacks the resources and direction to achieve her goals and we are able to assist her through consulting and business services.
TB: What is your best client success story?
VP: One of my clients was on the fence about starting her business. She has a great job but was not happy with her daily routine. After a few weeks of accountability meetings I was able to assist her with a strategic plan in starting her event planning business while still working her full time job. She recently called me in tears because she is booked for the next two months and thankful that PinkBoss, Inc helped her jump start her business idea.
TB: What’s your favorite business-related mobile app?
VP: I have two Evernote and Square. Evernote allows me to capture my thoughts, notes articles and more and sync on my iPad, iPhone and desktop. Square allows me to obtain payments while out of the office and at vendor events. It has increase my sales by 20% in only a few months.
TB: What are your favorite business-related web services (e.g. mailchimp, wordpress, wufoo, etc.)?
- Jotform ~ Allows me to create web forms instantly
- Mailchimp ~ Auto responder, list management and email marketing in one. I use this service often
- Hootesuite ~ Monitors my various social media platforms and allows me to schedule my team to assist in scheduling social media content
- Safe Sync ~ Service backs up files on my computer and allows me access to files remotely
- CRM Zoho ~ Keep track of resources, potential clients and campaign conversions.
- Google Analytics ~ Best kept secret of small business owners. Allows me to monitor the visitors to my website and create marketing strategies based on reports.
TB: What sets your company apart from other biz dev service providers?
VP: Our focus is on the advancement of female entrepreneurs. We offer business consulting services as well as business and brand development services all things needed to create a sustainable business.
(Crain’s) — The city announced Monday that United American Land has been selected to redevelop a portion of the Brooklyn Municipal Building in an ongoing effort to revive downtown Brooklyn and again make it into a thriving retail district. Much of the bottom three floors of the 13-story property, located at 210 Joralemon St., at the corner of Court Street, will be transformed into a retail complex, with a number of stores and at least one full-service restaurant.
(Wall Street Journal) — A Bloomberg administration initiative intended to help minority- and women-owned companies secure more public contracts has steered little money to black-owned firms, according to city data. In the last year and a half, about three-quarters of city dollars paid to contractors participating in the program went to companies owned by either Asian Americans or white women. Businesses run by Latinos received 15% of that pool of money. The smallest share, 7%, went to black-run firms. ”It’s a shockingly paltry amount,” said city Comptroller John Liu, a first-term Democrat. The program has been a magnet for criticism since Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the City Council approved a law in 2005 that set voluntary goals for awarding a certain percentage of contracts to businesses registered as owned by minorities or women.
(Charlotte Observer) — Ferguson, 68, is heading a new coalition of businesspeople to do what he’s done for the past four decades: spearhead a cause. This time around, his focus is the Democratic National Convention – and economic inclusion for minorities when millions of dollars come to Charlotte. ”This is another aspect of what we’ve been fighting for all along,” Ferguson said in an interview. “The economic frontier of the civil rights movement may be the final frontier.” To that end, his fledgling Carolina Regional Minority Partnership Coalition has begun to mobilize to get convention organizers to hire local minority-owned businesses for services, supplies and support. While members concede that a lot of their success will come down to good timing, having Ferguson’s name attached to their efforts certainly doesn’t hurt.
(AJC) — For decades, boosters in Atlanta have touted it as “the next great international city.” Metro Atlanta has made significant strides, but anyone who has been to New York, London or Paris knows that substantial work lies ahead. But there is good news: Georgia may be on a path to a notable status, that of a “global hub.” What does this mean? The great Japanese strategist, Kenichi Ohmae, argued that in the 21st-century global economy, national economies matter less; instead, the relevant units are what he terms “region-states.” According to Ohmae, a region-state can be part of one nation or even span parts of nations (e.g. a Vancouver-Seattle region).
(Businessweek) – Confirmation bias: Rather than being purely rational actors, research shows that individuals often unknowingly fall into gaps in their reasoning, McPherson says. One of the strongest is confirmation bias, the tendency to favor data that confirms our preconceptions or hypotheses. “In business, teams have to fight the temptation to take new information and see it as fitting into certain sets of facts,” he says. When choosing which companies to work with and fund, Idealab is not afraid of entrepreneurs who have experienced failures in the past. Success after success is wonderful, but often it leads to confirmation bias that a lucky chief executive officer with good timing is a golden leader who can do no wrong, McPherson says. “Adversity is a crucible that tempers people. We have one CEO who has threatened to quit multiple times during a difficult startup. He came from a big company and never had to handle adversity. With a successful CEO, you want to know whether they just rode the escalator up or ran up it faster than it would otherwise have gone.”
(Baltimore Sun) — Wading through swamps and running up mountains taught Patrick McCormack more than how to survive punishing conditions without much food or sleep. His grueling Army Ranger training, along with several deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, taught the Ellicott City native important business lessons as well. ”It takes a lot of discipline to run your own company,” said McCormack, 29, who owns custom drum maker MapleWorks Drum Co. in Millersville. “You don’t make it through [Ranger] school unless you have the drive and motivation to do what you have to when someone is not watching over you.” McCormack, a member of the elite Ranger corps from 2000 to 2007, recently began promoting his veteran-owner status in online business directories and on the company’s website.