Times of Entrepreneurship
Stories of the Week
When Life Inside A Hedge Fund Left Her Wanting, She Started A $2M Company In Kenya
The company co-founded by Rocío Pérez Ochoa, Bidhaa Sasa, is at once a throwback to the days when capitalism actually seemed to be doing good, and on the frontlines of the future, because it depends on women’s relationships.
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What You May Have Missed
In Slauson & Co, Google Investor Ron Conway Is Betting On More Than Money
It’s one of the highest-profile of many recently formed firms, initiatives and funds – many started in the wake of George Floyd’s murder — that aim to diversify entrepreneurship. The premise is that Black venture capitalists will fund more Black founders, who in turn, as they succeed, will create jobs and wealth in Black communities. It’s a questionable, but interesting premise.
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A University In Topeka Recruited A Football Player. What They Got Was A Community Leader
The story of Michael Odupitan, whose nonprofit/for-profit is creating a holistic, innovative approach to community building, based on Odupitan’s own experiences rising out of poverty.
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What I’m Reading
How the 1918 Flu Pandemic Revolutionized Public Health (from 2017)
“The lesson that health authorities took away from the catastrophe was that it was no longer reasonable to blame an individual for catching an infectious disease, nor to treat him or her in isolation. The 1920s saw many governments embracing the concept of socialized medicine—healthcare for all, delivered free at the point of delivery. Russia was the first country to put in place a centralized public healthcare system, which it funded via a state-run insurance scheme, and others in Western Europe followed suit. The United States took a different route, preferring employer-based insurance schemes, but it also took measures to consolidate healthcare in the post-flu years.” Story’s here.
Sustainable Investing Failed Its First Big Test. A Reckoning Is Coming
“In a recent essay published in Institutional Investor, (Kenneth P.) Pucker and co-author Andrew King, a professor at the Questrom School of Business at Boston University, discussed interviewing more than a dozen investment professionals to investigate their claims that a focus on ESG produces higher profits, signals higher stock returns, lowers capital costs, and benefits from investment flows. Pucker and King concluded, “The logic and evidence for assurances of ESG-driven alpha are lacking. Indeed, it is our best guess that flows of money into ESG funds represent a marketing-induced trend that will neither benefit the planet nor provide investors with higher returns.”
This is important to entrepreneurs because the basic narrative – that capitalism can be a force for good — is increasingly under question.
Tesla Shareholders try to get Elon Musk to just stop.
I wish the business press would start covering Musk with more skepticism. The guy has admitted lying – and Tesla shareholders are making sure people watching his Twitter bid know it. Story’s here.
Venture Capital Goes Rogue
The headline made me cringe, but Portland continues to emerge as a hotspot of venture funding focused on women and people of color. Story’s here.
One of the first stories we wrote at Times of E was about Portland-based Elevate Capital.
Living the dream
Best Practices: Revert to phone calls! “I would like the default on meeting setups to go back to being conference calls. Even a 15-minute check-in is now on Zoom, and it’s unnecessary and exhausting. Video calls should be reserved for when it’s truly helpful to connect face to face, not be the default!” said Morra Aarons-Mele, communications executive and host of the podcast The Anxious Achiever, in a worker wish list published by Time.
Buzzworthy: A Web giant sees the value of real life. Google has started announcing its specific expansion plans in New York and Virginia, following up on last year’s announcement that it would invest $7 billion in communities nationwide. It seems another sign of the countertrend away from online work and life.
4.5 Hour Workweek: A Productivity Hack
Schedule time to work on a project at the same time as others on your team, so you can quickly ask questions of and respond to each other. Entrepreneurs tend to be overly optimistic – which can mean they underschedule how much time different tasks will take. Writer Stephanie Thurrott used a Self Journal to get that tendency under control.
Wanderlust: a glimpse of entrepreneurial life in one of our Top Ecosystems
New attention to second-tier cities as livable hotspots is helping to elevate Indianapolis. The Indiana Conference for Women, which draws from across the Midwest, has set its 2022 date: Nov. 1.
Blankets for the Cold Nights Out
While you’re thinking about your summer vacation, you could consider equipping your family with merchandise form Rumpl, a Portland-based B corp that uses 100% post-consumer materials in its core line of blankets and donates 1% of revenue to environmental causes. The blankets sell for $99.
Upcoming Opportunities ⭐
To list an opportunity in our newsletter that reaches 13,000 influencers and entrepreneurs, check out our rates here. We cover the emerging economy of diverse founders:
1. A Course To Reach the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs
In this free course developed by entrepreneurship professor John Lynn, professors and other entrepreneurship educators get a curriculum and supporting materials based on the influential book, The New Builders.
2. Black Ambition Prize
The Black Ambition Prize is a tiered opportunity for early-stage Black and Latinx founders to compete for more than $2,000,000 and learn with a network of talented founders and cross-sector business leaders. There’s also a separate Black Ambition HBCU Prize.
Date: May 8
3. African Heroes
Applications opened for Jack Ma’s Africa Business Heroes competition. (Scroll down to Apply Now on the slightly confusing web site). The competition choses 10 “heroes” from across the continent and awards mentorship, networking and cash prizes.
Application Deadline: Application Workshops run in April and May
4. New Majority Capital Launch
New Majority Capital is raising a community round on the investment platform Wefunder. The company aims to be a platform that helps immigrants buy existing small businesses.
Application Deadline: N/A
Minimum Investment: $200
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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.