Geri Stengel

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New Paradigm for Customer Service: Information, Sharing, and Being Yourself

Talking to Gen Xers and Gen Ys lately, I realize how dramatically e-commerce is changing retail business and customer service.

Opening up a store used to require renting space, furnishing the store, and working arduous hours. The last is still true but not the first two. Businesses are thriving without a physical location. In fact, many are able to exist because they skip the fixed costs and upfront investment of a brick-and-mortar store.

A Social Enterprise Learns, Grows From Its Mistakes

Editor’s note: To help social entrepreneurs anticipate and avoid some of the problems of starting a social-good business, Ventureneer is doing a series of blogs about the progress of Greenway Grameen Infra, a social enterprise in India.

When last I wrote about Greenway Grameen Infra, its non-polluting stove, fuel efficient stove for rural homes in India was just on the market and hopes were high that 50,000 units would be sold by March 2012.

Want to Grow the Economy? Change Four Attitudes About Women Entrepreneurs

Women are 50% more likely to start businesses than the national average, yet are 70% less likely than men to own a business with revenue of $1 million-plus, according to The American Express OPEN State of Women-Owned Business Report.

Read all Want to Grow the Economy? Change Four Attitudes About Women Entrepreneurs on Forbes.

Are Government Contracts a Way UP for Women Entrepreneurs?

Government contracting is a big chunk o’ change for businesses both large and small. Last year federal government contracts alone -- never mind state and local -- gave $477 billion to private businesses. And 5% of those contracts are supposed to go to women-owned businesses.

Top 4 Web Pages Show Demand for Curation, Focused Resources

I try to practice what I preach so I keep an eye on my website metrics. And I’ve noticed some trends, the most notable being that people want easily accessed information about social media, aggregated in a useful collection. My most popular website pages were curated resources to help people learn about social media.

Slum Dwellers Inspire Hope for the Future of Urban Poor

With gray skies and gray economic news, one could feel a bit dismal about 2012 and the prospects for a brighter world. Design with the Other 90%, an exhibit at UN Headquarters in New York City dispels that grayness.

How a B-Corporation Grew Its Business and Its Social Impact

I love it when a company built on social responsibility surges ahead. That’s the case with Recyclebank, a company whose business model is cleaning up the planet by encouraging people to recycle. It’s a company that truly combines social value with good business.

How to Choose the Right Social Enterprise for Your Nonprofit

Once you’ve analyzed the pros and cons of starting a social enterprise and laid out the ground rules about what you can and will not do, it’s time to start the fun part: brainstorming what kind of social enterprise your nonprofit will undertake.

Research Confirms: Happier People Are More Productive

Well, duh: We all knew that happier people work harder, didn’t we? While it may seem a no-brainer concept to socially responsible business owners, those who didn’t get it before have no excuse now. The research is in. It shows that making progress on worthwhile projects makes people more productive … and happier.

The Grinch Really Did Try to Steal Christmas This Year!

Wow! The Grinch really did try to steal Christmas this year … from small businesses at least … but in life as in fiction, he failed.

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