Tag Archives: startup help for women

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.

National Association for Moms in Business Grant Competition!

12 May
Pink Umbrella

Business grant competition via crowdfunding to give mom entrepreneurs a better chance at launching a new or current business project. All participants win a half-page feature in Moms In Business Magazine, publicity on peerbackers.com and momsinbusinessgrant.com, and a $2,000 publicity toolkit from PRNewswire. When the crowdfunding competition ends, all grant applicants who raised 80% or more of their funding goal will become semi-finalists. A team of mom executives and entrepreneurs will judge each application to determine the $10,000 Grand Prize Grant Package winner. Competitors must be a member of NAFMIB.

Competition ends June 15, 2011

Enter here  http://mibn.org/site.php/spgs/read/momsinbusinessgrant-about

Startup Boot Camps Looking for Entrepreneurs

10 Apr
Celena's Pink Waltz

Image by snupped via Flickr

 

Business accelerators are spreading across the U.S. as early stage investors, entrepreneurs, and policymakers try to speed how long it takes to create new ventures—from years to months.

Launchpad Ignition

Launch Pad Ignition is a new startup accelerator. An exciting leap for the New Orleans startup ecosystem, Ignition creates a framework to help founders refine their product offering, invigorate their business plans, and raise funding to fuel their growth. Launch Pad Ignition is a program of Launch Pad, a co-working & incubator space in downtown New Orleans. With 12,000 sq ft of shared workspace and more than 60 companies, Launch Pad is at the heart of the entrepreneurial renaissance in New Orleans and is one of the most successful co-working spaces in the country.

Techstars

TechStars is a mentorship-driven seed stage investment program. They run a three month long program in Boston (MA), Boulder (CO), New York City (NY) and Seattle (WA) once each year. They’re very selective – hundreds of companies apply and we only take about ten companies per city. These companies get up to $18,000 in seed funding, three months of intensive top-notch mentorship, and the chance to pitch to angel investors and venture capitalists at the end of the program.

DreamIT Ventures

The DreamIt founders designed DreamIt to be the startup accelerator program they wish existed when they started and sold their first companies. New startups today need only a little funding, but they need more help and support than ever before. They need a community of fellow entrepreneurs to share ideas and inspiration, technologists to join their team, Mentors and coaches who have struggled on their way to a big success, legal and accounting services that don’t cost precious cash, and opportunities to meet and pitch angel investors and venture capitalists.

Incubate Miami

Incubate Miami is a public/private partnership between Digiport http://www.digiport.com and The Enterprise Development Corporation of South Florida (EDC) http://www.edc-tech.org that supports emerging science and technology companies in Miami.

Conceived of by Marc Billings, CEO of Digiport, Incubate Miami provides multiple layers of support for entrepreneurs. The mission is to accelerate the growth of startups and innovation and to develop a vibrant technology-based community that creates high-skill, high wage jobs in industries that drive the global economy.

NYC Seedstart

NYC SeedStart Media is a 12-week summer program designed to provide seed funding to technology companies to build a product and launch their company. SeedStart is interested in companies focusing on advertising infrastructure, e-commerce, digital content, and mobile technology. Companies will work with an incredible network of mentors, professionals, and experienced technology entrepreneurs. Venture Capital Partners include Contour Venture Partners, Comcast Interactive Capital/Genacast Ventures, NYC Seed, Polaris Venture Partners, RRE Ventures.

500 Startups

500 Startups provides early-stage companies with funding ranging from $10K to $250K via seed investments, our startup accelerator program, and new micro-fund models like the Twilio Fund. With over 120 experienced startup mentors around the world, creative 10,000 sq ft working space in the heart of Silicon Valley, and a vibrant community of startup founders, they help companies succeed in ways other venture firms do not.

The 500 Startups Accelerator experiments with early-stage startup formulas for explosive growth with a mixture of up to $100K in funding, superhuman mentors & designers in residence, platform-specific strategies for customer acquisition, a creative workspace and more.

Excelerate Labs

Excelerate Labs is an intensive summer accelerator for startups driven by proven entrepreneurs and investors. Led by world class entrepreneurs Sam Yagan (OKCupid, Sparknotes) and Troy Henikoff (SurePayroll), the program is unique in attracting dozens of mentors from around the country to work with the teams in direct 1-on-1 meetings.

The program selects ten companies every spring to participate in the 13-week intensive summer program. Starting on June 1st, the ten companies build connections and their business during the program. The program culminates in an Investor Demo Day on August 31st, where the companies showcase their progress and plans to more than 200 angel and venture investors from around the country.

For a list of Startup Bootcamps around the world, visit Robert Shedd’s blog at http://blog.shedd.us/321987608/

Hey Rhode Island Entrepreneurs–there’s 150k in Prizes Up for Grabs!

12 Dec
Great seal of the state of Rhode Island

Image via Wikipedia

The Rhode Island Business Plan Competition is the leading community-supported business plan competition in the Northeast, supported by private businesses, colleges and universities, public entities, and nonprofit organizations.

Established in 2000, the Competition aims to further develop the entrepreneurial spirit in Rhode Island and help create growth companies that will increase local employment.

The Competition encourages plans for new businesses, as well as from early stage companies. An early stage, or seed stage, company typically is at the inventor stage where there is an idea, a concept, or even a product, but little or no income has been generated yet.

Winners and finalists will share more than $150,000 in prizes.

Applications to the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition must be submitted online and may be submitted at any time, but no later than by 5 p.m. Eastern time on April 4, 2011.

For more information please visit http://www.ri-bizplan.com

New York Entrepreneurs…Win $15K to Start a Business!!!

19 Nov
New York Public Library Logo

Image by onBeing via Flickr

The New York Public Library, with its sponsor, Citi Foundation, announces the New York StartUP! 2011 Business Plan Competition for New York-based startup entrepreneurs with cash prizes totaling over $30,000.

The second annual New York StartUp! gives aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to bolster their business acumen. Competition is open to those who are 18 years of age or older; live in Manhattan, The Bronx, or Staten Island as a legal resident or U.S. citizen; and wish to start a business in Manhattan, The Bronx, or Staten Island.

1st Place Award: $15,000. 2nd Place Award: $ 7,500. 3rd Place Award: $ 5,000. 4th Place Award: $ 1,500. 5th Place Award: $ 1,500.

Entry Deadline: December 20th 2010

For more information visit http://ny-startup2011.myreviewroom.com/

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