Times of Entrepreneurship
Stories of the Week

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Big Social Media Doesn’t Work That Well For Small Business. But The Market Is Shifting.
A revelatory story by Lori Ioannou about the realities of dealing with big social media companies: For small businesses, they’re often expensive, with little result.
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A Palestinian VC Fund, Going Strong, Seeks To Raise Another $15 Million
A spotlight on Ibtikar Fund, one of a number of entrepreneurial initiatives in Israel/Palestine that look to operate outside of politics, as much as possible, to create jobs and a healthier economy.
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What You May Have Missed

When Life Inside A Hedge Fund Left Her Wanting, She Started A $2 Million Company In Rural Kenya
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The Secret Ingredient In A Black-Owned Sweet Potato Distillery: Faith
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Living the dream 

Buzzworthy: Please join us as BankMobile’s Founder and CEO Luvleen Sidhu sits down with Times of E’s Elizabeth MacBride to share her inspiring journey as a female founder, future #innovations in #finance and her advice for #women entrepreneurs and leaders.

Register for this free event, sponsored by YPO, here.

Best Practices? Harvard announced it would spend $100 million to help atone for its participation in America’s slaveholding economy as it released a report on the institution’s ties to slavery. An interesting work of historical scholarship, the report is also dry and focuses on the slaveholders, rather than the slaves. I read reports like this and wonder about the impact on the lives of people – like, for instance, the three Black students who were expelled from the medical school in 1850 by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr. These are a few other questions I’d ask if I were reporting:

Could one estimate the percentage of Harvard’s endowment of $53.2 billion (which gained 33.6% in 2021) that could be tied back to slavery?
Is atonement compatible with admissions policies that favor the children of alumni? What percentage of Harvard students have family legacies that extend back to the 1600s-1800s?

What I’m Reading

Small Business (And Their Advocates) Rising
Matt Stoller, who writes about the monopolies on BIG, reported that the antitrust enforcers at the FTC received more than 3,700 comments from Americans in response to a request for feedback on proposed changes to anti-trust laws. Last time the agency revamped the laws, in 2010, there were 32 comments. I connect this to the tech-heavy NASDAQ’s struggles this week.

Why The Past 10 Years Of American Life Have Been Uniquely Stupid
Meanwhile, a big article in The Atlantic blames all of America’s problems on social media. I’m no fan of social media – I started openly criticizing the social media companies way back in 2017, back when many of my peers in traditional media were cosy with LinkedIn and Facebook (lots of journalists, rightly fearful for their jobs, hoped to find employment there.)
It’s a bit too convenient to tie everything wrong with the United States back to social media, but that article is sure to fire up even more nonprofits, activists and regulators.
I think the era of Big Tech is ending.
It will be a long, strange unwinding.
I also think women will lead the way to the new economy:

Female Founders Need Money, Not Mentoring
piece by Tessa Clarke that talks about how frustrating it is as a woman founder to be mentored but not funded. She’s cofounder of Olio, an app to help people share. Women have been talking about the condescension of mentoring initiatives for a while, but the conversation is starting to surface more in the mainstream.

Meet the Mom Taking on Hollywood and Amazon to End Single-Use Plastics: ‘People Are Fed Up’
An article in People magazine about Habits of Waste founder Sheila Morovati. What I find interesting is the effectiveness of the strategy of “taking on” a giant. Many people involved in social change naively avoid being too confrontational. They’ll aim to start a movement, or frame themselves as builders and figure they’ll be so persuasive everyone will join in. But building often involves first tearing down, or taking on the establishment forcefully.


4.5 Hour Workweek: A Productivity Hack
The end of the pandemic is producing a tremendous wave of change. If you find yourself moved to join it, ask yourself two questions: What can I reasonably accomplish in the next five years, and what would I most regret not doing, if I were looking back from 2032? If those two answers coincide, perhaps you have the answer to your next focus.

Protection on Planes

The woman-founded company featured in Lori Ioannou’s story about small businesses makes a product helpful to people worried about traveling while the pandemic still lurks: Go-Be germ-fighting airplane tray covers for $34.99. QBSleeves uses  recycled plastic and gives a portion of profits to Ocean Conservancy.

Upcoming Opportunities 

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Link: https://bit.ly/TimesofEOpportunities

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.

 Date: N/A
 Location: N/A
Link: https://docsend.com/view/s/4gah7gde5yrguz8j

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
 Location: N/A
Link: blackambitionprize.com

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
 Location: N/A
 Link: https://www.africabusinessheroes.org/en/

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 underrepresented founders buy existing small businesses.

 Application Deadline: N/A
 Minimum Investment: $200
 Link: https://wefunder.com/newmajoritycapital/


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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.

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