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Financial Education


  • Submitted on 08 March 2017

    Fintech Series: Crowdfunding Peer-to-PeerFinancial technology remains a hot topic for consumers, offering the possibilities of increased convenience and access to financial services at a lower cost. As part of its FinTech Forum series, the FTC continues to promote public discussion of the ways in which innovative FinTech services – many provided by non-banks and technology companies within the FTC’s jurisdiction – can benefit consumers and the potential issues for stakeholders to keep in mind. Like the first FinTech Forum on marketplace lending, the FTC’s second FinTech Forum brought government and industry participants, consumer advocates, and other stakeholders together. They discussed two evolving types of financial technology: peer-to-peer payment systems and crowdfunding platforms.

    Peer-to-peer payment systems are online services – often mobile apps – that allow consumers to exchange money electronically. Millennials may account for the majority of early adopters, but as two panelists pointed out, people across all age groups use peer-to-peer payment systems and these services are expected to grow among older users. Some panelists touted the potential benefits that peer-to-peer payment services offer consumers, including convenience, speed, and the relatively low cost of sending money, and suggested that benefits like that could be particularly important to consumers in financial distress.

  • Submitted on 08 March 2017

    National Consumer Protection WeekThis week is National Consumer Protection Week, but what the FTC does to protect consumers is only part of the story. We also work hard to help small business get down to business. Here are just a few examples of what we’re doing to protect your business from deceptive practices.

    Fighting fraud that targets small business.  Scammers have smaller companies in their sights. The FTC has gone to court to challenge the conduct of telemarketers who claimed to offer bargain rates on office supplies, but then allegedly overbilled small businesses and sent additional shipments without authorization. Or it may start with phony messages that companies are about to lose their URLs if they don’t fork over a renewal fee. Other fraudsters send fake invoices, hoping that busy workers will simply pay up. In a variation on the scheme, con artists call companies claiming they need to “verify” an order or a mailing address. If an unsuspecting employee confirms the contact information, the scammers later try to claim that’s “proof” the order was authorized. If business owners dare to fight back, they’re threatened with lawsuits, damaged credit – or worse.

  • Submitted on 17 November 2016

    Any armchair economist will tell you that entrepreneurship is central to a healthy economy. What they probably won’t tell you is that the rate of entrepreneurship in the United States has significantly declined over the last several decades. Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that in the late 1970s, at least 15 percent of American businesses were startups. Despite the popularity of business-venture-themed TV shows such as ABC’s Shark Tank, the number of new businesses has fallen to just 8 percent of all U.S. business operations.

    The reasons are varied, with both new and historic challenges contributing to the problem. As you might imagine, the Great Recession of 2008-2010 has played no small role.

  • Submitted on 27 September 2016

    To Venture or Not To Venture
    A Look at Venture Capital

    Secure

    Often times, minority business owners are reluctant to apply for business loans for fear of receiving too little credit, having to pay outrageous interest rates, putting up higher collateral, or total rejection. So, the question is asked – what can you do as a business owner to get the necessary working capital to take your business towards the next level of success?

    Venture capital (VC) may be the solution. Simply put, VC is a type of private equity - a form of financing that is provided by firms or funds to small, emerging firms that show high growth potential. VC financing can take the form of debt, equity, or mezzanine financing. Interested in learning more? Visit our website, and discover helpful tips and advice.

  • Submitted on 26 September 2016

    The decision has been made. You have decided that XYZ bank is the bank-of-choice to lend your company some badly needed capital. Now is the time to pay that banker a visit, right? Wrong.

    Meeting with bankersOnce you sit down with a business banker, you will need to answer a variety of questions about your financial needs and business goals.  If you do a little homework before hand, answering those questions thoroughly may ensure a smoother, and possibly quicker, loan application process.  Below are a few of the questions that most commercial lenders will want answered before your loan application can proceed.

  • Submitted on 02 August 2016

    Created on August 2, 2016
     

    The U.S. Small Business Administration released its highly anticipated Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) online tutorials to help small businesses navigate the SBIR program. The site provides users with a mobile-compatible site to learn about the program through a combination of videos and text. This platform will provide accessible program information and training resources to underrepresented areas.  There is no registration or fee required and the courses are open to all.

    “We are excited to introduce these tutorials.  We know there are many small businesses in rural communities as well as young entrepreneurs that are unaware of this amazing program,” said Mark Walsh, SBA’s Associate Administrator for Investment and Innovation.  “SBA has pulled together resources from across the federal government, providing them in a format easily accessible on mobile devices, while allowing users to select just the information they need.”

  • Submitted on 27 July 2016

    Created on July 27, 2016
     

    Did you know that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has the largest seed fund on the planet?

    Capital formation or “seed money” is the first infusion of capital to make an idea go from a napkin to reality. America's Seed Fund, otherwise known as SBA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs, specialize in assisting entrepreneurs in the technology and science fields. SBA is authorized by Congress to deploy $4 billion annually and there is $25 billion in assets currently under management.

  • Submitted on 29 April 2016

    Created on April 29, 2016
     

    Money Smart for Small Business (MSSB) provides a practical introduction to topics related to starting and managing a business. Developed jointly by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), this instructor-led curriculum consists of 13 modules (download the MSSB Flyer). FDIC and SBA invites eligible organizations to begin teaching this free curriculum right away!

    The curriculum can be downloaded , but it is also available in CD format.

  • Submitted on 08 March 2016

    Created on March 8, 2016
     

    Operating an employee benefit plan can be challenging, especially for small and medium sized employers who have limited time, resources, and access to professional help with benefit programs.  To help increase awareness and understanding about basic fiduciary responsibilities when operating a retirement or health benefit plan, the Department of Labor is presenting the Getting It Right – Know Your Fiduciary responsibilities webcast series.

    The webcast series will help employers and service providers understand how the fiduciary responsibility provisions of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) apply to employer-sponsored retirement and health plans, and provide information on how to avoid common problems in managing a plan.

  • Submitted on 19 January 2016

    Created on January 19, 2016
     

    The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) jointly provide an instructor-led business training curriculum, Money Smart for Small Business, for free. This curriculum is designed to provide introductory-style training for new and aspiring entrepreneurs.

    The 13 modules provide the most essential information on running a small business from a financial standpoint. In addition to grounding participants in the basics, the curriculum serves as a foundation for more advanced training and technical assistance.

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