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SBA offering assistance to businesses affected by harmful algae bloom - WLOXSBA offering assistance to businesses affected by harmful algae bloom - WLOXJovita Carranza Will Bring New Insights to SBA - ForbesSenate confirms Trump pick for small business chief | TheHill - The HillSBA offering assistance to businesses affected by harmful algae bloom - WLOXPosted: 17 Jan 2020 01:39 PM PST Working in coordination with the U.S. Small Business Administration and former Gov. Phil Bryant, Gov. Tate Reeves said low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans will be available for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses, and private nonprofit organizations. Jovita Carranza Will Bring New Insights to SBA - ForbesPosted: 11 Jan 2020 12:00 AM PST Jovita Carranza became the 36th head of the Small Business Administration (SBA) this week when the Senate confirmed her in a 88-5 vote to take over for acting administrator Chris Pilkerton, who was appointed after the depar…

16 Popular Small Business Ideas for Women Entrepreneurs - The Story Exchange

16 Popular Small Business Ideas for Women Entrepreneurs - The Story Exchange


16 Popular Small Business Ideas for Women Entrepreneurs - The Story Exchange

Posted: 01 May 2019 12:00 AM PDT

Thinking of starting up? There's no time like the present for women entrepreneurs - especially since it's officially National Small Business Month! (Credit: Alejandro Alvarez on Unsplash)

Thinking of starting up? There's no time like the present for women entrepreneurs – especially since it's officially National Small Business Month. (Credit: Alejandro Alvarez on Unsplash)

Women business owners are on the rise.

That's according to the 2018 State of Women-Owned Businesses report, which finds that female entrepreneurship has increased by an impressive 3,000 percent since 1972. And between 2017 and 2018, women started an average of of 1,821 new ventures per day.

What kind of businesses are all of these women starting? According to our own research effort, 1,000 Stories, personal and professional services — think dog walking, law and beauty — are frequent choices, as is selling goods online.

So, in honor of National Small Business Month, we've outlined some popular startup ideas with great growth potential. After all, there are ample reasons to start up — seeking work/life balance or financial stability, or wanting to be your own boss — and milestones to work toward, like expanding from a home-based business to having a brick-and-mortar location.

Whatever your reasons or goals, here are some industries you can look to launch in.

[Related: The Story Exchange's Advice & Tips on Choosing Entrepreneurship]

1. App Developing

Women are designing apps used by thousands that solve a range of problems — from booking beauty appointments, combating street harassment or safely chauffeuring children to addressing the isolation that new mothers or employees at large firms sometimes feel. Of course, starting up in a male-dominated industry like tech can be tricky for women — just ask Shaan Kandawalla, founder of educational app maker PlayDate Digital. But with a client list that includes brands like Play-Doh, My Little Pony and Transformers, she proves it's possible to find success all the same. Watch her statup video below.

2. Online Retail/Wholesale

The power of technology meets the desire to sell a physical product. We've spoken with women who run websites selling bras, high-end watches, eco-friendly clothing, baby supplies for parents of multiple children, and much more. And many of them are thriving doing so — especially in the case of immigrant entrepreneur Anna Metselitsa, a chance to thrive in a new country. She launched her online boutique, Haute Rogue, not long after arriving in the United States with just $300 in her pocket. Today, she sells thousands of garments each month.

3. Financial Services

Who doesn't need help with money? (Well, probably not you, if this is an industry you're considering). A number of female founders have built sturdy ventures helping artists, retirees, homeless people and more regain control of their finances. In particular, we have seen numerous business owners help their fellow women find financial clarity. Others, meanwhile, found success by looking to the future — like Kelly Peeler, whose fiscal education platform, NextGenVest, uses tech to teach Generation Z about the risks around student loans. Her firm was acquired by CommonBond, a tech company that uses data to lower education costs, proving just how in-demand a financial business can be.

4. Agriculture and Farming

For nature lovers, this could be the perfect startup area. Kristy Allen certainly made it work. Her business, The Beez Kneez, sells freshly made honey and teaches paid beekeeping classes to Minneapolis residents, and makes hundreds of thousands of dollars every year doing so. The Piggery's Heather Sandford is also thriving — her humane pig farm makes millions every year selling bacon, sausage and other pork products

5. Dog Walking and Pet Services

One word: puppies! If you're a dog lover, and wondered how you could turn that into a money-making venture, Becky O'Neil can show you the way. Becky's Pet Care is a multimillion-dollar venture that walks thousands of dogs every month. It also boasts several locations. Despite the parade of cute dogs, the business is hard work. But "it's absolutely a wonderful way to change your life," O'Neil says. (Note: You can also cater to (wo)man's best friend in other ways, like, selling all-natural dog food or offering grooming services.)

6. Cooking, Catering and Restaurant Management

Like tech, the food industry can be tough for women to navigate — just ask chefs Jody Adams and Ana Sortun. They run successful Boston-area eateries, but had to rise up through sexist work atmospheres. But if you have a knack for cooking, or baking, you can turn that idea into a profitable venture. Just turn your best pound cake, health food, quiche or truffle recipe — or whatever else you can whip up — into a product to sell. (You can also turn your love of food into an app, if that's more your speed.)

7. Marketing and Public Relations

Have a way with words, and people? Put it to good use! There are plenty of businesses that could use your services to get the word out to customers. Whether you're a storyteller, a video producer, or a true visionary, people need their narratives told and their products sold. Why not be the one to help them out?

8. Photography

Capturing a place or moment in time is a unique — and potentially profitable — skill. Photographers can build studios that document weddings, vacations and growing families for clients eager to remember those moments with beautiful imagery. Or, you can think outside the box like Maureen Erokwu. Her Google-backed business, Vosmap, takes pictures of businesses so that their prospective customers know what they look like before arriving.

[Related: What's the Best Small Business to Start, If You're Just 1 Person?]

9. Law Firm

When a person needs legal assistance, trust is paramount. So if you are an experienced, savvy lawyer looking to set out on your own, opportunity awaits. Whether your concentration is immigration, entertainment, maternity or conflict resolution, there are opportunities to turn your legal mind into profits. (And if you're a lawyer looking to shift gears while starting up, that can work out, too!)

10. Life Coaching

Are you the person people turn to for advice? Why not turn that clarity of thought and ability to guide others into a business? Plenty of women have. Whether you're best suited to counsel clients on their careers, health, businesses or mental well-being, there are opportunities to start and grow a venture based on your talents.

11. Beauty

This is a booming industry, with lots of ways to break in. Whether you start an app like Melody McClosky of salon-booking app StyleSeat, craft skincare product like Daisy Jing of Banish and Funlayo Alabi of Shea Radiance, sell perfumes like Carina Chaz of DedCool, or do hair and makeup for special events like Takia Ross of Accessmatized, you can find a lovely future for yourself in this sector.

12. Human Resources/Staffing

If you have a contacts list a mile long and a knack for making connections, you should consider starting up in this space. Kristine Jones did, and now her firm, New England Flagger Services receives government contracts for the safety staff she trains. Nina Vaca, meanwhile, has made a billion-dollar business out of tech staffing firm, Pinnacle Group. And it's not just money you can make — Dr. Uma Gautam's female executive headhunting firm, HeadPro Consulting, is also making a difference for women's representation in India's c-suites.

13. Medicine and Health

What's more important than one's health? Creating a business in this space requires expertise, to be sure. But if you have it, consider following in the footsteps of women like Future Family's Claire Tomkins, Pandia Health's Dr. Sophia Yen, Neurocern's Dr. Anitha Rao, or Whole Women's Health's Amy Hagstrom Miller. Each found creative ways to assist people with complications surrounding infertility, birth control and abortion access, and dementia. Grit's Tish Scolnik also found her calling in health, putting her engineering skills to use to design "the mountain bike of wheelchairs."

14. Comedy

If you believe laughter to be the best medicine, owning a comedy club could be for you. Amanda Austin and Caroline Hirsch have made livelihoods out of it, and their spots — the Dallas Comedy House and Carolines on Broadway, respectively — are now storied institutions in their respective cities. It can be a tough road for a female founder to travel, but these two women entrepreneurs prove it's possible to succeed all the same.

15. Educational Products

An education is a powerful thing. Stacy Ratner's social enterprise, Open Books Ltd., has turned her understanding of this fact into a firm that improves literacy rates among Chicago children. She's not the only one finding success in teaching others, either — Xiaoning Wang of ChinaSprout, Tiffany Ard of Nerdy Baby, and Supriya Hobbs and Janna Eaves of Miss Possible thrive by teaching culture, science and history through their products. And it's not just for kids. Rita Robert Otu of Beau Haven Farms is helping rural women in Nigeria by teaching them how to work the land.

[Related: Relax, a Business Plan Isn't That Hard. Here's How to Write One in 7 Steps]

16. Eco-Friendly Products and Services

There are many great ways to go green in business. We recently reflected on some of our favorite environmentally friendly women-owned ventures for Earth Day, with founders like Lynn Julian and Chance Claxton of U Konserve and Ann and Jenny Siner of My Sister's Closet making the list. There are also services you can provide in this space, like Traci Phillips of Natural Evolution, who is hard at work tackling our collective e-waste mess.

Creating connections is crucial for small business | UNR Business - Reno Gazette Journal

Posted: 12 Aug 2019 08:00 AM PDT

Brad Scribner Published 8:00 a.m. PT Aug. 12, 2019

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Time that isn't well spent is wasted. Entrepreneurs, get an assistant so you can spend more time working on your passion and your small business. USA TODAY

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In any business environment, making connections and expanding outreach can have a massive impact on your company's bottom line. Along with increased market visibility, networking can bring opportunities to develop relationships with like-minded business owners and build a sense of camaraderie that can help sustain an entrepreneur through their darkest hours. If you've ever found yourself needing a resource, a new employee or just a fresh perspective, networking can connect you to those with answers.

"Small businesses need to continually think about connecting with people," said Pasquale Iovinella, founder of Pasquale Iovinella Neckties. "Networking is not only important for growing a customer base, but it is also important for small business owners to have a place to relate with other entrepreneurs and talk about all aspects of running a business. Networking can help you brainstorm new ideas, work through challenges, do market research and more."

When it comes to building your professional network, there are two main strategies to employ: one-on-one conversations or one-to-many engagement opportunities.

More: Online? On-site? Both are important for small business! | UNR Business

One-to-one connections

There is validity to the idea that great business ideas are discussed over a million cups of coffee. A series of individual conversations with potential customers, partners, investors and other entrepreneurs can help any business owner grow their business. These connections can start anywhere, from an introduction at a traditional networking event to a referral from a friend of a friend's neighbor. The more individual conversations you have, the more opportunities will present themselves. Everyone you talk to about your business will have insight or introductions to share, which leads to more conversations, more connections and ultimately, more success. While talking about your business is great, building genuine relationships is all about listening. Listening leads to understanding and that's when mutually beneficial opportunities begin to appear.

"Business is really all about making connections and maintaining those relationships," said Sarah Klagenberg, marketing coordinator for Davidson's Organic Tea.

More: Passing the baton in the small business world

One-to-many opportunities

In addition to engaging at an individual level, business owners also should seek out opportunities to engage with groups of like-minded people. Participating in industry associations or business memberships can yield many benefits, such as access to industry data and reports, introductions to potential partners or suppliers, and generally, it can add credibility or legitimacy to your business among other industry professionals. Associating your brand with others in the same industry or geography can open many doors, as it exposes your company to many people you might not have reached — or reached as easily — otherwise.

In addition, there are many other membership opportunities to consider. One example is the statewide marketing cooperative, Made in Nevada, which facilitates and emphasizes connections between Nevada businesses. Through digital marketing and introductions, as well as events like the quarterly BizBash and annual Showcase Nevada, Made in Nevada offers businesses the chance to showcase their product and connect with other business owners around the state.

No matter your business size, scale or sector, creating connections and alliances is crucial to business success. Whether those ties are as small as one impactful conversation or as large as an ongoing partnership, business success is built on connection. Collaborating makes all involved more empowered than they would be individually.

For help growing your network through introductions or association memberships, contact the Nevada Small Business Development Center (www.nevadasbdc.org) to set up an appointment.

Brad Scribner is the project manager for Made in Nevada. When he's not helping Nevada businesses connect with each other through events and programs, he enjoys connecting with friends and businesses one-on-one, usually at a local pub.

Read or Share this story: https://www.rgj.com/story/news/money/business/2019/08/12/creating-connections-crucial-small-business-unr-business/1971721001/

Small Business Center Helps Entrepreneurs Determine Steps For Expansion - Long Beach Business Journal - Long Beach News

Posted: 12 Aug 2019 05:11 AM PDT

For aspiring entrepreneurs who are interested in starting a business but have no clear path on how to get started, the Long Beach Small Business Development Center (SBDC) aims to serve as a roadmap.

Hosted by Long Beach City College at 4900 E. Conant St., the SBDC is a product of the Small Business Administration (SBA), a United States government agency that provides support to small businesses. Offering services at no cost, the SBDC offers one-on-one consultations with specialists and hosts workshops to inform clients about growing their business. "We help clients understand how to prioritize what they should be doing so it doesn't become this massive exercise in trying to do this and trying to do that," Brad Pollock, director of the Long Beach SBDC, said.

Long Beach Small Business Development Center Director Brad Pollock
Brad Pollock, director of the Long Beach Small Business Development Center, said the center assists entrepreneurs with one-on-one advising. The no-cost center also offers specialized workshops throughout the region. (Photograph by Brandon Richardson)

In the event that someone is thinking of starting a business, Pollock often recommends attending SBDC workshops before meeting an advisor. He said most individuals who have thought of a business concept and attend the workshops realize they need to do more research or flesh out their ideas further. "They offer tremendously helpful information, all of which is thought provoking and allows people, we hope, to be able to make the right decisions," Pollock said.

The SBDC workshops include topics entitled "Starting A Small Business" and "Creating An Effective Business Plan." Hosted either onsite or at community centers throughout the county, the workshops are intended to deliver information such as start-up expenses and financing, outlining a business plan and expanding business ideas. The workshops are free. A full schedule is available at longbeachsbdc.org/workshops.

Seyed Jalali, City of Long Beach economic development officer, said the SBDC is part of the economic development operations of LBCC, which has served as the host of the center since 2006. As the center's legal entity, LBCC enters agreements or contracts and assumes the legal obligations of the SBDC.

The Long Beach SBDC is part of the Los Angeles Regional SBDC Network, which assists small business owners throughout Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. As such, the SBDC serves around 17 cities in the region with a team of about 12 advisors, Pollock said. According to the SBA, there are 64 SBDCs in the country.

Per a contractual agreement with the city, the SBDC receives $115,000 a year through a Community Development Block Grant to provide services at the site, according to Jalali.

Jalali said the city's economic development department and the SBDC work closely together to refer clients to one another. He added that the SBDC is a crucial ally in referring clients to the city's loan programs, for instance. "They are really the primary provider of technical assistance for the entrepreneurs who subsequently find their way to the city for access to capital," he said. "We heavily rely on partners, such as the SBDC, to provide that basic and fundamental training for our clients."

Two local businesses that have benefited from SBDC services over the years are WonderTent Parties and On Stage Music Academy.

Trish Healy is owner of the Los Angeles-based WonderTent Parties, a sleepover and special event company that serves kids and adults. After attending two workshops, Healy said she was assigned SBDC's Mike Huntley as an advisor. Huntley helped structure the mission of her business before she officially launched it in 2017. To this day, he still provides ongoing consultations with Healy about her business. "[The advisors] treat you like they [are] going to support you," she said. "No question was too silly. . . . He was really thoughtful, responsive and he just knew his stuff."

On Stage Music Academy, located at 2221 Palo Verde Ave. in Long Beach, was launched by owner Bill McRae in 2014. The academy provides music instruction, such as instrumental and voice lessons in private and group settings. McRae, who approached the SBDC a year before opening the academy, said the center was a significant part in determining if the business should launch. "We picked up a few things here and there [through workshops], but mostly their individual help is what kicked us forward," he said. "Having their expertise helped me move much quicker . . . as opposed to me doubting [the concept] and probably not doing it at that point."

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