Tag Archives: small business help for women

Financing Trends for 2011

28 Dec
Image representing Catwalk Genius as depicted ...

Image via CrunchBase

Hello Ladies,

2011 is almost here and I am sure a lot of you a wondering what types of financing will be available for small businesses. According to one of our favorite websites entrepreneur.com there are 5 financing trends that you should watch out for.

1. Crowdfunding (especially niche crowdfunding)
Kickstarter popularized the idea of crowdfunding, which is when a large group of people help fund a project or business through a cluster of small donations. Kickstarter began as a new way to help artists get projects off the ground. In return for funding, donors receive goods or services, or even just a well-crafted thank-you, in lieu of equity or interest payments. Now the same idea is spreading to business ventures. Diaspora, a tech company that wants to build a social network to rival Facebook got more than $200,000 in seed money from a Kickstarter campaign.

3 hot niche crowdfunding sites are:

Catwalk Genius – Members fund fledgling fashion designers and in return get a share of the revenue generated by the designer’s clothing lines.

Indiegogo – Leans toward creative and tech business ventures.

Peerbackers – A community of people specifically looking to support entrepreneurs, which are similar to Kickstarter in that they encourage preselling products as a way to raise funds.

2. Microlending
The idea of offering very small loans, even just $100, has its roots in helping women in underdeveloped countries start small business ventures. But as the recession tightened credit offerings, the popularity of microlending has extended to the U.S. — especially as aspiring entrepreneurs are starting ventures with far less than the $50,000 business loan threshold common at many banks. Not-for-profit Accion is the largest organization putting that idea into action with loans that start at $500 and average a little more than $5,000. You can also research other microlending programs around the U.S. through the Association for Enterprise Opportunity’s searchable database.

3. Credit Unions
These cooperative financial institutions are among the most active in making smaller loans to entrepreneurs and have only gotten busier in recent years, according to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). Its figures show credit unions made more than $33 billion worth of business loans in 2009, up from $12 billion in 2004. They have relatively low default rates and terms that are often better than traditional banks, according to the NCUA and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC). Credit unions also can be a resource for aspiring business owners whose credit score might not pass muster with other banks. The catch? You will likely have to become a member of the credit union to borrow from it.

4. Bootstrapping
If you’ve trimmed your start-up costs down to a few hundred or a couple thousand dollars, why not skip the loan altogether and bootstrap your business? When you tap personal savings, get vendors to front start-up supplies for delayed payment terms, hit up friends and relatives, or use one money-making venture to fund another, then you’re bootstrapping. It’s a good way to test an idea and make sure it has legs before investing heavily in a new venture. Think of it as the business equivalent of going retro. It’s an idea that has been around forever, but is making a big comeback as people who have lost their jobs in the recession increasingly look to start a small business as an alternative to traditional employment.

5. The Slow Money Movement
Woody Tasch, longtime chairman of Investors’ Circle, a hugely successful angel network for socially responsible companies, is spearheading this fledgling movement. Its ambitious aim is “a million Americans investing 1% of their assets in local food systems within a decade.”

The idea is to help entrepreneurs who buy, use and sell local food or who engage in sustainable agriculture get seed funding from people they know in their communities. The terms are set on a deal-by-deal basis, which can range from a loan to equity to a credit extension. Backers are encouraged to invest in ventures that won’t just turn quick profits but will benefit their communities over the long term by creating jobs, supporting other local businesses and the fostering local food chain.

For more information visit www.entrepreneur.com

Cheap Hype for Your Business!!

1 Dec

Hello Ladies!

Looking for low cost ways to advertise your business?

Let us introduce you to one of our best kept secrets www.uphype.com

UpHype is a micro-payment marketplace where savvy people with unique talents and resources advertise to take your message and promote it in unique ways. Simply priced at $8, $16, or $24.

Anyone can create a hype or small service ad of what they’re willing to do to “hype” your message. Buyers can purchase hypes and are required to pay for the hype in advance. After the work is completed and accepted by the buyer, UpHype gives the task performer a whopping majority of the fee.

Hypes range from promoting your message to a user’s 300,000 Twitter followers, sending 60,000 traffic hits to your website, creating a video podcast, writing a press release or article for your blog and anything in between.

Hypes are divided into categories, including Social Marketing, Graphics, Writing, Eblasts, Flyers, SEO work, Website Back-links and whole lot more! To ensure that you get a good task performer, UpHype also post buyer feedback on people who perform tasks. Task performers will be given a positive feedback score, which can be seen by users who are considering hiring them for their hypes.

To learn more about Uphype visit their website at www.uphype.com

Million Dollar Cupcakes!

2 Oct

TOP GIRL of the month goes to Andra Hall

For Andra Hall, entrepreneurship was a matter of medical necessity. In 2004, her 1-year-old daughter underwent a string of surgeries to correct a severe case of sleep apnea. “I did major soul-searching to come up with something that would be flexible enough to let me be there when Camille needed me,” she recalls.

Settling on her longtime interest in baking, Hall created a business plan and by 2006, she and her husband, Curtis, refinanced their house to obtain the $40,000 they needed to launch CamiCakes Cupcakes (www.camicakes.com; 404-748-4288). The money allowed them to buy secondhand equipment, create marketing materials, and put down a security deposit on the Orange Park, Florida, space they would rent.

In 2008, another store opened in Jacksonville, Florida, and a third store the following year in Atlanta. CamiCakes, named for the couple’s daughter, generated $1.1 million in revenues in 2009 and anticipates $2 million by year-end. But Hall’s path to business ownership wasn’t all sweet.

With 18 cupcake flavors—the most popular being red velvet, sweet potato, and carrot cake—CamiCakes’ rapid growth was one of Hall’s greatest challenges.

The baking began each day at 6 a.m., and the doors were open to customers from 10:30 a.m. until 9 p.m.  When she opened the Georgia store, Hall drove the 350 miles between there and the Florida stores to oversee the baking and customer service in each store and handle all the paperwork. “I was just doing too much,” the 38-year-old recalls. “And then I got really, really sick and was down for more than two weeks.”

At that point, Hall knew she had to come up with a way to make sure each store could run without her constant attention. First, over the course of two months, she created a manual of operations so each store would have the same written standard operating procedures ranging from the recipes used to the steps to take if a register went down. “I’m more of a do er, so it was a challenge to have to stop and make sure everything was clearly documented for other people to understand,” Hall says.

Next, she chose one store to focus most of her energy on. Because Atlanta was the biggest market and the store there was the most profitable, Hall moved her family there and established it as CamiCakes’ headquarters. The third step, loosening the reins, was the hardest. Hall made the transition somewhat easier by hiring from within rather than seeking outsiders to manage the Florida stores. “I had faith that they could do the job,” she says.

Courtesy of BlackEnterprise.com

BLACK ENTERPRISE is the premier business, investing, and wealth-building resource for African Americans. Since 1970, BLACK ENTERPRISE has provided essential business information and advice to professionals, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, and decision makers.

Black Enterprise is another one of the City Girl Business Club’s favorite magazines.

Inc.com introduces America’s Coolest Entrepreneurs under 30..

7 Aug

As we always say at the City Girl Business Club, you’re never too young to start a business.

One of our favorite websites Inc.com always posts incredible stories about entrepreneurs who have launched successful businesses. We find their stories to be incredibly inspiring and think this is  a website  every entrepreneur should visit regularly.

We would like to share with you Inc.com’s list of 30 young entrepreneurs who are building incredible brands.

The list:

Name: Joe Mclure

Age: 29

Company: McClure’s Pickles

Website: www.mcclurespickles.com

2009 Revenues: $390,000

Story: Joe McClure spent his childhood in Detroit buying cucumbers and dill at farmers markets. Now, he pickles professionally. Today, an estimated 70 percent of McClures sales of pickles – a second, spicy, variety as well as new products such as relish and Bloody Mary mix – comes from retail stores, with online and market sales comprising the rest.

Name: Naveen Selvadurai

Age: 28

Company: Foursquare

Website: Foursquare.com

2009 Revenues:Undisclosed

Story: It’s been a busy month for Naveen Selvadurai. Foursquare, the location-aware social networking app that Selvaduri co-founded in 2009, picked up $20 million in a Series B round led by Netscape founder Marc Andreessen‘s venture capital firm, Andreessen Horowitz. Less than two weeks later Foursquare hit 2 million users, doubling the audience it had in April. The start-up is still growing steadily by 100,000 new members a week, with plans for a big redesign at the end of the summer.

Name: Jack Abraham

Age:24

Company: Milo.com

Website: www.milo.com

2009 Revenues: Undisclosed

Story: The San Francisco start-up Milo.com tracks 2.8 million products across 50,000 retail stores. “Amazon and eBay are Web 1.0,” scoffs founder Jack Abraham.Abraham got the idea for Milo.com when he was working at comScore. “We had data that showed people were using the Internet to research products, but buying them more often offline than online,” he says.  “Everyone was innovating in social media, but no one doing anything in shopping. Amazon and eBay are Web 1.0.”

Name: Sophia Bush

Age:26

Company: FEED Projects

Website: www.feedprojects.org

2009 Revenues: $1.5million

Story: The former president’s niece embraces social entrepreneurship with a growing line of bags sold online and at Whole Foods. FEED works directly with WFP, and other organizations such as UNICEF and Millennial Villages, to fund anti-hunger programs worldwide.Their bags are sold online, where buyers are told the exact impact of their purchase (for instance, purchase a $60 “Feed1” bag and you’ll be feeding one school child for an entire year). So far, FEED has sold just over half a million bags and provided more than 56 million meals worldwide.

Names: Garry Tan and Sachin Agarwal

Ages:29 & 30

Company: Posterous

Website: www.posterous.com

2009 Revenues: Undisclosed

Story: Posterous takes all the fuss out of posting content online.The concept for Posterous is decidedly simple: E-mail, its founders believe, is the gateway for sharing information—text, photos, and videos—online. Instead of logging into Facebook to post photos, or writing your thoughts down in a blogging platform, Posterous makes it feasible to do all that from an e-mail account.

Name: Sarah Prevette

Age: 28

Company: Sprouter

Website: www.sprouter.com

2009 Reveneus: Undisclosed

Story: Sarah Prevette has created a service that entrepreneurs can use to socialize, share tips, and ask questions in a rapid-fire, short-attention-span fashion. Using a Twitter-like format, Sprouter is a place online where entrepreneurs can socialize, share tips, and ask questions in a rapid-fire, short-attention-span fashion. Users leverage the site for a variety of needs, from getting peer feedback on their product ideas to learning the best practices for developing metrics for sales teams, to gleaning insight from other founders on pitching specific investors, and requesting introductions to media, potential corporate partners or investors. “Users support one another, motivate each other and help with day-to-day questions or concerns,” Prevette says.

Name: David Schottenstein

Age: 26

Company: Astor & Black Custom Clothiers

Website: www.astorandblack.com

2009 Revenues: $11,360,000

Story: A big fan of the British tailoring tradition, Schottenstein started Astor & Black, a company that sold custom bespoke clothing, at the tender age of 21. He used money he had saved from his previous business ventures to fund his vision, which was to bring custom tailoring to the general public at affordable prices. The suits, which are made in China, Hong Kong, Italy, and Brooklyn, start at $499; prices increase depending on the fabric, with the bulk of transactions in the $895 range.

Names: Michelle You, Ian Hogarth, Pete Smith

Ages: You, 29; Hogarth, 28; Smith, 28

Company: Songkick

Website: www.songkick.com

2009 Revenues: Undisclosed

Story: By meticulously compiling upcoming concert listings, the founders of Songkick have amassed an audience of one million fans—and the backing of Y Combinator, the prestigious incubator. The concept, which they named Songkick, piqued the interest of start-up incubator Y Combinator, which provided seed funding and counsel during the summer of 2007. Hogarth, the CEO, and Smith, COO, spent the summer in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Y Combinator was then based, while You commuted from New York City on the Chinatown bus. She soon quit her job at Theme, a lifestyle magazine, to join Songkick full time as co-founder and chief of product. The company raised $1 million in an angel round led by former Skype VP of Marketing-turned-investor Saul Klein that winter, when it moved to London, and landed another $4 million in a Series A round led by Index Ventures last year.

Name: Ooshma Garg

Age: 22

Company: Anapata

Website: www.anapata.com

2009 Revenues: Undisclosed

Story: Ooshma Garg experienced the aha moment that led her to become an entrepreneur during her junior year of college when she served as co-president of a networking group called Stanford Women in Business. “Companies like Goldman and McKinsey would pay us $5,000 just to have dinner with my group,” Garg recalls. Yet corporate types were still pretty abysmal when it came to recruiting from a diverse field of applicants. So Garg launched Anapata, and online platform to connect employers and qualified job candidates. The name comes from a Swahili word that means “to find, attain, and achieve.”

Name: Amos Winbus III

Age: 26

Company: CyberSynchs

Website: www.cybersynchs.com

2009 Revenues: $2million

Story: Amos Winbush III has partnered with Sun to build an app used on 500,000 phones. “We’re taking the company global,” he says. “I’m super stoked.” It took losing 150 contacts on his cell phone for Amos Winbush III to stumble upon the idea for his company. In the summer of 2008, the aspiring musician and cousin of R&B singer Angela Winbush was preparing tracks for his debut album. After a late night in the recording studio, he noticed that his iPhone had gone black. That led him to investigate a way to synchronize data between his phone and his computer, and soon after, to launch CyberSynchs.

Name: Tim O’Shaughnessy and Eddie Frederick

Ages: 28 & 29

Company: LivingSocial

Website: www.livingsocial.com

2009 Revenues: $5-$10million

Story: With the acquisition of a little company called Buy a Friend a Drink, the online-bargain site LivingSocial came together in its present form. The online daily coupon industry may not be the sexiest space on the Web, but it sure has venture capitalists licking their chops. First, Chicago-based Groupon raised a whopping $135 million from Russian investment firm DST in April. And before you could say “discount,” LivingSocial had raised two consecutive rounds totaling approximately $40 million from U.S. Venture Partners and Lightspeed Venture Partners. Tim O’Shaughnessy, LivingSocial’s co-founder and CEO, estimates that, together, the two companies own 98 percent of the market. Both companies partner with businesses such as restaurants and spas to offer subscribers deep discounts on goods and services via a daily e-mail coupon. Right now, for instance, I could buy a LivingSocial coupon for a watercolor painting class for $47 – a discount of 69 percent off the regular price.

Name: Alexa Von Tobel

Age: 26

Company: LearnVest

Website: www.learnvest.com

2009 Revenues: Undisclosed

Story: Backed by Goldman Sachs and some successful executives, LearnVest founder Alexa von Tobel seeks to give young women personal finance advice. LearnVest offers online budgeting calculators, video chats with certified financial planners on the company’s staff, and free e-mail tutorials on topics such as opening an IRA. The company earns revenue from advertising and by referring its users to companies such as TD Ameritrade. In April, after just four weeks of fundraising, von Tobel closed a $4.5 million investment round led by Accel Partners, which has also invested in Facebook and Etsy. (Incidentally, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg lived in the same dorm as von Tobel at Harvard.)

Name: Jennifer Hyman and Jenny Fleiss

Ages: 29 & 26

Company: Rent the Runway

Website: www.renttherunway.com

2009 Revenues: Undisclosed

Story: Rent the Runway’s mission, according to Jennifer Hyman and Jenny Fleiss, is to bring the Carrie Bradshaw clothing experience to budget conscious fashionistas and turn them in to loyal customers of designer brands. Rent the Runway is a membership-only designer rental company where women can rent dresses and accessories from over 100 designers and brands including Herve Leger, Diane von Furstenberg, Proenza Schouler and Badgley Mischka.  Dress rentals start at $50 for 4 days and $10 for accessories.

Name: Ryan Allis & Aaron Houghton

Ages: 26 & 29

Company: iContact

Website: www.icontact.com

2009 Revenues: $26.5million

Story: Within three days of meeting, Ryan and Aaron developed the idea for iContact: They would leverage a tool that Houghton had developed to help small businesses manage their e-mail marketing. iContact generated $26.5 million in revenue last year and has raised a total of $18 million from NC IDEA, North Atlantic Capital and Updata Partners.

Name: Dan Schawbel

Age: 26

Company: Millenial Branding

Website: http://www.personalbranding.com/

2010 Revenues: $100,000

Story: The mission of Schawbel’s business, Millennial Branding, is two-fold: He teaches members of his own generation why a personal brand is important and then shows them how to create one using social media; and he works on corporate branding strategies for companies including Time Warner and Citigroup.

Name: Stephanie Kaplan, Windsor Hanger, and Annie Wang

Ages: 21

Company: Her Campus

Website: www.hercampus.com

2009 Revenues: Undisclosed

Story: The three partners decided to create an online magazine that would serve college women nationwide with content in six different topic areas – Style, Health, Love, DormLife, Career, and World – and also house micro sites for other schools with campus-specific content maintained by students on those campuses.

Name: Brian Chesky, Joe Gebbia, and Nathan Blecharczyk

Age: 28, 28, 27

Company: AirBnB

Website: www.airbnb.com

2009 Revenues: Undisclosed

Story: San Francisco start-up AirBnB is like a Craigslist for the couch-surfing set . AirBnB is used in nearly 5,000 cities in 142 countries. The company landed a $20,000 investment from Y Combinator; recently, the Wall Street Journal reported an investment from Sequoia Capital, but the trio of founders won’t comment on that. The company is hiring so fast – and is still based out of the original South-of-Market apartment – that Chesky has been pushed out of his bedroom. That’s right – he’s pledged to be homeless. He’s using only AirBnB to find accommodations for the year. A PR stunt to be sure, but also a test of the infrastructure of this laid-back but wildly popular business that started with a “yeah, whatever.”

Name: Callie Works-Leary

Age: $29

Company: City Craft

Website: www.citycraft.com

2009 Revenues: $35,000

Story: Dallas entrepreneur Callie Works-Leary hopes to build CityCraft into the Crate & Barrel of the sewing world. To build a community of sewers around CityCraft, Works-Leary created a sewing lounge at the store. She describes it as “a studio fully stocked with sewing machines, cutting tables, and all the necessary supplies and materials to create beautiful sewn creations whether in a class, workshop, or during an open sewing lounge night.” On sewing lounge nights, the store serves complimentary wine and snacks and plays music. “Customers use the store like their own studio, sewing in an encouraging, relaxed group setting,” says Works-Leary. CityCraft also has summer sewing camps for kids and teens.

Name: Jeffrey Powers & Vikas Reddy

Ages: 27 & 26

Company: Occipital

Website: www.occipital.com

2009 Revenues: $1million

Story: The founders of Occipital launched one of the most successful apps around. Then they sold it, to help them fund yet more app development. The business has developed RedLaser, the best-selling iPhone app that lets users scan barcodes. RedLaser has been downloaded more than two million times, mostly at $2 a pop (Apple takes 30 percent of that), making it one of the most popular paid-iPhone apps on the market.

Name: Ashleigh Hansberger

Age: 28

Company: Motto Agency

Website: www.mottoagency.com

2010 Projected Revenues: $600,000

Story: To help companies launch, grow, and reinvent their brands through good, old-fashioned storytelling and innovative use of social media, Hansberger, 28, launched Motto Agency. Her Myrtle Beach, South Carolina-based company is on track for $600,000 in revenue this year.

Name: Fraser Doherty

Age: 21

Company: Super Jam

Website: www.superjam.co.uk

2009 Revenues: $1.2million

Story: Just call him Jam Boy. Fraser Doherty doesn’t mind a bit. In fact, he encourages it. Doherty, a boyishly charming Scot with a brogue to match, is the jam darling of the U.K Doherty’s big break came when he met a buyer at Waitrose, a major supermarket chain in Britain, and tentatively sold him on the idea. He then lined up a factory. At every step of the way, his age prompted skepticism. “I was a teen with no money and no experience, so most people rejected me,” he recalls. “But then I finally convinced a jam facotry to work with me and we figured out how to produce the recipes that I had developed in my parents’ kitchen on a big scale.” He also hired an ad agency, which came up with a comic book-like brand identity for the product.

Name: Andrew Kortina & Iqram Magdon-Ismali

Ages: 27 & 26

Company: Venmo

Website: www.venmo.com

2009 Revenues: Undisclosed

Story: Venmo is a mobile-based platform that allows friends to exchange money using their phones.
Say you’re having a drink with a friend and you’re short on cash. If your buddy also has Venmo, you can use your iPhone or Android to pay him for your share of the tab by simply texting Venmo “pay Andy $12.50.” You can keep a balance to draw from in your Venmo account, or your payment can be charged to a credit card or bank account that you register with the company. Your friend can then transfer the money from Venmo to his bank account. “Every time a payment is issued from your account, you get a text message and an email,” says Kortina. “And you can pin protect your transactions.” Venmo also allows you to set up “trust” relationships with other users – typically family members or close friends – who can draw upon your Venmo account without prior authorization.

Name: Chris Easter & Bob Horner

Ages: 26 & 29

Company: The Man Registry

Website: www.themanregistry.com/

2009 Revenues: www.themanregistry.com

Story: The Man Registry, a website with more than 3,000 gifts that appeal to grooms, Easter was two months away from marrying Horner’s younger sister. t was then that the two became aware of what they saw as an appalling lack of guy-friendly gifts on traditional registries and decided to do something about it. “We’re all about groom involvement in the whole process,” says Horner. So in March 2008 he and Easter teamed up with several retailers that offered gifts for guys, such as sports apparel, grilling accessories, and the always popular remote control beer cooler. Orders are placed through The Man Registry and then the retailer ships the items directly to the customer, allowing Easter and Horner to avoid the burden of maintaining inventory.

Name: David Graff, John Wirtz, and Brian Kaiser

Ages: 27

Company: Agile Sports

Website: www.hudl.com/about

2009 Revenues: $475,000

Story: The Broncos, the Browns, and the Jets all use Agile Sports’s software to help players memorize offensive and defensive schemes. A month after signing with the New York Jets in 2008, Brett Favre memorized between 40 and 50 percent of the team’s complex offensive playbook. By the season kickoff, he had 75 percent of the plays down cold. He did it all with the help of coaching software developed by three twenty-somethings in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Names: Maverick Carter

Age: 28

Company: LRMR Innovative Marketing & Branding

Website: www.lrmrmarketing.com

2009 Revenues: Undisclosed

Story: If you’re a basketball fan who followed the LeBron James free agent chase, the name Maverick Carter should be a familiar one. Alternately labeled as James’s “business partner” and “manager,” Carter has emerged as one of the most trusted voices in the inner circle of basketball’s most dynamic young star. He has put together sponsorship deals for James with McDonald’s and State Farm, and he negotiated a contract extension with Nike when James’s original deal with the sports apparel mammoth expired this year. Carter says James will now focus on strengthening his partnerships with his corporate sponsors rather than adding new ones. Forbes estimates that James made $43 million in salary and endorsements in the past year.

Name: Tyler Balliet & Morgan First

Age: 29 & 26

Company: The Second Glass

Website: www.secondglass.com

2009 Revenues: $230,000

Story: Balliet and First loved wine but felt that no one was marketing it properly to their generation. Their company connects wine sellers to young consumers through wine tasting events, called Wine Riot, and through its website. The Second Glass, an online resource for wine information geared toward Millennials, was founded by Balliet after a part-time job in a Boston wine shop taught him that customers were yearning for basic information presented in a down to earth way.

Name: Luke Biewald & Chris Van Pelt

Ages: 28

Company: Crowdflower

Website:www.crowdflower.com

2009 Revenues: Unidisclosed

Story: Crowdflower matches an international online workforce with companies that need a large volume of simple work completed quickly. The cost to companies that use Crowdflower is based on the difficulty of tasks, the accuracy they require tasks to be done with, and a mark-up that varies depending on the complexity of finding quality workers, and assuring the quality of their work. By just filling out an online form, businesses, for a cost that’s much lower than hiring a temp staff, or opening a phone bank, can access a global workforce to do projects that range from mundane to time-intensive.

Name: Sean Whalen

Ages: 28

Company: AlterG

Website: www.alterg.com

2009 Revenues: Undisclosed

Story: When soccer star Oguchi “Guch” Onyewu ruptured his patellar tendon last October during the United States team’s game against Costa Rica, it seemed unlikely that the defender would recover in time for the FIFA World Cup in June. But recover he did, helping the U.S. tie England 1-1 on June 12. Sean Whalen likes to think that his company, AlterG, which makes the anti-gravity treadmill that Onyewu used for rehab, had something to do with the win. “To recover from that in seven months, and be fit for the World Cup, is simply an amazing feat,” says Whalen. “To us, it really validates the power and effectiveness of our technology.”

Name: Maia Josebachvili & Bram Levy

Ages: 26 & 30

Company: Urban Escapes

Website: www.urbanescapesusa.com

2009 Revenues: $250,000

Story: Josebachvili has a passion for skydiving but when she was an undergrad at Dartmouth she couldn’t afford it. So she recruited all her friends and acquaintances to go along with her and she was able to skydive for free.After graduation she continued to coordinate skydiving and other outdoor trips even while working as a derivatives trader on Wall Street at Susquehanna International.  In 2008, Josebachvili decided to take the plunge and create Urban Escapes, offering a varied assortment of outdoor escapes such as hiking and hang gliding. In the company’s first year, it brought about 500 people on trips.

Name: Joshua Dziabiak

Age: 23

Company: ShowClix

Website: www.showclix.com

2009 Revenues: $4.5million

Story: ShowClix helps small venues distribute tickets entirely over text message and e-mail. ShowClix has gained some 1,000 customers and delivered more than 1 million tickets. The company sets itself apart by delivering tickets by e-mail or by text message, and by offering its customers access to real-time sales reports. Earlier this year, the business debuted an app that enables venues to scan tickets on customers’ phones with any Android-powered device. ShowClix charges venues between 7 and 15 percent of ticket sales—a much lower fee, Dziabiak says, than that of any of its competitors, including Ticketmaster.

For more information and to see videos of the entrepreneurs, please visit www.inc.com

The City Girl Business Club introduces new Business workshops for women in Chicago!

30 Jul

The City Girl Business Club has just announced the introduction of a new business workshop for women in Chicago . The comprehensive 4 hour workshops are targeted at women to provide guidance on how to start, operate and expand a business. These workshops were specifically designed for young women who are ready to start a business and turn their entrepreneurial dreams into exciting reality.

The City Girl Business Club’s program provides training in the most important aspects of organizing, financing, marketing and managing a small business . Topics include how to decide on a type of business, financing, marketing and sales, how to bring a product to market, legal issues, looking for hidden opportunities, and much more.

The workshops are offered twice a week, with sessions starting in October of this year. The sessions are 4 hours long with a half hour break in between. Those interested in attending the workshops can register on the City Girl Business Club’s website.

The City Girl Business Club workshops are packed with information and resources to help women on their journey to Business Ownership. The sessions are fun, interactive, and very informative.

The City Girl Business Club is committed to helping female entrepreneurs achieve their dreams and will continue to provide them with the tools and support they need to move their businesses forward.

For more information about the workshops and the City Girl Business Club, please visit the City Girl Business Club’s website at www.citygirlbusinessclub.com

Want to Pitch to Investors? Funding Post is making it possible!!

29 Jun

Do you want to pitch your business idea to a panel of investors in hopes of securing funding?


Check out Funding Post ‘s “Pitching across America”

FundingPost will be looking for the “hottest” emerging companies to “Pitch” to investors across America! It couldn’t be easier to enter – all you have to do is have an active FundingPost Entrepreneur Account and enter the competition between June 15 and August 30, 2010. In its 7th year, with over 100 VC and Angel Investor Judges, this is the largest venture competition ever hosted!

To Enter your Company in Pitching Across America™ 2010 you must sign up for a Funding Post account which you can access here http://www.fundingpost.com

Once you have completed your FREE company funding profile Funding Post will report back to you on how many Venture Capital sources and Angel Investors may be interested in funding your business. After you complete your company profile and are ready to raise capital from their Venture Capital and Angel Investor network, you can choose to activate your company profile. If you want Funding Post to activate and showcase your company profile to its venture capital and angel investor network, the fee will be $100 for the initial 3 month listing. After the initial 3 month listing you will be charged $30 a month for as long as you wish to remain in their investor network. Active business profiles are showcased to the thousands of Venture Capital funds and Angel (Private Investor) groups ($106.82 Billion) within their funding / corporate finance network.

A panel of 100+ Venture Capital and Angel Investors will act as “judges” in this competition, read Company profiles online, and rate them from 1 – 10 (10 being the best possible score):

There will be 50 Top-rated Companies selected from across the US, and 1 Company will be selected as the Top Emerging Company in America. These companies will receive exclusive access to pitch to Investors at FundingPost CEO events, inclusion in a featured VC mailing, a full year listing on FundingPost online, and the Top Emerging Company will even be able to pitch for free at every FundingPost event nationwide! All of the previous years winners have raised capital since winning the competition!!

Competition : http://www.fundingpost.com/pitch-america.asp?refer=paama2

Good Luck!

One man’s rags to riches story-inspiration for the ladies

3 May

Farrah Gray is  a philanthropist, best-selling author, syndicated columnist, motivational speaker and entrepreneur. Now in his twenties, he is one of the most sought after motivational speakers around.

Growing up in the projects on Chicago’s south side, Gray became a self-made millionaire by the age of 14. At six years of age, he started selling   home-made body lotion and hand-painted rocks (to be used as book-ends). At age 7, he was carrying business cards that said“21st Century CEO.” At 8, he became co-founder of Urban Neighborhood Enterprise Economic Club (U.N.E.E.C.) on Chicago’s Southside. He later founded another organization called the “New Early Entrepreneur Wonders (NE2W)” which was located on Wall Street. NE2W helped at educated and at risk youth by creating and developing legal ways for them to acquire additional income. Gray is the youngest person to have an office on Wall Street.

In his teens, Gray launched a new project seling KIDZTEL pre-paid phone cards, he also started a One Stop Mail Boxes & More franchise and developed The Teenscope “Youth AM/FM” interactive teen talk show. Gray also launched Farr-Out Foods, “Way-Out Food with a Twist,” aimed at youth familiar with the company’s first Strawberry-Vanilla syrup product. Farr-Out Foods “Foodfulooza” generated orders exceeding $1.5 million.

Gray is the author of “Reallionaire” which was nominated by NBC & Publishers Weekly Quill Awards in the category of “Health/Self-Improvement.” His book appeared on Amazon and Barnes & Noble’s Bestseller List two weeks before its international release. “Reallionaire” was also named as the #1 Best selling Nonfiction Paperback Book in the August 2005 Issue of Essence Magazine. Gray’s book and his journey to succeed against the odds have become required reading and part of classroom study from elementary school to entrepreneurship departments on college campuses. “Reallionaire” has been endorsed by former President Bill Clinton, Pierre Sutton, Stedman Graham, Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. Gray is also a Contributing Author to Chicken Soup for the African-American Soul.

The timeline of Gray’s accomplishments listed on http://www.drfarrahgray.com/ is as follows:

At Age 6,
* Farrah Gray sold body lotion for $1.50 from door to door

At Age 7,
* he carried a business card that read “21st Century CEO”

At Age 8,

* in Chicago, Farrah started UNEEC (Urban Neighborhood Economic Enterprise Club)

At Age 9,
* At 9, almost 10, Farrah co-hosted radio show “Backstage Live” in Las Vegas reaching 12 million listeners every Saturday night

At Age 12,
* Farrah had a lucrative nationwide speaking career commanding $5,000 – $10,000 per appearance

At Age 13,

* Farrah started Farr-Out Foods, a specialty foods company headquartered in New York, targeting young people

At Age 14,
* Farrah officially became a millionaire by hitting sales of $1.5 million for Farr-Out Foods
* Farrah started New Early Entrepreneur Wonders (NE2W) Student Venture Fund

At Age 15,
* Farrah negotiated selling of Farr-Out Foods for one million plus
* Farrah founded the Farrah Gray Foundation
* Farrah was sent a special invitation to consult and oversee an entrepreneurial institute for The Minority Business Development Agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce
* Farrah was elected by the United Way of Southern Nevada to sit on the Board of Directors for a three-year term as the youngest director ever to sit on any United Way board nationwide
* Farrah had the distinct honor of serving as the youngest Board of Advisor for the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce

At Age 16,
* Farrah acquired INNERCITY Magazine from Inner City Broadcasting Corporation

At Age 17,
* Farrah financed a comedy show on the Las Vegas Strip, which gave him the distinct honor of being the second African-American after Red Foxx to own a show production on the Las Vegas strip

At Age 19,
* Farrah signed his “Reallionaire” book deal with HCI
* Farrah Gray became a Contributing Author to “Chicken Soup for the African-American Soul”. Both books were published by Health Communications Incorporated (HCI) publisher of the New York Times and USA Today Best-Seller Chicken Soup for the Soul Series

At Age 20,
* Farrah, as a real estate investor, was elected as youngest member to sit on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Inc. Region 15 (N.A.R.E.B.®), the oldest and largest minority trade association.
* Became an International best-seller with the book “Reallionaire”.

At Age 21,
* Became Spokesman for the National Coalition for the Homeless.
* First Premiere Bank released the “GoFarr” Farrah Gray Mastercard.
* Launched University of Business Futures (UBF), an entrepreneurship school, developed in a partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and graduated with 300 students.
* Became the youngest in HBCU history to receive an honorary doctorate from Allen University.

At Age 22,
* Co-founded Realty Pros a property asset management company.
* Became Spokesman for National Marrow Donor Program African-American Initiative
* Became a syndicated columnist through the National Newspapers Publishers Association (NNPA), a federation of 200 weekly newspapers, reaching over 15 million readers.
* Became an AOL Money Coach.

At Age 23,
* Released the “Get Real, Get Rich: Conquer the 7 Lies Blocking You from Success” (Dutton Hardcover) and Brilliance Audio Book on CD, Cassette, MP3 CD

At Age 24,
* Realty Pros reached over $30 million in total assets under management.
* Serving second term as Chairman of The National Coalition for the Homeless Bringing America Home Campaign
* Released “THE TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU RICH: The New Road Map to Radical Prosperity” (Plume Paperback)
Gray’s books have been translated into Russian, Korean, Indonesian and Vietnamese languages with book sales in Africa, Australia, and Europe and in Central and South America countries.

To find out more about Farrah Gray please visit www.farrahgray.com

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