October 11, 2013

The hierarchical structure of modern corporate offices can be traced back to 19th century railroad companies. With vast networks of track stretched across the country, transportation magnates needed to designate clear lines of communication among their far-flung operations. A system of middle managers and regional executives eventually rose to prominence and ensured that things ran smoothly. Over the course of the 20th century, businesses of all stripes adopted this top-down structure as their own, eventually leading to the Continue reading

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September 19, 2013

For many budding tech entrepreneurs, getting accepted into a prestigious business incubator is almost as important as receiving a diploma from Stanford. The jolt of capital and resources provided by accelerator programs like Y Combinator or Techstars often act as springboards into multimillion-dollar successes. But not all startups want to become the next Google. Some would rather operate more like the Bill Gates Foundation by applying their innovative skills to addressing major world problems. While these aims are certainly noble, Continue reading

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crowdfundCrowdfunding websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have raised hundreds of millions of dollars for businesspeople and artists looking for quick injections of cash. But what has it done for the people who actually contributed to these campaigns? While many crowdfunding drives offer prizes and gifts to their donors, they don’t provide participants with ownership stakes like other methods of investment. That’s why a new wave of crowdfunding platforms are coming on the scene to make this burgeoning financing strategy more Continue reading

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credituThe Great Recession soured millions of people’s relationships with traditional banks, driving many to entrust their money with credit unions instead. Along with incessant media coverage of their questionable dealings, banks at the time had to contend with consumer outrage about hidden fees and supersized overdraft penalties. As a result, credit unions appeared to be safe and sensible money managers compared to their colossal, unscrupulous counterparts on Wall Street. Plus, credit unions offered perks like free checking, friendly staff, and Continue reading

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March 25, 2013

 

foamSome products in our society become so commonplace that it can be difficult to remember a time when they weren’t around. The oversized foam finger proudly waved at sporting events across the nation certainly fits that description. But the world had to wait until 1977 for this iconic product’s first iteration. A Texas woodshop teacher named Geral Fauss cut the first big digit out of poster board in anticipation of his high school’s upcoming football game against a heated Continue reading

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February 5, 2013

Although franchising has many benefits, it doesn’t provide much freedom to the franchisees. After all, their primary job is to maintain the brand’s image, which just so happens to be whatever their corporate bosses say it is. They can also fall victim to larger trends that have affected their parent company. For instance, an entrepreneur named Jerry Merrill lost his Baskin-Robbins franchise in 1999, along with 600 other franchisees the company could not afford to keep. Merrill and 34 other Continue reading

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February 1, 2013

For years socially conscious entrepreneurs have been trying to find ways to help people in third world countries without giving them outright charity. While microfinancers help many ambitious poor people start small businesses, there are many people who are not ready to assume the risk of starting a business. That’s why a new group of activists is focusing their efforts on “impact sourcing” by providing simple but integral work to citizens of impoverished communities.

Outsourcing jobs to emerging nations is Continue reading

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