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.


Alumni Spotlight: Perez, APC


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A Story of Resilience

Perez is a 75-year-old business based out of the French Quarter in New Orleans. According to Mary Alexander, Chief Financial Officer of Perez, “It’s the second-oldest architecture firm in New Orleans.” Before 2005, most of its contracts were in and around New Orleans. In 2005, however, Hurricane Katrina hit the South Coast. Almost all of their business was either put on hold or destroyed in the devastation. The Perez office itself, in the northern part of the quarter, suffered damage as well. 

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Weekly Reads: Feb. 13 - Feb. 17

#Smbiz4Econdev #WeeklyReads

Despite Bias, Women Entrepreneurs Are an Enormous Economic Force

A recent study by the Center for Women's Business Research found that "if society could access all the untapped potential these female-led companies possess, those businesses would have the possibility to generate $10 trillion in revenue." The study offers up multiple explanations for why women entrepreneurs often don't reach their career potential within the economy, including institutionalized bias and lack of publicized female mentors or role-models.


Economically and Socially Disadvantaged Business Owners Should Look to the SBA as Administrator Linda McMahon Assumes Leadership Role

"There are over 6 million minority-owned businesses in the U.S. However, less than .01 percent of these firms participate in SBA’s 8(a) program, designed to strengthen the profitability and operations of small, economically and socially disadvantaged businesses. These benefits must not be overlooked."

In 2016, Interise contracted with the SBA to deliver Emerging Leaders in 54 cities across the United States. 65% of SWMBA participants nationally were minority or operated their businesses in a low- to moderate-income community, increasing revenues on average by 43%.



Harvard Business School Makes a Case for Diversity

Case studies by the Harvard Business School have been pivotal over the years in addressing problems and trends within the business world, while teaching MBA students the in's and out's of the field. However, less than 1% of the studies include black executives -- something Professor Steve Rodgers is trying to change.

While Harvard Business School is "paying much more attention to this and committed to increasing the numbers of blacks and other minorities represented in the cases," Professor Rodgers has established a class called "Black Business Leaders and Entrepreneurship" to further address the gap.

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Linden Small Business Owner Gets Boost from SBA

Juan Carlos Lopez's business grew steadily over its first 20 years, before hitting a wall. His advertising and marketing company, geared towards Hispanic businesses in New Jersey, was then invited to participate in the SBA Emerging Leaders program, which transformed their company.

"After participating in the Small Business Administration’s Emerging Leaders training, Juan Carlos Lopez has seen his Linden-based NEMA Associates grow by 5 percent with another 25-percent growth expected." Another example of why capacity building matters!


The Cities Workers Are Flocking To

Forbes paired up with LinkedIn to see which US cities the most workers moved to in 2016. Nearly all of the cities featured have mild to warm climates and most are also not on the East Coast. It will be interesting to see how these cities develop with new influx of workers.


Alumni Spotlight: Bon Bon Bon

Alex-Clark-Headshot-Shot-by-Brad-ZieglerYearning for Chocolate in Detroit

At the age of fourteen, Alexandra Clark knew what she wanted to do with her life: create and sell sweets. “I loved the interaction that people have when they’re buying sweets,” Alex recalls. “It’s so fun!”

After graduating college, she left her home state of Michigan to pursue her craft in places as far off as Norway, New Zealand, and in the North American cities of Vancouver, Aspen, Chicago, and Boston. “For eight years, I moved on average every six months.” But when it came to starting her own business, Alex knew she had to return to Michigan. 

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Weekly Reads: Feb. 6 - Feb. 10

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High-Impact Entrepreneurship: Enabling Growth, Opportunity and Sustainability

To decrease inequality, we need to increase opportunities, and high-impact entrepreneurs could be the way to do just that. High impact entrepreneurs "have above average impacts on job creation, wealth creation, and societal impacts in their communities and improve standards of living".


Job Creation In The New Political Economy: Small Companies, Not Big Companies, Create Jobs

An in-depth look into how the new administration and its policies will affect the middle-market - those companies that make between $10 million and $1 billion a year. There have been several studies done over the years showing that the middle-market, not the large multinational organizations, is the sector producing the most jobs and driving the economy.

While the Trump administration has been focusing on multi-nationals so far, there is hope they will also focus on the benefits of the middle-market and make sure their policy changes don't harm this market.


Fast-growing SBA is One Federal Program Trump Supports

"As a segment of the popoulation, the proportion of immigrants" who apply for SBA loans "is greater than in the general populace," Eshelman told me. "We help a lot of small business owners who are first-generation Americans. Business is their way of life," both in upstate cities like Allentown or Lancaster, and in polyglot Philadelphia.

A review of the growth numbers of the SBA and its loans both nationally and in Pennsylvannia specifically. Linda McMahon was one of the few members of Trump's cabinet to get bipartisan support, being confirmed with a 18-1 vote.


What Causes Racial Economic Inequality - and What Doesn't

"Drawing on data from the 2013 Survey of Consumer Finances, we find that white adults who don’t graduate high school, don’t get married before having children, and don’t work full time still have much greater wealth at the median than comparable black and Latino adults — and often have more wealth than black and Latino households that have married, completed more education, or work longer hours."

Today, many people believe that income inequality can be improved by individual life choices, ignoring the multigenerational wealth and networks that often come into play. To combat these issues, there needs to be policies put in place to change institutionalized and structured practices


These Small Business Owners Fret Over 'Devastating' Import Tax Pitched by House GOP Leaders

There are many small businesses that import their goods to stay competitive in the market, but the idea of instating an import tax would quickly drive them out of business, effectively making the government lose the money they would be making from that tax. While supporters argue in the long-run this bill would help the US economy, small businesses would be the most impacted in the short-term.


A Business Plan for Healthy Communities
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"Across the country, institutions are embracing their role as a community anchor, but much more needs to be done. For example, only 2 percent of all hospital purchasing dollars are directed toward minority- and women-owned businesses."

A new, free toolkit developed by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is now available, called Hospitals Aligned for Healthy Communities. The toolkit aims to encourage health institutions in their hiring, purchasing, and investing power to improve underserved and minority-majority communities.


4 Powerful Marketing Tips for Your Small Business

This blogger outlines the various tools, from the SBA to resources found on the internet and in the cloud, to enhance your small business' marketing strategy. Heightened brand recognition is feasible!


Mayor’s New Plan Provides More Aid to MWBEs

“We know that when all people – regardless of race, gender or ethnicity – have the proper resources to reach their full potential, communities across the five boroughs will reap the benefits of their success.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has announced that the Office for Minority Owned Business Enterprises will be partnering with one business in each of the 5 boroughs to help new businesses register as a minority owned firm and have old businesses re-certify if necessary.


Is It Impossible to Start a U.S. Small Business?: QuickTake Q&A

A quick look at the effects of the Dodd-Frank 2010 bill on small business lending, how the Trump administration is looking to turn these trends around, and how the US ranks compared to the rest of the world in ease of starting a small business.


How Aligned Is Your Organization?

"Winning through a tightly managed enterprise value chain that connects an enterprise’s purpose (what we do and why we do it) to its business strategy (what we are trying to win at to fulfill our purpose), organizational capability (what we need to be good at to win), resource architecture (what makes us good), and, finally, management systems (what delivers the winning performance we need)."

Organizational alignment is a key component of successful scaling of businesses, but can only work if all pieces of the enterprise value chain are in sync.


Valentine's Day Gift Guide!

Valentines Blog Post

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with some sweet or savory goodies, meaningful gifts, or by supporting a partner duo! To help you out, we’ve created a list of some of our StreetWise™ ‘MBA’ alumni to consider buying gifts for your special someone.


Sweet Lydia’s 

  • Specializes in their one-of-a-kind s’mores, a great gift for V day! And good news -- you can purchase the treats online as well! Sweet Lydia’s specialty s’mores come in 5 different flavors, or you can even make your own.

Bon Bon Bon 

  • Bon Bon Bon is offering a box of sweets as their Valentine’s Day Collection, with 13 different flavors of chocolates inside! Recently recognized as a Forbes 30 under 30 finalist, Bon Bon Bon is challenging the status quo in the chocolatier industry.
Support a Love-Inspired Partnership!

McCrea’s Candies 

  • Celebrate Valentine’s Day the right way by supporting a couple’s renowned caramel business! Jason and Kate McCrea run McCrea’s Candies, whose specialty is individually wrapped caramels, with 11 different flavor infusions to choose from.

The Hot Chocolatier 

  • Get your chocolate and gourmet pastry fix on Valentine’s Day from Wendy and Brandon Buckner, a Chattanooga couple whose storefront has glass walls around the kitchen to allow customers to look on as the chefs prepare the goodies.

Q’s Nuts 

  • This husband-wife duo sells mouth-watering roasted nuts that are perfect for a special someone who prefers savory to sweet, and provides a vegan, gluten, soy and/or dairy free option!
Specialty Gifts!

Ali'i Kula Lavender 

  • Give a lavender product that evokes joy, rejuvenation, comfort and serenity! Made using natural, botanical and organic ingredients. AKL offers lavender bath and body, culinary, and aromatherapy products, or even a tour of the lavender farm in Maui!