A note from our editor, Elizabeth MacBride:

When I was an intern at the Richmond Times-Dispatch, one editor lacked confidence. When she was responsible for planning the front page, she leaned on the advance wire notice that revealed what The New York Times planned for its Page One.Thus, the Richmond newspaper sometimes had strangely New York-centric stories, like a strike at a hospital that nobody in Richmond had ever heard of.

Journalists are human, which is why we can forgive big news outlets for mostly ignoring one of the most heartbreaking and important aspects of the pandemic: The decimation of the U.S. small business community. The big news outlets see their mandate as covering news for consumers. Lately, they’ve been drifting toward an anti-capitalist mindset. Small businesses are caught betwixt and between these points of view.  Last weekend, you had The Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin writing about Milton Friedman, quoting big CEOs and economists, but not a single small business owner.

Size is not the only measure of worth, Andrew.

The business media, on the other hand, sees its raison d’etre as covering big institutions (and to some extent, businesses that can become big). They don’t have the chops anymore to report on the small end of the economy; and they’re busy defending today’s capitalism from the consumer side of the house.

The story of the pandemic for small business is serious. If, as Foundry Group partner Seth Levine and I suspect, several million small businesses shutter in the next months, unemployment rolls could grow by another 50%. The emotional scars on a generation of entrepreneurs will be lasting; the effect on employees living paycheck to paycheck will be devastating. America has been taking entrepreneurship for granted for decades, and it’s starting to die on the vine – with consequences for owners, employees, service providers, communities and the big businesses and big newspapers, too.

Saving small business is the central economic priority.

— Elizabeth MacBride, founder of Times of Entrepreneurship

Times of Entrepreneurship Stories of the Week

The Real Story Of America Is About Small 

Why is America so divided? The answer may be the loss of small businesses.

Read the Story »

The US Could Lose Millions More Small Businesses

Few have done the math: Unemployment rolls could increase another 50%. 

Read the Story »

Important Stories from Elsewhere

Global Innovation

Elizabeth MacBride hosts a panel discussion including Seth, Dina Sherif, the executive director of the Legatum Center for Development & Entrepreneurship at MIT, and Mark Schulz, professor, University of Akron School of Law at the GCV Digital Forum on September 29! Join me there and be part of the discussion as innovation meets capital and a global audience. Our panel starts at 10:20 EST. Here’s the link to sign up: www.gcvdigitalforum.com

OECD Projects Global GDP Will Collapse By 4.5% This Year
Critically-hit sectors, such as travel and tourism, have not fully recovered.

‘Problem Solvers’ aim to mediate coronavirus aid fight 
Congress might delay an October recess in order to push through a new coronavirus aid bill, as a group of 25 Republicans and 25 Democrats worked on a compromise.

Trump Says Oracle Close To Tik Tok Deal As ByteDance Aims For Majority Ownership
Sources say the Chinese company is seeking to keep majority ownership. Republican senators are urging Trump to reject the deal if ByteDance retains control. Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison is a Trump supporter. 

Buffet-Backed Cloud Unicorn Snowflake Nets $3.4 Billion In Record-Breaking Software IPO
Warren Buffet agreed to invest more than $550 million in the cloud-data company once it went public in what became the largest-ever software company IPO. 

Gen Zers Say Silicon Valley Is Elitist And Exclusive. Can They Build a New System?
A group of 20-year-olds created an online community of tech entrepreneurs, fostering an environment they say is inclusive and collaborative instead of cut-throat. But there’s already been discord.

‘Nomadland’—Starring Francis McDormand—Wins Top Award At Venice Film Festival
A film about a woman living as a nomad across America after the recent recession wins the biggest award at the first international movie event since the pandemic. Reality follows perception: Is the nomadic life what the future has in store? 

A Black Venture Capitalist Sees Challenges As An Investing Edge
“Black Founders Matter” started out as a T-shirt design. Now, a once-jilted startup founder is trying to turn it into a money-making strategy.

Don’t Shout Yet
Drug to regenerate hearing being developed by Frequency Therapeutics in Woburn, Mass., shows early but muted promise in a new trial.

Fifth Third Bank Announces $1.2 Million Effort To Help Black, Women Entrepreneurs
Cincinnati’s Fifth Third Bank will provide grants to 245 Black, women-owned businesses in Louisville, Atlanta, Charlotte, Detroit, Cincinnati, Nashville and Orlando.

Alicia Keys And NFL Partner To Launch $1 Billion Fund To Support Black-Owned Businesses
As football season begins, the R&B singer and the NFL are teaming up to help Black businesses.

Health Insurance Disruptor Startup Nabs $10 Million
Decent, an Austin-based startup that creates affordable health plans for individuals and small businesses, received the funding in a round led by QED investors.

The Pandemic Has Accelerated And Spawned Trends That Startups And Small Businesses Can Leverage
An unprecedented shift in consumer behavior leaves room for creative entrepreneurs to thrive. Live streaming e-commerce, for instance, is growing in China.

You may have missed

A Tucson Startup Tackles The Loneliness Epidemic
She started as a police officer in the suburbs of Washington D.C. Now Cindy Jordan has raised$7 million in funding for an app that promises to alleviate loneliness for those most at risk. 

The DeepTech Capital Gap

A report from Different Funds and Schmidt Futures offers insight into how funding flows – or doesn’t – to companies working on the world’s most important problems.Resource Of The WeekDiagnosing COVID-19 Impacts on Entrepreneurship: Exploring Policy Remedies for Recovery

Venture Capital Spotlight

Cowboy Ventures
Palo Alto, California 
What it is: Founded in 2012, Cowboy Ventures makes investments in seed stage technology companies and seeks back founders that create products that “re-imagine” work and personal life in large and growing markets. It’s one of the few VC firms with a female founder in existence long enough to have a track record of success.
Minimum Investment: The fund typically invests $1 million in startups.
Leadership: Founded by Aileen Lee, long-time financier with experience at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers
Investment style/track record: The third fund raised at least $95, the second fund raised  $55 million and its initial fund raised $40 million. Cowboy Ventures has backed 58 companies with 18 exits, including notable companies such as Dollar Shave Club that was bought by Unilever for a reported $1 billion, Joyride that was acquired by Google (GOOG), Pantry that was acquired by Byte Foods, Polar, which was also acquired by Google and Tenor, the creator of the GIF keyboard, that was also purchased by Google for an undisclosed amount.
Accompany, a business intelligence startup, was acquired by Cisco for $270 million and raised about $40 million. Other companies that were acquired included Rise, a nutrition coaching app, that was purchased by One Medical for a reported $20 million and the sale of Librato, a cloud monitoring firm, to SolarWinds for $40 million.
Quote: “We have advocated for diverse teams and inclusive practices amongst our portfolio companies and have sought to change imbalances in the tech community. We have been complicit in a system that has allocated only 1% of venture capital to black founders. At Cowboy, we can and will do more to back black and brown founders. Post funding, we support companies with resources to help them on their journey. We can be more effective in helping founders build companies that are racially diverse and culturally inclusive at every level – from the board and executives, to employees, service providers and on the cap table. We must and will do better.” from Cowboy Ventures’ June  2020 blog post.


Boost with Facebook
Date: Started Sept. 1 and culminates on Nov. 24 at hybrid online-offline event with participants in Amsterdam, Cairo and Silicon Valley
Application available here.
Startups Without Borders, a global platform for refugee and migrant entrepreneurs, has partnered with Facebook to launch a digital marketing training program. It aims to support 1,550 entrepreneurs and business owners who are recovering from the pandemic. It is open to business owners from the MENA region who have left their country of origin in search of a better life and have started a business initiative in the U.S. or Europe.

Urban Tech Connect/Forward 2020
Date: Sept. 15-17, 2020
Location: Virtual
Information is available here.
Urban Tech Connect is the third annual tech conference hosted by Plug In South LA. The three-day event will equip tech company founders from the African American and LatinX communities in Los Angeles and beyond with the knowledge and expertise to build competitive and successful tech enterprises and platforms. The conference also is focused on helping founders push forward in scaling and growing their businesses amidst the challenges caused by COVID-19.
SME Week Youth Essay Competition
Deadline: Sept. 18
Location: Virtual
Information available here.

Make your voice heard in an essay that addresses what SMEs need to become sustainable and resilient in the context of COVID-19 and other global challenges–and how EU policy can best aid entrepreneurs. The competition is open to 18-25-year-olds from EU and COSME countries. 

2021 Forecast for Latin America
Date: September 21, 2020
Location: Virtual
Information available  here.
This free webinar covers when and how Latin American economies will recover from COVID-19 and what to expect in a highly disrupted region. 

Launch Clinic with Edtech Startups
September 21, 5-6:30 pm
Information available here.

At this virtual event, startups can get constructive feedback from a board-of-directors level panel of experts. 

Beta Boom Female Founders Summit
Date: September 24, 2020
Location: Virtual
Information available here. 
This virtual gathering, celebrating rising female founders, brings together investors and supporters and will include two pitch competitions. Sally Krawcheck will deliver the opening keynote. 

United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce National Conference
Date: September 27 to 29
Information available here 

The 2020 conference, focused on Hispanic economic development, is among the largest gatherings of Hispanic business leaders in the U.S. This year’s conference will be held virtually for the first time. 

Start Smart Class
Fall 2020 starts on September 28
Information available here.
This hands-on class, aimed at entrepreneurs who are serious about launching a startup, is focused on helping them build a solid understanding of their target market so they can grow a science/technology company successfully.

Social Value Matters 2020: People, Planet and Power
Dates: September 28 to Oct. 2
Location: Virtual
Information available here
As the gap between rich and poor increases and the effects of climate change become more apparent, this conference will look at how to carve a path to a sustainable future. 

Women and The Changing Face of Entrepreneurship In Africa
Dates:  Oct. 1 and 2
Location: Virtual
Information available here
This conference aims to provide a clearer understanding of the landscape of female entrepreneurship on the continent and features a keynote by 
Dr. Vera Songwe, United Nations Under Secretary-General.

Follow the Entrepreneur (FTE) Investment Campaign and Summit
Dates: Oct. 10-14
Location: Athens, Greece (event will also be live streamed)
Information available here.
VIVA Investment Partners, a Swiss private equity firm, is hosting this gathering, where entrepreneurs will come together with leading global investors to build relationships and identify opportunities to collaborate. 

SOCAP Virtual: A Global Impact Summit 
Location: Virtual
Dates: October 19-23
Information available here.
This gathering of global change-makers aims to address the world’s toughest challenges through market-based solutions. 
Young Entrepreneur Convention
Location: Ames, Ohio
Deadline: October 24, 2020
Information available here.

The theme is “founders helping founders” at this one-day event, aimed at business owners in their teens and twenties, at Iowa State University.

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

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. 

– Compiled by Elaine Pofeldt

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.