Capacity Building Program Arrives for NYC Physicians


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After she graduated medical school, Dr Teresa Chan had the medical skills she would need to examine and treat patients. Having the best business skills to run her own practice, however, was a different story: “You never learn business skills in medical school because you just see the patients and you keep moving. Even through residency, there was no formal teaching on how to bill and code for our services, much less how to start or run a private practice.” So when Teresa pursued her dreams of starting her own practice, she realized she needed help.

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Weekly Reads: Mar. 20 - Mar. 24

#SmBiz4EconDev #WeeklyReads

What Happens When a Poor City Raises Its Minimum Wage to $15?

This week, Baltimore passed legislation raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, becoming the fourth US city to do so. However, Baltimore's economy is not thriving as much as Seattle, San Francisco, and D.C.'s economies, so this article takes a look at the arguments on both sides for a poor city raising the minimum wage.

"Research on the impacts of minimum wage hikes has focused on states or cities that have very different economic profiles than Baltimore’s."


SBA Administrator Announces National Small Business Week Awardees

The SBA announced this week the 54 states and territories' Small Business Persons of the Year, who will compete for the National Small Business Person of the Year in Washington DC at the end of April. Administrator Linda McMahon also announced this week the 16 recipients of a variety of small business-focused awards for the 2017 National Small Business Week.

Several StreetWise 'MBA' alum have received their states' award this year, and Interise wishes them luck in the next stages of the competition!


Classy Awards 100 Finalists Showcase the Best in Social Innovation

"The Classy Awards has become one of the top forums for recognizing global social innovation. Classy Awards Finalists are pioneering innovative ideas and technologies that address some of our greatest social problems, and we're honored to play a role in recognizing their incredible accomplishments."

Interise is honored to be one of 100 Classy Awards finalists, recognized as "the most innovative nonprofits and social enterprises." Interise looks forward to engaging with fellow finalists: Outcomes-driven organizations, #ShowUsYourImpact!


Association For Enterprise Opportunity Releases New Report On Black Business Ownership And Its Untapped Potential For Exponential Growth

"There is a myth that Black people aren't motivated to start their own firms, and are pushed into business ownership mostly due to unemployment. Our findings show that in actuality, Black Americans have high entrepreneurial drive and the same motivations as other entrepreneurs, yet face three persistent barriers that operating together impede the establishment and growth of Black-owned firms."

The Association for Enterprise Opportunity released their report this week, titled "The Tapestry of Black Business Ownership in America: Untapped Opportunities for Success", which examines the triumphs and tribulations many Black entrepreneurs face.


Conservative “Small Business” Owners Are Not Victims Of Progress

Not all business that are categorized as "small businesses" are the small businesses people think of. There are some "small businesses", depending on the industry, that have 500, 1000, 1500 employees.

With healthcare reform making all the headlines lately, small business owners are being shown as the group most against the current healthcare state, but firms with under 50 employees (over 89% of the US' employer firms) are exempt from the healtcare mandate. Therefore, this article argues that many of the small businesses complaining about the ACA aren't fully valuing their employees.


The Divide Between Rural and Urban America, in 6 Charts

This US News article examines the misconception that urban poverty is on a larger scale than in rural areas, demonstrating the gap in 6 distinct charts. The charts illustrate differences in overall poverty, job generation, health, entrepreneurial spark, and business survival.

The column asks sociologists, economists, geographers and historians to describe the divide from different angles, and put their responses into charts and detailed explanations.


Weekly Reads: Mar. 13 - Mar. 17

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Is the Economy Overdue for a Recession?

"There is no evidence that time itself kills economic growth. People seem to think of expansions as being like human bodies, developing problems as the years accumulate and thus naturally becoming more and more likely to perish."

Since Trump's election, the market has rallied to record highs, unemployment to a several year low, even wages are increasing. But history shows this can't last forever, a recession can happen again soon, and businesses need to be prepared.


Black Women Are The Fastest Growing Group Of Entrepreneurs, But Major Systemic Obstacles Are Still Standing In Their Way

Even though black women are the most educated segment of the US population and the fastest growing group of entrepreneurs, they also are the group that hits the most obstacles when searching for investors, mentors, and networks, a Bustle article says.

"Given that most Americans do not have strong social networks that cross racial lines, that makes it almost incomparably harder for a black woman entrepreneur to raise a friends-and-family round than it would be for a white woman entrepreneur."


Interise Is A Classy Finalist!

This week, Interise was named as a finalist for the Classy Awards, an award recognizing the most innovative non-profits and social enterprises. Interise is honored to be named a finalist again this year after being a finalist in 2016 as well. Check out our bio on the finalist page!


Big Thaw? Looks Like Small Businesses Ending Hiring Freeze

A business owner interviewed for the article is optimistic about Trump's call in his recent speech to Congress for $1 trillion in public and private spending on infrastructure. Spending on roads, bridges and other public works could mean more business for both the industries Eco Branding serves.

This small business hiring spike isn't just positively impacting the businesses themselves - the businesses in surrounding towns that provide goods and services to these small businesses are seeing a rise in business as well, leading them to need to hire more people as well.


(How NOT to) Be a Leader

"The first in a series of hilarious how–not–to guides for new leaders looking to avoid common pitfalls of leadership. This book will help leaders understand what they can do to be better leaders by first understanding what not to do."

One of Interise's amazing instructors, Mary Marshall, has published her second book, available on Amazon in paperback or on Kindle. Check it out!


How Blockchain Can Open New Doors For Small Businesses

"Blockchain offers a built-in mechanism for trust, combined with finality of transactions for improved processes. Transactions can be run and approved automatically in seconds or minutes, reducing costs and boosting efficiency."

While blockchain is still being fully tested in R&D centers, they offer a huge opportunity for small businesses, especially those looking to work or already working abroad as they eliminate the time and costs associated with international money exchanges.


Pennsylvania Department of General Services Releases Diversity, Inclusion and Small Business Opportunities 2015-16 Annual Report

"We've been very deliberate in our efforts to lead the charge in assisting small and small diverse businesses overcome the challenges they face to build capacity, grow their businesses and become a force, not only in state contracting, but the overall economy."

This report outlines several progressive recommendations to include more small businesses, especially those owned by minorities, in the Pennsylvania economy. While these recommendations are a specific response to the report, they provide a great guideline for other cities and states to follow.


Weekly Reads: Mar. 6 - Mar. 10

#SmBiz4EconDev #WeeklyReads

From the Women's March to the Women's Strike: Entrepreneurs and Business Owners Must Take a Stance

"There is growing global recognition that equal opportunity for women is the smartest strategy for improving business performance and society in general."

On International Women's Day, there was a strike in place to create a "Day Without Women", but many women don't have the ability to skip work without repercussions financially and also organizationally. This article examines the ways which colleagues can support women in their fight for equality in the working world.


How to Keep Your Team Focused and Productive During Uncertain Times

Every organization goes through growing pains, times of economic instability, management change at some point, and it can challenge a firm's resolve. Harvard Business Review outlines the many steps a company can take to keep everything on course, mostly centered around increased communication, heightened attention to wellness, and focus on the important tasks at hand.


Our Political Economy Is Designed to Create Poverty and Inequality

"All are created equal, indeed, but all do not have the same access to privilege, nor the same friends inside the government or financial centers of power, nor the same accountants. Our reality is socially constructed and culturally affirmed. We have come to accept a system of things as inevitable without challenging the assumptions upon which a system is based."

This article argues that the unregulated financial, healthcare, and educational systems are designed to perpetuate poverty and inequality, while the country spends an inordinate amount on the military and privatization continues to expand.


Massachusetts Awards $7.9 Million in Workforce Training Grants to 111 Massachusetts Companies
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The Workforce Training Fund, run by the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development and the Commonwealth Corporation, announced on March 8th the in-statement of "$7.9 million in workforce training fund grants to 111 Massachusetts companies, saying the funds will be used to train 5,243 workers and create an expected 522 new jobs".

These funds will be allocated around the state to a variety of specific programs, all of which are included in list form in the article.


Ads Show Eastern Bank’s True Colors on Social Issues

Eastern Bank recently launched a new branding campaign, Join Us For Good, to celebrate their 200th anniversary, and campaign billboards have been popping up all over Boston. Many of the ads take a stance on the acceptance of marginalized communities, namely immigrants and the LGBTQ community.

“As with anything, there may be some people who don’t like it,” Rivers said. “It’s our story; it’s not made up.”

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LGBT-Owned Business: Stats and Facts
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"LGBTBEs make up less than one percent of small businesses. Part of the reason is that many owners may be reluctant to disclose their sexual orientation, particularly lesbian, transgender and bisexual groups. Of the 909 LBGTBEs, a majority—nearly 67 percent—are owned by gay man. Only 30 percent are lesbian-owned and barely 2 and 2.3 percent were transgender and bisexual-owned respectively, according to the NGLCC report."

Included in the article is a list of LGBT-friendly businesses given by the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, highlighting businesses like Apple, Microsoft, and Starbucks, who all received a perfect scoring.


Weekly Reads: Feb. 27 - Mar. 3

#SmBiz4EconDev #WeeklyReads

10 World-Renowned Entrepreneurs Reveal Their Business Secrets

This Entrepreneur article polls 10 business-men that have already been widely successful yet continue to grow and achieve something new every day. They want to share their secrets with budding entrepreneurs to help them gain the confidence, resources, and drive to become successful as well. Featuring SharkTank judges, motivational speakers, CEOs, writers, and many more.


Bridging the Divide: How Business Ownership Can Help Close the Racial Wealth Gap

This article highlights the importance of small businesses in closing wealth divide in the US as well as recommends several both short- and long-term solutions to racial wealth inequality.

"In the short-term, continuing and expanding efforts to increase access to capital, skills, networks, and markets will be needed to realize the promise that business ownership holds for addressing the racial wealth gap. In the long-term, universal policies to narrow the racial wealth gap — such as those aimed at raising the quality of education, building savings, and increasing financial inclusion — will be critical."


Congress Shouldn’t Retire A Rule That Helps Small Businesses Provide for Their Employees’ Golden Years

Congress has proposed to overturn a Department of Labor rule that allows states to set-up retirement and pension programs that small businesses can enroll in, as they often don't have the resources to fund their own programs unlike larger corporations.

Lack of benefits often result in high employee turnover for small businesses, which can harm the congruence of their businesses. Currently, 80% of small business employees do not have any sort of pension or retirement plan, and Congress' proposed repeal will only make matters worse.


Why Deporting Undocumented Immigrants Could Slow US Economy

"Immigrants living illegally in the United States account for roughly 18 percent of employment in agriculture, 13 percent in construction and 10 percent at restaurants, hotels and casinos, according to a study done last year by the National Bureau of Economic Research."

Economists have been going to battle for the rights of undocumented immigrants under threat of being deported in large groups as they believe the departure of a large chunk of the economy will severely hurt it. These economists featured in the article argue that many immigrants perform jobs that everyday Americans wouldn't do. However, the Trump administration has been inconsistent on how they will handle immigration reform, so there is some uncertainty as well.


U.S. Small Business Borrowing Falls in January

Despite much of the reporting in the past few weeks emphasizing small business owners optimism, borrowing from small businesses fell to a three-month low, showing they're not fully confident increased demand for their businesses will be coming too soon.

The Trump administration's business platform has many expecting tax breaks and fewer regulations, but the uncertainty about his other agenda items has some businesses wavering. With small business borrowing often being used to gauge how the rest of the economy will do a couple quarters down the road, this is a story we will continue to follow.


Mayor Says Global, National Forces Complicate City’s Anti-Inequality Efforts
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Although Boston has recently become one of the worst cities in the US in terms of income inequality, Mayor Marty Walsh highlights global forces and national policies as contradictory to the city's efforts at Boston Municipal Research Bureau’s annual luncheon.

The Mayor has been combating rising housing prices through his housing development projects and is working to better support local small businesses through the creation of a business capital and finance unit, which will make loans to small businesses.


3 Tips For Learning How To Delegate As An Entrepreneur

"Many President/CEOs are used to 'doing it all' for their businesses. But being able to effectively delegate is a critical capacity to both scale your business and to develop your people."

Delegation is an extremely important piece of growing and scaling a CEO's small business, something Interise teaches early on in the curriculum. CEOs need to se strong relationships with employees to be able to gauge their ability to help with a delegated task, give their employees freedom completing the whole project and not just intermittent tasks, and be transparent about when check-ins and feedback with happen, freeing up time for the CEO to do the more important work.

Weekly Reads: Feb. 20 - Feb. 24

#SmBiz4EconDev #WeeklyReads

How Today’s Visa Restrictions Might Impact Tomorrow’s America

"Since 2008, more U.S. patents have been registered by non-U.S. citizens than those registered by Americans."

Trump's immigration ban may affect U.S. business access to international talent pool. Experts featured in this Washington Post article speculate that college students may have restricted travel under the ban.

Find the former Interise board member featured in this article..


Hispanic Small Business Owners Expect to Grow Revenues, Hire More in 2017, Study Shows

A study done by GfK Public Affairs found that Miami's Hispanic-owned businesses are the fastest growing small businesses in Miami!

“Small business is Miami. Small business is what has put Miami on the map, in my opinion... When I think about Miami, that’s what we are about. It’s the immigrant community that came here early on ... and changed it from a sleepy town to an international city that it is today.”


Ivanka Trump Attends Roundtable with Minority Business Owners

Interise is proud to partner with the SBA and National Urban League, two organizations that met with Ivanka Trump to discuss empowering MBEs.

"During the roundtable, the business owners shared stories about the challenges they had overcome to achieve their business goals — two said they had previously been homeless — and discussed the public and private programs that helped them achieve, according to a White House official who requested anonymity to provide details of the event."


3 Books Every Growth-Stage Entrepreneur Should Read This Year

Falon Fatemi, CEO and Founder of Node, recommends 3 books to entrepreneurs looking to scale their small businesses: How to listen and see things from someone else's position, how to focus on the "who" that matters more than the "what," the importance of doing one thing and doing it well, and how to identify and tackle team challenges.


Small Business Owners Are Excited About the US Economy - and They're Giving Trump the Credit

Of 1,400 executives polled in new JP Morgan Chse survey, 80% are optimistic about the national economy, up 41 points from the same poll done a year ago. In addition, 76% of those polled think the Trump administration will be good for the US economy.


Leveling The Playing Field for Minority Contractors in Philadephia
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The city of Pittsburgh is in the midst of a massive public works project, working to improve parks, recreational centers, and libraries. Most of the work will be done by local contractors and firms, with a focus on contracing with businesses owned by minorities, women, and the disabled. Participating businesses were asked to highlight common roadblocks in contracting with the city.