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Before You Export: 5 Tips for Gathering Market Intel

Blogged By: 
SBA Blog
Created on April 24, 2015
 

Market ResearchDid you know that more than 95 percent of the world’s consumers live outside the United States? That’s a staggering number – and perhaps even more so is this figure: only one percent of U.S. small businesses are selling to those consumers.

The benefits abound when it comes to selling Made-in-America goods and services internationally. In addition to the cultural exchange inherent when developing global relationships, U.S. businesses – including small, minority- and women-owned businesses – can grow faster, hire more employees and pay higher wages.

There’s a huge global market for your small business offerings, so here are a few insights from experienced exporters to consider as you go about gathering international market intelligence.

Security in the Mobile Era

Blogged By: 
MBDA
Created on April 21, 2015
 

Mobile SecurityBy 2017, the number of smartphone users in the U.S. is expected to surpass 200 million, nearly 65 percent of the population. Negotiating security in the face of an ever-growing implementation of mobile devices presents serious challenges for organizations. Risks include the growth of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) (coupled with a lack of security controls for these devices), loss/theft of devices, and the proliferation of mobile malware.

Users need to understand the risks and the steps they can take to minimize them, particularly as cybercriminals often use employees as the entry point into an organization’s network. Below are some key actions users can take to help minimize the likelihood of a successful cyber attack.

Regularly update your device.

Mobile malware increased 75% in 2014 from 2013, and further increases in malware are expected in 2015, particularly in mobile ransomware. Updated operating systems and security software are critical in protecting against emerging threats.

Spring has sprung: Entrepreneurs pitch their ideas at two DC events this past weekend

Blogged By: 
Javier Saade, SBA Official
Created on April 20, 2015
 

Hive 2.0 and Cherry BlossomsDuring this past weekend Nate Yohannes, my Senior Advisor, and I did the startup pitching rounds in our nation's capital.

On Friday night Nate was a judge at Mark Cuban's Recess, the college version of ABC's Shark Tank ("from dorm room to board room"). Recess is a music tour/music festival (like SXSW), entrepreneur speaker series and pitch competition with the winning prize of $10k towards your student loan (thanks to USA Network) and a flight to Hollywood, California to pitch to Cuban and his venture capital fund. Chip Conley, cofounder/ Head of Global Hospitality & Strategy at Airbnb was on hand too and provided advice to startup players in the room.  Cool stuff.

April is National Financial Capability Month

Blogged By: 
SBA Blog
Created on April 16, 2015
 

Financial LiteracyApril is National Financial Capability Month!

According to the findings of a 2014 Intuit study, more than 40 percent of U.S. small businesses consider themselves financially illiterate. Yet, 81 percent handle their business’ finances. April is National Financial Capability Month, so now is a great time for small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs to brush up on their financial literacy skills.

Whether you are a seasoned small business owner, a new small business owner or have dreams to be a future small business owner, it is inevitable that you will at some point have to deal with securing the capital to fund and/or expand your business venture.

There are several financing options to explore when funding a small business such as loans, grants, venture capital, angel investors and crowd funding, but most small businesses rely on lenders to obtain the capital needed to open a business or to finance capital improvements.

Free USPTO/MBDA Webinars: Going Global with Intellectual Property

Blogged By: 
MBDA
Created on March 15, 2015
 

Going Global with Intellectual PropertyAre you planning to expand your business internationally to sell or buy innovative goods and technologies? Are you pondering opening a factory abroad, having your products made overseas, or starting an export or import business? Even if you are not planning on going overseas, knowledge of the international aspects of intellectual property may be critical for your business. 

The Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) will co-host a series of free 1-hour webinars starting on April 28 to provide business owners with useful information on the international aspects of intellectual property and conducting commerce at home. Mark your calendars and register for this 3-part series offering keen insight about complex international laws.

Register today!

 

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