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U.S. golfer Tiger Woods unveils his ambitious golf course project in Dubai on Aug. 25, 2008. Admiring the project model is Khalid Al Malik, CEO, left, of Tatweer, and Abdulla Al Gurg, project director, of The Tiger Woods Dubai. (Aziz Shah/AP)
U.S. golfer Tiger Woods unveils his ambitious golf course project in Dubai on Aug. 25, 2008. Admiring the project model is Khalid Al Malik, CEO, left, of Tatweer, and Abdulla Al Gurg, project director, of The Tiger Woods Dubai. (Aziz Shah/AP)

Small Business Briefing

Entrepreneur lands on growing golf market in Dubai Add to ...

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz.

It’s no sand trap

In 2005, Dean Cheesley had been practicing law in Australia for 10 years when he decided set up an online golf retailing and trading business. Then he moved to Dubai in 2008 to continue his legal career, and according to entrepreneurial website Wamda.com, he sold his sideline operation.

But the urge to sell golf products remained, and in 2011, he did some research on the region, found it was a growing market for the sport, and discovered most golfers were making purchases from the United States. With his legal career still active, he launched eGolf Outlet out of Dubai, “investing his own capital, building a team of four, and bootstrapping,” the story says.

Customers can buy or trade new and used items. Its biggest market is United Arab Emirates, followed by Saudi Arabia, which has few options for buying locally.

The website has more than 8,000 newsletter subscribers and Mr. Cheesley says he is almost breaking even, adding he’s determined to become “the leading online retailer of golf in the region.”

Veterans succeed thanks to franchising

Former U.S. soldiers are generating jobs as entrepreneurs that helped reduce the unemployment rate for veterans to a four-year low of 6.2 per cent in April, Bloomberg reports. What’s driving the trend? In large part it’s franchising. The number of openings by U.S. veterans last year increased by 11,469 compared with 6,081 in 2010, according to the Washington-based International Franchise Association. According to a source in the Bloomberg story, they “like to belong to systems,” and franchise ownership requires a lot of discipline. It’s a particularly positive trend given the difficulties veterans can face when they return to the private work force. Joblessness for former Iraq and Afghanistan personnel since October 2001 was 10.9 per cent in August, 2012, which Bloomberg states are the latest U.S. Labor Department figures available.

Google program provides ad support

Google Partners is a new pilot program, available only in Canada, set up to support web professionals and agencies that help businesses succeed online. Entrepreneurs will be able to work with certified ‘partners’ who can get you started with Google Ads, optimize campaigns with the latest tools and insights, and find new ways to connect you with customers. “Using Google Partner search, you can easily locate any Google Partner across Canada,” the company writes in a blog post. “You can also identify Google Partners by the partner badge displayed on their website. We will only award the badge to agencies and web professionals that have met high quality standards in customer care and online expertise.”


Social finance initiative

The Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) has set up a new social finance initiative for entrepreneurs. The Ontario Catapult Microloan Fund will make 15 to 25 investments into early stage social enterprises (non-profit and for-profit), provide loans of $5,000 to $25,000 to eligible ventures, put a range of support in place, and do a full-imapct assessement over the projects over a two-year period. The application process will commence in mid June, and the first round of investment will be made in September. Interested parties can subscribe to a mailing list for updates. The initiative is being conducted in partnership with the Province of Ontario, TD Bank, Microsoft Canada, Alterna Savings, KPMG and Social Capital Partners.

Angel network celebration

Angel One Investor Network – a not-for-profit organization for accredited investors who live, work or have strong interest in Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton and other communities in Southern Ontario – is holding its first Founders and Funders Celebration on June 27, from 6 pm to 10 pm, in Oakville, Ont. Click here to register.


Go public or stay private?

Is going public the right decision for your business? Two CEOs with a great deal of experience on the Venture Exchange, as well as an expert on entrepreneurial affairs who is a former exchange executive, tackle the questions entrepreneurs should ask themselves if they’re considering going public.


Tough words for Canada

Reza Satchu sold his first startup – a supply-chain software company – at the height of the dot-com boom, for just shy of $1-billion. Since then, the Harvard Business School grad, who spent 12 years at the private equity firm Fenway Partners in New York, has made a name for himself as one of the crustiest – and best – business professors at the University of Toronto, a mentor for young entrepreneurs, and a savvy investor through his Alignvest Capital Management fund. And he's got some tough words for Canada when it comes to entrepreneurship.

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