A note from our editor, Elizabeth MacBride:

Like a lot of people, I’ve been walking during the pandemic. One of my routines is walking down King Street, the center of commerce in my city. I love it, from the three bookstores to my gym, to Misha’s Coffee and the 10,000 Villages store. But it’s gotten to be – the same, so much the same, in the past six months, that I might crawl out of my skin if I went up King Street again. So on Sunday, I took a detour two blocks north, to Queen Street. I wandered into one of the tiny still-living hearts of Alexandria’s Black history. 

I fell into a conversation with men sitting on the sidewalk outside the barbershop of Booker T. Wilkins. “Come inside,” they said. “Meet him.” You can’t replicate the rich surroundings of a locally owned business, red-and-white checkered floor, a framed letter from the mayor congratulating Wilkins on 50 years in business, and an ancient cash register, white receipt curling from the top.

Wilkins, named after Booker T. Washington, reads the leader’s biography about three times a year. In 1895, Washington gave a famous speech advocating for Black power through entrepreneurship and education. “I feel like I can do anything,” Wilkins said. “Because he did so much.”

Small businesses – any business, for that matter, done right – is a place for people to connect. 

Wilkins lost two of his children to cancer, many years ago. In the time after, when he was struggling with depression, a deacon came in for a haircut. “He sat in this chair,” Wilkins said, pointing to the one between us. “He said, “Hold on for today, Brother Wilkins. Every day after this one will be better.’”

Wise words in dark days, of which there have been many this year. I didn’t want to end the talk on a tough or sad note, so I asked about the ancient cash register. “Do you still use it?” I asked. Well, he said, it only rings up transactions up to $5. So yes, it still works fine. To charge for his $20 haircuts, he rings up four $5 transactions.

So, do the math: A business on a secondary street, the scene of thousands of small encounters, ends up with an infinite value. 

— Elizabeth MacBride, founder of Times of Entrepreneurship

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Podcast: Beyond Profit

On this episode of  #MoreThanProfit podcast by Access Ventures, Elizabeth MacBride, Founder and Editor of Times of Entrepreneurship, shares about her career in business journalism and how she dedicates her platform to stories that are often dismissed by other publications. 

Access the podcast here.

Important Stories from Elsewhere

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The Future Of Information Warfare
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Delta Airlines Has Banned More Than 400 Passengers For Refusing To Comply With Its Face Mask Mandate
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Inside Ant, The Company Behind The World’s Biggest IPO
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AOL Co-founder Steve Case Predicts the Cities, Industries That Could Create The Next Silicon Valley
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The European Startups Hacking Your Brain Better Than Elon Musk’s Neuralink
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Resource of the Week: Save Small Businesses Resource Center
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Freelance Business Month Virtual
Dates: Oct. 1-31, 2020
Location: Virtual
Information available here.

This free month-long event, designed to unite the European freelance ecosystem, offers daily events, including online sessions, workshops and masterclasses for freelancers who want to build their businesses. 

Date: October 23, 6-8 pm PST
Location: Virtual
Information available here.

The Center for Ecoliteracy is hosting a free virtual community screening of this film documenting the growing movement among Native Americans to reclaim their cultural identities through food sovereignty.

Triangle Tech X Conference
Dates: Oct. 28-30
Location: Virtual
Information available here.

This free three-day virtual summit, focused on introducing attendees to influential leaders in technology and business, explores the importance of breaking down barriers and accelerating inclusivity for women.  

Date: November 2-6
Location: Virtual
Information available here.

This event, billed as the largest entrepreneurship festival in Latin America, is focused on digital inclusion and building a sustainable future. It has an agenda of 200 speakers, networking, forums, meetups and many other activities.

Greentown Labs Climatech Summit
Date: Nov. 5-6
Location: Virtual
Information available here

Entrepreneurs, investors, business leaders, policymakers, startup support organizations and other climate champions will come together to chart a holistic course to building a sustainable future for all.

Nevada Virtual Pitch Competition
Date: Nov. 6, 9 am to 3 pm
Location: Virtual
For more information, write to: NVRuralpitch2020@gmail.com.

Created to stimulate entrepreneurship in rural Nevada, this virtual pitch competition, which will award cash prizes up to $1,000, will include educational resources and learning sessions.

Global Entrepreneurship Week
Dates: November 16-22
Location: Live, hybrid and virtual
Information available here.

This collection of thousands of events, powered by the Kauffman Foundation, takes place in more than 170 countries around the world. This year there will be more than 35,000 events, focused on making entrepreneurship available to all.

Startup Lehigh Valley Pitch Competition
Date: November 18 (Deadline to apply: October 28, 2020)
Location: Virtual
Information available here.

Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania entrepreneurs are invited to compete in this virtual competition. Only 10 spots are available. Prizes total $10,000.

Sight Tech Global
Date: Dec. 2-3, 2020. Registration is free and opening soon. 
Information available here

This virtual conference is dedicated to fostering discussion among technology pioneers about how rapid advances in AI and related technologies will create a more accessible world for people with blindness and visual impairments. 

MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition
Deadline for applications: December 15, 2020
Location: Virtual
Information available here

This annual competition, founded in 2006, is designed to empower entrepreneurs and foster the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Arab Region. The winners receive equity-free prize money.

Baylor New Venture Competition
Date: March 25-27, 2021; Applications open September 1, 2020
Location: Baylor University; Waco, Texas
Information available here.

Baylor New Venture Competition offers applicants business plan feedback, mentorship, and a chance to compete for more than $250,000 in prizes. Collegiate entrepreneurs from around the globe are eligible to participate in the competition, hosted by Baylor University. 


MassCEC’s InnovateMass Program
Deadline: Rolling
Information available here.

This program offers up to $250,000 in grant funding and technical support to applicant teams deploying new clean energy technologies or innovative combinations of existing technologies with a strong potential for commercialization. Applicants must run Massachusetts-based companies or have a location in the state and have a technology that fits specific guidelines.

This story and others on New Builders Dispatch are made possible by a sponsorship from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that provides access to opportunities that help people achieve financial stability, upward mobility, and economic prosperity – regardless of race, gender, or geography. The Kansas City, Mo.-based foundation uses its grantmaking, research, programs, and initiatives to support the start and growth of new businesses, a more prepared workforce, and stronger communities. For more information, visit www.kauffman.org and connect with www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn.

A business journalist for 20 years, am the founder of Times of Entrepreneurship and the co-author of The New Builders.