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Technology and Business


  • Submitted on 26 October 2012

    Global WebCompanies seeking foreign audiences with their websites will want to either localize or internationalize their site, or provide a mixture of both processes. Forrester Research notes that "visitors linger twice as long [on international sites] as they do at English-only web sites; business buyers are three times more likely to buy if addressed in their own language; and customer services costs drop when instructions are displayed in the user's language."

    Localization consists of adapting one’s website to meet the linguistic, cultural, and commercial requirements of a targeted market. Internationalizing a firm’s website enables the company to be multilingual and to be sensitive to cultural conventions without the need for extensive redesign. Localization or internationalization must be part of the online exporter’s corporate strategy for website and business development.

  • Submitted on 07 June 2012

    Protect your business from con artists who try to fool you into paying for office supplies, business directory listings, or Internet services you haven't ordered.

  • Submitted on 29 March 2012

    Grants.gov Screen ShotGrants.gov is a free online source to FIND and APPLY for federal grants. Grants.gov does NOT provide personal financial assistance. Grants.gov is a central storehouse for information on over 1,000 grant programs and provides access to approximately $500 billion in annual awards.

    Purpose: Grants Opportunities

    Who should register in GRANTS.gov?

    • Organization: An individual responsible for submitting a grant on behalf a company, state, local, or tribal government, academia or research institution, not-for-profit or any other institution

    • Individual: A individual can register to apply for “individual eligible” grants

    What is required to register?

    • Complete a standard business profile that include, DUNS, CAGE, and MPIN numbers

    • Submit an Authorized Organization Representative (AORs) application

    • Have an E-Business point of contact (POC)

    • Detailed application can be found on grants.gov

    Who can access Grants.gov?

  • Submitted on 22 February 2012

    Challenge.gov LogoToday, in conjunction with the newly-launched BusinessUSA initiative, the Department of Commerce announced the launch of their business app challenge.  The $10,000 contest challenges app developers to find innovative ways to utilize Commerce and other publicly available data and information to support American businesses. The business app challenge calls on developers to utilize at least one Department of Commerce data set in creating an application that assists businesses and/or improves the service delivery of Business.USA.gov to the business community.  Developers may choose the platform that best suits them. Applicants may design for the web, personal computer, mobile handheld device, or any platform broadly accessible to the open Internet. A list of developer-friendly data sets can be found on the Business Data and Tools page of Data.gov.

  • Submitted on 17 February 2012

    Green CheckmarksGreen dry cleaners, Green energy. Green puppy food. Green car washes. Green wall paints. Green grease removal.

    Green: it’s everywhere.  It’s taught in the first grade.  It’s at the center of many corporate manufacturing and marketing policies. And whether you believe in climate change or still have doubts, consumers are now demanding GREEN.

    Adopting environmentally friendly and energy efficient business practices provides numerous benefits to new and existing small business owners looking to control costs, attract customers and become socially responsible. Non-toxic, recycled, organic, energy efficient, reused, eco-friendly, farm-to-table: these terms, and others, all help define the fast-growing green market. 

    So what can you do as a small business?  Remember, that regardless of what options you choose, each one of them should and must be connected to your marketing strategy and company messaging.  If you adopt energy efficiency practices, let your customers know; if you are committed to local agriculture, let them know, and if your product contains recycled by-products, let them know.  Four out of five consumers say they are still buying environmentally friendly products and services today – which sometimes cost more – even in the midst of a recovering economy.

  • Submitted on 10 January 2012

    SustainabilityThe Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) Business Center in Alabama announced a strategic partnership with the International Sustainability Institute of Applied Sciences, a division of ACF Enterprises LLC, to pilot a blueprint for small business sustainable development in South Mobile County.  

    To ensure inclusion and capacity-building of minority business enterprises (MBEs) in the emerging green economy, staff at the Business Center, which is working collaboratively with the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, received comprehensive training from the International Sustainability Institute of Applied Sciences to become Certified Sustainability Consultants. The intent of the strategic partnership is to pilot a “blended” training program that leverages technology with consulting to move central Gulf companies along a continuum of continuous improvements in sustainability performance.

    According to Pamela Ramos, the Business Center’s Program Director, “Training and consulting will play an important role in transitioning south Mobile County businesses to sustainable operations in 2012.  This is a way to add value and competitive advantage to a minority business enterprise classification.”

  • Submitted on 06 December 2011

    Business ContinuityHere are a few things your can do – at no cost – to jump-start your business continuity plan:

    Determine your greatest risk potential.  It might come from loss of heat, frozen pipes (which can burst, causing water damage), or loss of access caused by icy conditions.  What would happen if you had to shut down your business for several days?  Look at the building where you do business and assess the property damage risks. If you do this early enough, you’ll have time to make structural upgrades that can prevent possible future storm, wind, water or earthquake damage.

    Calculate the cost of business interruptions for one week, one month and six months.  Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able investigate insurance options or build a cash reserve that will allow your company to function during the post-disaster recovery phase. It’s also a good idea to develop professional relationships with alternative vendors, in case your primary contractor can’t service your needs.  Place occasional orders with them so they regard you as an active customer when you need them.

    Review your insurance coverage.  Contact your agent to find out if your policy is adequate for your needs. Consult with a business insurance expert to advise you on the right coverage for your situation.  When buying insurance, ask “How much can I afford to lose?”  It’s a good idea to know the value of your property.

  • Submitted on 10 November 2011

    This week, the United States is hosting the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Ministers and Economic Leaders’ Meetings in Honolulu, Hawaii. As President Obama’s lead negotiator and spokesperson on trade, I will host a meeting for my fellow APEC Trade Ministers in preparation for President Obama’s meeting with APEC Leaders later this week and to build on the success of the APEC Trade Ministers’ meeting held in Big Sky, Montana last May.

  • Submitted on 10 November 2011

    Small businesses in emerging industries – like clean energy – have cutting-edge ideas that are strengthening our country and changing the world. Today, we’re helping them continue to do just that in two major ways.

    First, unlike larger firms, many small firms don’t have the staff or time to search for all of the federal opportunities that can help them grow and create jobs.

    We’re pleased to announce that they’ve got a new tool with green.sba.gov, where they can find all federal opportunities in a single location.

  • Submitted on 26 October 2011

    Previous Office of Advocacy of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)-funded studies of small business patenting activity established the existence of a cohort of independent, for-profit innovative small firms with 15 or more patents over a five-year period.

    The studies also showed that innovative small firms had a higher percentage of emerging technology patents in their portfolios than their larger counterparts. A recent focus on “green” jobs, businesses, and technology led to this study of a subset of these innovative patent holders. This project was designed to highlight differences in the patent activity of small and large firms in green technologies and industries.

    Overall Findings

Did you know...

Between 2002 and 2007, minority-owned firms outpaced the growth of non-minority firms in gross receipts, employment, and number of firms. Minority firms are an engine of job creation.
Graph for MBE Growth

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