The Curator: SMB Lending, Entrepreneur Brains, Corporate Jungle, Customer Acquisition, Happy Givers, Charitable Startups

Here’s our weekly link roundup of small business buzz, musings and muchness. A curation of the best small business talk around the web.

Here’s our weekly link roundup of small business buzz, musings and muchness. A curation of the best small business talk around the web.



Heading into the new year, small business lending is heading in the right direction

No, this past year did not bring the economic resurgence many small business owners were hoping for at the start of 2013. Consumers remain cautious, investors remain wary, and hiring has continued to ebb and flow.


Entrepreneurs’ Brains are Wired Differently

Windows of entrepreneurial opportunity can open unexpectedly and briefly, typically under conditions of risk and uncertainty. Founder entrepreneurs must therefore be alert, tolerant of ambiguity and able to respond quickly when opportunity knocks. But does this mean that founders´ brains work differently, compared to other people, when detecting and choosing opportunities? Our research suggests that they do.


Why Aspiring Entrepreneurs Shouldn’t Knock The Corporate Jungle

I can’t knock the spirit — I think it’s great that people want to take control of their lives and put their skills to use in the most productive way. However, the view that a stint in corporate America is a waste of time is a bit myopic and actually sort of dangerous. Some of the best entrepreneurs, including Jeff Bezos, Marc Benioff, Howard Schultz and countless others, started after a run in the corporate world.


3 tips to optimize customer acquisition for startups

Acquiring customers in the startup world requires using a lot of varied marketing and sales processes with eventually converting the prospects into paying customers. Whether your model is freemium, pay as you go, or providing software as a service (SaaS), your startup will always need to depend on converting your leads and making sure that you are able to acquire your customers in an easier and efficient manner.


Why Entrepreneurs Are the Happiest Givers

The holidays mean a lot of different things to people. It can be a joyful time, a sad time, a stressful time or even a relaxing time. Naturally, we put a big emphasis on giving back this time of year and everyone loves a cheerful giver… Here are the top reasons why I believe entrepreneurs ‘pay it forward’ with the biggest hearts and brightest smiles.


A New Nonprofit Model: Meet The Charitable Startups

Startup companies are traditionally for-profit enterprises, but in recent years philanthropic ventures have begun adopting the technological know-how and scrappy mentality of startups to develop a new breed of lean nonprofits.


Small Business: How owners can reduce stress

Running a small business can be stressful, particularly with the number of hours many owners put in. A recent survey by The Alternative Board found nearly one in five small business owners work 60-plus hours a week, and 76 percent have had symptoms of work-related stress. Finding ways to reduce your stress load can improve your mental and physical health and ultimately your bottom line.


Tricky 2014 Problems Startups Could Solve

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler,” Einstein once said– something to consider as many of 2014’s biggest trends mean the world is going to become a more complex place. “In 2014 we’re going to see the shift from the web to mobile, to living services become more dramatic,” says Mark Curtis, Chief Client Officer and Founder of Fjord a digital design consultancy owned by Accenture , which released its 2014 Trend Report today.


5 Great Traits Effective Entrepreneurs Share

Entrepreneurs are like snowflakes: no two are exactly alike. But despite their differences, great businesspeople often share certain characteristics that drive success. We’ve sorted through Entrepreneur’s coverage from the past year and chosen five great traits that define the effective entrepreneur, all courtesy of leaders in social media, innovation and business. Let their insights help you better understand how the most interesting people make their dreams a reality.


Startups Are Quick to Fire

Here’s another way that startups are reinventing the way companies work: Firing people before the ink is dry on their employment contracts. At one startup, Steve Fredrick, of venture-capital firm Grotech Ventures, says he saw a senior executive fired after three days. “It was like an organ-transplant rejection,” he adds.



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