Tag Archives: Business resources for women

6 Top Free Business Name Generators!!!

26 Dec

Are you having trouble coming up with a business name?. There are many free online tools to help people just like you.

Here are 6 of the top Business Name Generators.

WORDLAB
Wordlab’s uniqueness is that it provides industry based business name generators. It has more than half a dozen different generators like Team Name Generator, Restaurant Name Generator, Band Name Generator, etc. It also provides a separate domain name availability checker.

NAMESTATION
NameStation is a great tool if you are looking for a business name along with a domain. NameStation return business name ideas along with the domain availability status. It uses keyword lists, brainstorming, dictionaries, etc. to create random names based on your input.It has features like adding prefixes and suffixes, setting minimum and maximum length and combining keywords with many preset categorized wordlists like random adjectives, random nouns, medicine, music, technical, etc. It also has features to include synonyms and custom wordlists.

DOTOMATOR
Use Dot-o-Mator to generate business and domain name suggestions. Enter one or more words, and then choose some prefixes or suffixes (you can also add your own). Click COMBINE to get the results. You can save all the creative business names you like to a scratch board and check availability of related domain names.

COMPANY NAME GENERATOR
Company Name Generator is one of the most advanced free online business name generators. You can customize the generator by selecting patterns of vowels and consonants you wish to have. You can also select a wordlist for prefixes and suffixes. Although this service does not provide domain name availability checker it can provide valuable new business name suggestions.

BUST A NAME
Bust a Name is a complete domain name researcher and generator. You enter a few keywords, set options like domain extensions, prefixes, suffixes, hyphen, etc. and hit ADD. You can then sort, search, save and review related domains names. This is one of the top name generators if you are looking for a business name for an online venture.

WRITE EXPRESS
Write Express helps name businesses, products and websites. You start by entering a word or syllable that is associated to your business. You then choose a wordlist, number of desired syllables and a few more options and hit FIND NAMES. This is an easy to use tool and can help you find a business name from dozens of potential names in quick time.

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5 Hot Industries to Start a Business in 2012

18 Dec
English: A business centre in Plovdiv

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EMPLOYMENT SERVICES
Today’s business environment is hyper-competitive and constantly in flux. To increase response time, companies have turned to temporary employees, in an effort to stay productive while managing overhead. This trend is projected to continue through 2012, pushing up the employment rate in this sector by 54%. Interestingly, employment services will be a major player in the home healthcare industry, the sixth best industry to start and grow a business, according to our survey. Hospitals and other medical facilities will rely heavily on temporary workers to meet the needs of the aging baby boomers. All told, between now and 2012, the sector should see a healthy output rate of 5.1% each year.

CONSULTING
As the economy expands and the nature of business becomes more complex, the demand for consultants increases, which helps explain the huge 55% job growth expectation for this industry, as well as a healthy 4.1% per year rate of output through 2012.Business consultants are projected to do well, based on the increasing number of businesses that will need help drafting business plans, budgets, and international strategies. Businesses also will continue to need consultants specializing in government compliance to help navigate the federal government’s sea of regulations.

HOME HEALTHCARE
While employment in the health service industry is projected to grow 28% by 2012, employment in the specialized home health care industry is expected to be nearly twice that, or 54.5%. Each year, over 7.6 million people are provided with home health care services. There are two reasons for this growth: demographics and medical advancements. In demographic terms, the number of people in older age groups is growing faster than the total population because of the post-war baby boom followed by a drop in the birthrate of American woman. Secondly, advancements in medical technologies have extended the lives of the very ill and the very old. The combination of these two factors means that the need for home healthcare and nursing and residential care will grow.

CHILD CARE
When women started pouring into the workforce 30 years ago, a new industry was created: childcare. The child day care service industry has become one of the fastest-growing businesses in the U.S. It takes in more than $11 billion annually, and it’s projected to get bigger, thanks to an expected increase in the number of woman between the ages of 15 and 44 entering the workforce. With the 40-hour work creeping upwards, parents will need more childcare services, particularly later into the evening and on weekends. For these reasons, the number of persons working in childcare is expected to grow 43% by 2012.

ENTERTAINMENT
The baby boomers are going to be the richest retirees in our nation’s history. So what are they going to do with their cash? Spend it, of course. With plenty of time and a penchant for enjoying life, the baby boomers are expected to drive the arts and entertainment sector, which is projected to increase in employment by 31.3% over the next decade.The arts, entertainment and recreation sector, which includes anything from golf courses to casinos, will also benefit from a younger clientele. Over the last decade, the saving rate among Americans has fallen, partly because of an increase in the cost of living, but also because of increase spending on discretionary items. This trend, coupled with the demand from baby boomers, provides entrepreneurs with many business opportunities.

For more information visit Inc.com





9 Crowdfunding Websites for Entrepreneurs and Artists

16 Aug

Here are 9 alternative sources of funding for entrepreneurs and artists who are trying to raise capital for their startup or project.

MicroVentures

Also described as peer-to-peer lending, MicroVentures works with investors as well as with those who need money to get a certain project off the ground. According to their website, MicroVentures works with small companies and businesses in variety of areas:
Biotechnology
Business Products and Services
Computers and Peripherals
Consumer Products and Services
Education

Environment
Electronics
Financial Services
Healthcare Services
Internet Technology
IT Services
Media and Entertainment
Medical Devices and Equipment
Other
Retail/Distribution
Semiconductors
Software
Telecommunications
These companies pay $100 to MicroVentures and then send their business plan to the site for approval. Once approved, this idea will be posted on the website for serious investors to consider.

Kickstarter

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding site that is getting a lot of attention these days. With creative people posting new projects that need funding every day, this site is a place where the bohemian idea can turn into a viable possibility. The process is simple and a person can setup their Kickstarter project in just a few hours. A person posts their project details and creates a funding goal. During a certain period of time, investors and individuals are able to contribute so that the project meets or exceeds that goal. The project will only get the funding if the goal is met.
When the project creator reaches their goal, Kickstarter takes 5% of the monies for their service.

Quirky

If you’re a designer who needs to have financial support, Quirky is a crowdfunding site that supports your creative and inventive needs. The most valuable part of Quirky is the feedback you can receive for your project idea. For a $10 fee, you can post your idea and then see what others think about it. This allows you to create a product or service that is going to meet your market needs, increasing your chances of success. Once you have received feedback, then Quirky will decide whether or not they want to make the product. If they do, then you get paid. With the community vibe, Quirky is more of a progressive site than a straightforward investment site.

RocketHub

At RocketHub, you will find there are two audiences this crowdfunding site helps: Fuelers and Creatives. Fuelers are the ones who invest in the projects that the Creatives post. Unlike Kickstarter, there is more interaction on the RocketHub site, with plenty of resources for those who want to refine their idea before or after they post it on the site. Users can earn rewards or badges on the site in order to promote each other.
On RocketHub, there is a flat rate of 8% for Creatives who receive investments from Fuelers.

Pozible

When you look at Pozible, you will notice this is another crowdfunding site that offers many of the same tools as other sites already listed. What users will want to keep in mind is that local projects that are not based in Australia may not be as well received on this Australian website. Like other sites, companies and individuals will post their projects on the site and then investors will decide whether to invest in the projects or not.

Fees for using Pozible include 2.4% for PayPal transactions, 5% for invitees, and 7.5% for everyday users.

IndieGogo

With IndieGogo, you’ll find a creative crowdfunding site that’s interested in everything from performing arts to gaming ideas. Since one of the partnerships with IndieGogo is MTV, this is a valuable resource for those who want to break into the music and entertainment industry, but need the funding to get started with their unique idea. Like Kickstarter and others, you will need to meet your funding request before you can receive the funds. What sets IndieGogo apart is its use of pre-sales and rewards, which can create buzz for a project, even before it is funded and ready for the public eye.

CoFundos

If you’re interested in creating an open source software project, then CoFundos is the right crowdfunding site for you. Here, developers can post their open source software ideas, get feedback, and then request funds to continue to develop the project. You can post an idea and developers can agree to make your idea into a real program. While funding is not the only source of assistance on this site, donations are expected from those who decide to bid on a project idea.

Fans Next Door

Fans Next Door is a crowdfunding site that accepts all types of creative projects:
Visual arts
Performances
Fashion
Video games
Design
Music
Crafts

Here, posters will post their ideas and then investors will come along and help fund the idea. Since there is a reward system in place, investors are compelled to invest more as they will get more for their investment when they do. And the biggest plus of this European (beta) site is that there are no additional fees outside of the PayPal processing fees.

Crowdfunding is a new way to make sure that smaller companies and artists get the funding they need. By spreading out the investors, funding isn’t as difficult to achieve, but success is.

ProFounder

Profounder operates on the basis that inside everyone’s social circle both online and offline – there are people who are willing to support your dream. Each of those people potentially becomes an investor in your company, and equity is split amongst them. Profounder gives you the tools to raise the capital that you need, and the tools to manage all of the associated book-keeping, legals and compliance fillings. Right now, the site is still very much in alpha status, with registrations due to open in the Autumn. Still you can sign up for status as an ‘alpha entreupreneur’ if you want to start earlier than that, and are serious about using the system.

6 Capital Funding Sources for Minority Businesses

19 Jun
pepto pink office

Image by coco+kelley via Flickr

From our friends at  Inc.com.
Here are six  funding sources worth investigating.

1. Individual Development Accounts (IDAs)

These are grants with strings attached. The way it works is that IDAs are savings accounts that match the deposits of individuals with modest financial means. For every dollar saved in an IDA, savers receive a corresponding match. Savers agree to complete financial education classes and use their savings for an asset-building purpose such as to capitalize a business. There is no limitation on how long you can be in business but there income requirements which vary by county. Typically revenues for business owners fall under $50,000. In addition to earning matching dollars, savers learn about budgeting and receive additional training before purchasing an asset. For example, programs in Oregon let participants save $3,000 and the agency can match them with $9,000, allowing them to use a combined total of $12,000 towards building their business and without having to repay the funds. For more info, review the IDA directory.

2. Capital Assistance

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) recently announced $7.8 million in funding for 27 MBDA Business Centers (MBCs). These centers help minority firms with access to markets, contracts, capital and other strategic business consulting services. MBCs interface directly with minority business owners and managers at the local level. Whether it’s securing working capital from a lender, applying for an SBA loan, or responding to a grant proposal, MBCs help business owners prepare a funding package. Last year, MBCs helped their clients gain access to more than $800 million in financial packages, including working capital, equity investments, and bonding.

 
3. Forgivable Loans

This type of a loan is made with the understanding that if the borrower meets certain requirements, repayment of the loan will not be required. A forgivable loan is actually a grant, says Ough, “because if you do everything right you don’t have to pay the money back.” A stipulation may be that you are required to hire and train employees, Ough explains. She cites for example a particular forgivable loan program that allowed recipients to hire up to five employees. “For every employee you hired you were given $5,000 for each. So, you had up to $25,000 you could use for anything related to supporting the growth of your business.” As a growing business, you are going to be hiring employees anyway. This program gives you an incentive to do so, adds Ough. The Regional Investment Board manages lottery funds in Oregon which are used for economic development purposes. These monies are available to entities in the form of grants or loans to support projects that will create jobs in the region. Just as well, you may be able to take advantage of other state loans programs and loan guarantees.

4. Micro Loans

Poor credit history is a barrier for many entrepreneurs seeking traditional financing. “If you have not positioned your personal credit such that a bank will find you to be a strong enough credit risk, they won’t lend to you,” says Jennifer Spaziano, vice president of business development at ACCION USA, a microfinance institution that lends to 48 states across the U.S., providing loans to upstarts, especially women and minority businesses. ACCION New York is one of hundreds of regional and national nonprofit groups that make micro loans from as little as $500 up to $35,000. Many of these groups are funded by The U.S. Small Business Administration. Cities like San Francisco and New York City have expanded or introduced their own microfinance programs. Each organization has its own lending requirements. ACCION USA has provided over $119 million in over 19,000 micro loans since inception in 1991. To learn more, visit the Association for Enterprise Opportunity’s website.

5. SBIR Grants

There is a lot of talk and excitement around technology, particularly coming from the Obama Administration. Review the possibility of obtaining a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant or Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) funding. You might not be in a position to go after venture capital, yet you may need initial funding for early stage research and development, says Ough. For instance, “we are working with a client who has developed a new process for providing a better educational tool for kids with autism. We pulled out an application to apply for the grant through the National Institute for Health.” The SBIR program was established by Congress in 1982 as a means of stimulating innovation with more than $ 2.2 billion dollars set aside annually with first phase funding of up to $100,000. Phase two is a $750,000 award. The SBIR/STTR program reaches out to socially and economically disadvantaged firms. The participation rate of minority- and women-owned firms in SBIR/STTR just within the Department of Defense is roughly 21 percent. Two sites to check out are Zny and SBIR.gov.

6. New Market Tax Credit

For companies looking for commercial ownership or to own their own facility, Ough suggests exploring new market tax credits. This federal program is administered by the U.S. Department of Treasury Community Development Financial Institutions Fund. Designed to provide investments to projects and businesses in low-income communities, the program has expanded to include investments in minority business. NMTC permits taxpaying investors to receive a credit against their federal income tax liability for making qualified equity investments in designated Community Development Entities (CDEs). The credit is spread over seven years, amounting to roughly 39 percent of the investment made in a qualified entity. Many states have passed a tax credit for minority business. The provisions and limitations of these credits vary from state to state. Many of them resemble the New Market Tax credit and give tax credits against state income tax to investments that are used to support minority building projects or encourage minority business ownership, which includes women-owned businesses. However, these credits are extremely tough to get and are highly competitive.

In addition, contact your National Chamber of Commerce. There are a number of national chambers of commerce specific to women and minority sectors that offer access to funding sources, including the National Women’s Chamber of Commerce, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the National Black Chamber of Commerce and the Native American Chamber of Commerce.

“To find all the funding sources available in your community, you need to become a great connector so that you get familiar with all the programs available for starting and growing your business,” says Ough. “If that’s not possible, then the next best thing is to find those connectors that can guide you.” Connectors are the top ten businesses, organizations or key players in your community that you get referred to when you are trying to find resources and funding for your specific business.

Start your own e-commerce business in minutes with Shopify!

10 Jun
Shopify

Image via Wikipedia

Want to own your own online store?

Etsy is cool and so is Ebay but have you heard of Shopify?

Shopify is the most elegant, customizable and affordable hosted e-commerce platform available. It allows you to set up an incredible  online store in minutes, and you can sell just about anything. You can easily organize your products, customize your storefront, use your own domain, accept credit card payments, track and respond to orders, and they host it all for you. Even if you already have a physical storefront, your online shop is open 24/7, open for business to the entire world. Imagine the increased opportunities and revenue you can earn by broadening your business, and do it with just a few clicks.

Shopify is extremely easy to use. You don’t need a web designer, developer, or technical expertise to get your site up and running, and managing it is a breeze. Simply select a Shopify theme that suits your style, and add your products. It’s that simple. If you happen to get stuck, every Shopify store comes with helpful, friendly and fun support team to help you along the way. In addition to technical support, Shopify e-commerce gurus are at your disposal; ready to help you make the most out of your online store and maximize your business potential. This group of highly trained e-commerce experts provides hints, tips, and incentives for effectively reaching your business goals.

Shopify is full of great features:
Fully customizable- easily reflect your brand the way you want to
Content Management- made easy with our slick user interface
Store Analytics- track and view your customer activity
Promotions- Coupon codes, A/B testing, and sales
Security- Hosted on the world’s safest and most reliable servers, with free unlimited bandwidth
Support- technical and ecommerce; we’re here to help in every way
App store- take your store to the next level with integrated applications

From the stay at home mom selling handmade knitwear, to companies like Angry Birds, Tesla Motors, Foo Fighters, and even not-for-profits like Amnesty International, over 12,000 stores use Shopify.

Shopify offers a completely risk free 30 day trial for everyone who signs up. So go ahead and test out that online business idea you’ve always wondered about- it could change your life.

HOT TIP

Shopify currently has a contest going on that could win you a lot of money.
There are some serious prizes here – grand prize $100,000, and $20,000 prizes for product-specific winners. There are also small prizes for the first 2,500 to sign up, like business books and ad credits.

Enter the contest here  http://www.shopify.com/contest 

6 Hot Industries for 2011

27 Feb
DIY Business Card

Image by The Bottomless Paddling Pool via Flickr

6 Top Performing Industries for 2011 according to our friends at Inc.com

The Best Bets

Looking to launch a business in 2011 but not sure where the best opportunities for success lie? IBISWorld has targeted six industries heavily concentrated with small- and medium-sized businesses that are poised to grow in the year to come. The market researcher judged sectors based on a set of criteria including revenue growth, employment growth, current profits, and barriers to entry. Some, like e-commerce and advertising, may be old news at this point. While others, such as real estate appraisal, may surprise you.

 
Debt Collection Agencies

It’s nearly impossible to owe money these days without getting a barrage of phone calls on behalf of your creditors – thanks in large part to the rise of third-party collection agencies. The debt hounds will have plenty to chew on next year, as recoveries in employment and the housing market should free up cash to pay back outstanding loans, says IBISWorld. All they have to do is go get it. While the average agency now generates a profit margin of about 5.9 percent, the number will grow slightly in 2011 and eventually climb to 10 percent by 2015. This is due to some companies not wanting to chase down debtors themselves, instead preferring to give agencies a larger bounty.

2011 Revenue Growth: 4.1 percent
2011 Employment Growth: 0.5 percent
Barriers to Entry: Low

E-commerce and Online Auctions

If record sales during the holidays are any indication, online retail will continue booming and achieve double-digit revenue growth in 2011. Due to the increasing ease in setting up a website, small vendors are further penetrating the market. E-tailers have also upped the savvy factor with widespread discounts, targeted advertising, and elegant, efficient site design—all created to lure customers out of brick-and-mortar stores and onto the Web. Popular product categories include clothing, footwear, jewelry, electronics, sporting goods, toys, and furniture, often sold through online commerce communities such as eBay, Newegg, and Etsy.

2011 Revenue Growth: 11.4 percent
2011 Employment Growth: 6.1 percent
Barriers to Entry: Low

Environmental Consulting

Thanks to the confusion over increasingly strict environmental rules, these consultants should be in high demand. Companies in fields like construction and waste management turn to consultants to navigate the various environmental waters, while others simply hire them to enhance their image. As economic conditions improve, consulting firms will be needed to audit new buildings and the underlying land for environmental safety. And with sustainable homebuilding on the rise, a growing number of homeowners will enlist environmental services as well.

2011 Revenue Growth: 7.5 percent
2011 Employment Growth: 7.2 percent
Barriers to Entry: Low

Real Estate Appraisal

Recovery in the battered real estate market is likely to be slow going, but this area should be among the first to improve. Existing home sales are expected to pick up, giving appraisers plenty of work. Additionally, as the recession wanes and low interest rates persist, businesses looking to expand will boost the commercial markets as well. And don’t let the relatively weak employment forecast fool you: most firms in the industry are single-owner operated or small independents that don’t need to take on employees to grow.

2011 Revenue Growth: 8.8 percent
2011 Employment Growth: 3.8 percent
Barriers to Entry: Low

Advertising Agencies

Agencies that create online, targeted, and integrated ad campaigns will compete for a healthy allotment of ad dollars in 2011. IBISWorld projects improvements in consumer sentiment, and corporate profits in the coming year to drive an increase in media expenditures. Digital media in particular will be the recipient of an increasing amount of ad dollars, with some experts expecting spending in the space to double in the next five years. Companies able to reach the nascent mobile market and targeted niches will be the big winners.

2011 Revenue Growth: 3.5 percent
2011 Employment Growth: 3.9 percent
Barriers to Entry: Medium

Job Training and Career Consulting

With only mild job growth expected next year, workers competing for limited openings will need to differentiate themselves with improved skills or develop new ones if they’re forced to switch careers. The job training industry will also get a big boost from government funding for programs focused on putting the unemployed to work and creating new jobs. Much emphasis has been placed in recent years on gaining new skills, which will both help people get jobs and improve business performance.

2011 Revenue Growth: 3.4 percent
2011 Employment Growth: 2.1 percent
Barriers to Entry: Medium

For more information visit www.inc.com

11 Home Based Businesses for 2011

16 Jan

2011 is here and those of you looking for ideas on what types of businesses to start do not have to look very far.

Inc.com has put together a list of the hottest home businesses for 2011.

Etsy Craft Master
Dennis Anderson

Anderson Soap Company

When Dennis Anderson was asked if he considered himself more of an artist or an entrepreneur, he thought for a moment and replied, “Well, somewhere in between. I like creating things.” Anderson has achieved what so many Americans crave: he has turned his craft—organic soap making, or saponification—into a profitable business from his home. Anderson Soap Company launched in 2007 in his California apartment, and has since moved into a rented house in Portland, Oregon, where he lives with his fiancée and children. Anderson, who started out as an accounting major in college, fell in love with soap making after taking a chemistry course that taught him the process. He has sold soaps to buyers in all 50 states and distributes internationally to Malaysia, Singapore, France, and Sweden.

Quirky Kid’s Clothing
Jenny Ford

Monkey Toes

The children’s clothing industry is a multi-billion dollar market, and a recent surge of interest for specialized kid’s gear has given companies like Monkey Toes, a Colorado-based venture run by Jenny Ford, a niche in this burgeoning market. Monkey Toes is a line of animal and insect-themed footwear for children. Ford started the company in 2002 after drawing designs on her daughter’s shoes. “I thought, ‘Oh, that’s cute,’” Ford recalls. “I fell in love with it.” She chose to keep her business at home to be able to spend more time with her two young daughters, but lack of an office hasn’t stymied the growth of the brand. Ford currently distributes in stores all over the world, and recently signed a new distribution deal that will take the product into the hands of 100 representatives around the country.

Building Better Communities
Kene Turner

EpiLife

Kene Turner understands the value of building a better business. After all, that’s his job. The mission of EpiLife is to help organizations achieve social responsibility by implementing special project-based initiatives within their communities. Before launching EpiLife, Kene worked for the YMCA of New York, where he taught youth entrepreneurial programs. EpiLife is based out of Turner’s home in New York City, and represents his desire to give back to the community that helped him in his own childhood. “When I was a teen I lost my mom to cancer,” he says. “I never knew my father. I was a child in transition. I had family, but not much. The ones that really helped me were members of the community…and it was that message that I want to implement into a venture or business.”

eBay Powerseller
Ann Whitley Wood

Willow-Wear

Ann Whitley Wood is an attorney-turned-entrepreneur who saw a market for designer goods and collectibles on eBay nearly 10 years ago. In what started out as a hobby, Wood now manages over 350 listings on eBay through her store Willow-Wear, and works with about 40 clients on any given day from her home in Texas. In 2010, Wood sold over 1,100 items for about $450,000—making her one of eBay’s true “powersellers.” Though she does not keep inventory in her house, working from home has been an integral part of her business. “I had to be able to sell on eBay from home, in between taking care of my children and managing the rest of life,” Wood says. To be successful as an eBay entrepreneur, Wood says you must have an acute understanding of your product, as well as your competition.

Online Wedding Resources
Emily Newman

OnceWed.com

Wedding dresses are bought (one hopes) only once, making them one of the most expensive purchases in a woman’s life. So Emily Newman thought, why not buy second-hand? “I saw a need where women my age were dealing with a lot of the same things,” says Newman, the founder of the Once Wed, an online wedding community, based in Atlanta. “They didn’t have a huge budget, but they still wanted to wear a beautiful dress.” So Newman and her husband, who works in online advertising, teamed up to launch Once Wed, a site for brides-to-be. The site has grown from a used dress listing service to the be-all resource for brides, similar to TheKnot.com. Once Wed puts together inspiration guides and a popular blog, which helps drives traffic to the site.

Social Media e-Commerce
Hakan Nizam

NetFoliage

NetFoliage is a web development company that creates web sites for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and artists. It’s also one of a growing number of web development companies that specialize in building e-commerce sites and online stores for social networking sites like Facebook. Nizam, who is originally from Istanbul, has been based out of his Brooklyn apartment since he launched the company in 2007—and plans to stay in his home, too. “Honestly, it didn’t even occur to me to rent an office,” he says. “I didn’t have the time or the need to think about. I would never do it—it’s becoming a lifestyle. I can go on vacation without worrying about anything. I turn off my phone and the business is closed.”

Mommy Blogger
Michelle Mitton

Scribbit.blogspot.com

You don’t need to attend a BlogHer Convention to realize that “mommy bloggers” are a force to be reckoned with. Michelle Mitton was one of the first “mommy bloggers” to make a name for herself and her blog Scribbit, almost six years ago. In 2008, she was selected by The Wall Street Journal as one of the top ten blogs about motherhood, and her site attracts nearly 60,000 page views every month and 2,300 daily subscribers. Mitton publishes recipes, household tips, product reviews, and has even written a book about blogging, all from her home in Alaska. “With so many blogs out there, you have to be the ‘purple cow’ as Seth Godin talks about. I try to diversify my topics a bit—I even have a few men [readers].”

Curated E-mail Newsletter
Chris McCann

StartupDigest.com

Chris McCann (pictured) and Brendan McManus launched StartupDigest.com as a resource for entrepreneurs looking to get involved in their community and connected with other entrepreneurs. The site has seen remarkable growth; in just a little over a year, the site has grown to 100,000 subscribers and has spread to over 50 cities. And though the content reaches people all over the world, McCann and McManus rarely have to leave their house in Palo Alto, California. “When you’re on a shoestring budget, and if the deciding factor is to spend money to get the office or spend money and do the marketing and get the product out there, do all that stuff first,” says McCann. “An office should not be high on your lists of priorities.”

Sports Content Aggregator
Ann Gaffigan

WomenTalkSports.com

Ann Gaffigan felt that there needed to be more mainstream media coverage of women’s sports. So, about two years ago, she teamed up with two co-founders to launch WomenTalkSports.com, an online network that has become one of the most thorough purveyors of women’s sports news. “We didn’t research the market for this,” Gaffigan says from her home in Kansas. “It just came from our belief that something like this really needed to happen, and we want the next generation to see positive female role models.” There are over 100 websites that link to WomenTalkSports.com, and about 70 bloggers on the site. While the site’s traffic varies depending on the season, the site swells when national competitions are brought to the spotlight. During the Vancouver Olympics, for example, the site had over a million visitors.

Custom Men’s Shirts
Danny Wong

Blank Label

Who said custom designed shirts had to be expensive? Blank Label is a Boston-based start-up that allows users to design custom dress shirts, choosing the fabric, pattern, buttons, and size, for a modest price under $100, depending on the extras. Blank Label was created by Danny Wong (center) and three co-founders (and classmates) in the summer of 2009. After a brief period of incubation by their college, Babson, the team chose not to take on an office lease. “It worked better for us,” says Wong. “We didn’t want to pay for office space.” The founders lived together in Shanghai for several months, developing relationships with suppliers and working out of their living room. At one point, they were operating with members based from home in three different time zones around the world, but Wong says it’s never been a problem.

Application Consulting
Stacy Blackman

Stacy Blackman Consulting

Stacy Blackman knows what it takes to get into one of the nation’s top MBA programs. Blackman, a who received her own MBA at the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University, turned her passion for helping students gain admission into MBA programs into her full-time job after years working in private equity. “When I first started my business, I wasn’t trying to start a business; I was just doing something I really enjoyed.” Now, Stacy Blackman Consulting has turned into one of the premier MBA international consulting firms, with clients and consultants based all over the world. Blackman has even graced the cover of Fortune, and published a book titled The MBA Application Roadmap.

Visit www.inc.com for more information.

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