February 2, 2015

From the first colonists to the heyday of Ellis Island, the U.S. has largely been built upon the backs of people who were not born here. But the economic impact of immigrants is more than just a matter of history. Even today, immigrants are the entrepreneurial engines that power the nation. From 1996 to 2011, the business startup rate for immigrants grew by more than 50 percent. In contrast, the number of companies started by U.S.-born citizens dropped by 10 Continue reading

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December 10, 2014

When Michael Garrity founded CommunityLend in 2010, he thought his company was in a perfect position to capture an untapped market. After all, the 2008 financial crisis made many banks wary of lending too much cash, presenting a golden opportunity to non-traditional operations like CommunityLend. Plus, the company’s peer-to-peer model was the first of its kind in Garrity’s home country of Canada, marking a major advantage for the startup.

Despite these benefits, though, CommunityLend had trouble finding qualified borrowers for Continue reading

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November 25, 2014

 

In a world of Amazon and e-readers, there’s just not much room for independent bookstores. Over the past five years, mom and pop bookshops have seen revenues decrease by an average of 3.2 percent annually. But not every company in this discouraging industry is feeling the squeeze. In fact, the Dallas-based retailer Half Price Books is growing at a rate of five stores per year. Revenues rose from $50 million in 1995 to $240 million in 2013, remarkably avoiding Continue reading

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November 23, 2014

From making repairs to keeping the gas tank filled, owning a car is a pricey enterprise for many people. But of all the expenses required for auto ownership, perhaps none is more frustrating than paying for insurance. Not only is the service expensive, it’s also rarely needed until something goes seriously wrong with your car. Matters are even worse for people like Greg Muender, a San Diego tech entrepreneur who works from home. Even though he clocks in as few Continue reading

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October 19, 2014

 

Even in this increasingly Internet-enabled world, the old maxim “Location, location, location” rings as true as ever. After all, a strong Web presence can only do so much for service companies like restaurants and auto shops. In order for a business to operate at its full potential, the company needs to be located in a place that is not only easily accessible to its target market, but also free of too many direct competitors.

As many frustrated businesspeople can Continue reading

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October 2, 2014

 

Passion and confidence are essential traits for any entrepreneur, but these same qualities can also lead aspiring business owners to ruin. If entrepreneurs are too assured and optimistic, they risk losing sight of the enormity of the task they have undertaken. For instance, passionate people can believe so deeply in their business idea that they become blinded to its actual market viability. They are driven by the notion that since they would love to buy this particular product or Continue reading

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September 20, 2014

Although many Americans make sure to recycle their plastic bottles and aluminum cans, they’re less careful to do so with their more functional possessions. Ninety percent of the nation’s mobile devices get thrown in the trash rather than the recycling bin. The gadgets are joined there by 40 percent of the food produced each year in the U.S., along with the 12 million tons of textiles that get tossed annually.

Over the last few years, a number of new companies Continue reading

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September 6, 2014

Nobody likes to wait in line for the bathroom, but sometimes that’s just the way things are at big, busy venues like stadiums and airports. Entrepreneur Allen Klevens couldn’t accept this fact of life, however, and set out to fix it with his new product Tooshlights. These small beacons rest at the top of a bathroom stall door and glow red if the space is occupied or green if it’s free. Klevens hopes this clever stop-and-go system will drastically speed Continue reading

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September 1, 2014

An entrepreneurial incubator in California’s Folsom Prison teaches inmates business skills that can help them adjust to life after release.

 

Questions:

  1. Why are programs like the Last Mile important good for society?
  1. What message did inmate Trevor Bird offer that’s important to remember?

From CNN Money

 

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August 23, 2014

 

caregivingIn order to turn a successful business into a successful franchise, an entrepreneur needs a strong concept along with good people to implement it. That’s exactly what Allen Hager set out to do when he launched his home health care company, Right at Home, as a franchise nearly 20 years ago. By expanding the business plan and setting strict hiring policies, Right at Home has grown into a company with nearly 400 locations across the world and $265 million Continue reading

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