February 2010

A Social Entrepreneur Puts the Fun Back Into Recess

Time was that "play ball" was not the cry you'd hear in low-income neighborhood. No matter that playgrounds offer children many benefits, from health (43% of kids are obese or overweight) to education to camaraderie. Many a low-income neighborhood just couldn't afford to build and maintain a playground.

Small Business Networks Help Each Other and Their Communities

The Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE) is a great example of what you, through survey responses, and I have been saying for a long time: Peer support is a valuable asset to small business owners and social entrepreneurs.

We Did It: Non Profit Rating Agencies to Measure "Effectiveness," Not Just Overhead Ratios

It's about time! In response, I think, to an outpouring of reports and and to many bloggers (including me, in Non Profit Funding Standards Undermine Non profits) who spoke up, the agencies that rate non profits are going to adopt more realistic standards, finally recognizing that non profits, like for-profits, have costs of doing business.

Harsh Advice Raises Hackles: Being a Bully Isn't Good for Business

Fire your relatives? Scare your employees? Stop whining?

Well, your relative may not be the best person for the job so you might look at that, but much of the advice spouted by George Cloutier in the February 10 New York Times article certainly doesn't mesh with good business or good sense.

It's a Vision Thing: Entrepreneurship Is Seeing What Others Don't

Entrepreneurs are people who see the routine and envision change, who see an opportunity where others see a problem.

Tyga-Box Systems is the perfect example of entrepreneurship. Most of us anticipate moving-day by buying cardboard boxes, packing tape, and marking pens, then throw them all away at the other end of the move. But husband and wife Martin Spindel and Nadine Cino saw that routine as environmentally destructive and just plain silly.

When Less Is More: A Guilt-Free Gift for Valentine's Day

Candy Without the Guilt
Are you searching for something sweet to give your sweetie? Give a treat that's as diet-friendly and socially responsible as it is tasty. Huh, you say! When did Vistas start pushing products? Bear with me while I explain.

Surprise! Respect for Employees and Fair Pay Are Profitable for Small Businesses ... and It's Not That Hard.

Small businesses that win awards for being great places to work range from hardware stores to nursing care, from car washes to tech support; in some respects, they have nothing in common.

But in other ways, they have much in common, including thriving even during tough times, treating employees as assets, paying them fairly, and listening to them.

Gladwell Ignores Most Entrepreneurs to Make Points About a Few

A recent article by Malcolm Gladwell in The New Yorker, The Sure Thing: How entrepreneurs really succeed has me steaming!

Gladwell's thesis is that entrepreneurs are not daring risk takers – they only bet on sure things, he says – and that they are predators. As an adjunct professor who teaches entrepreneurship at The New School and as a successful serial entrepreneur myself, I say that's a bunch of malarkey.