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(OSTILL/Getty Images/iStockphoto)
(OSTILL/Getty Images/iStockphoto)


Small business owner solves own robbery 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.

B.C. electric  vehicle seller's own sleuthing recovers stolen scooters

A Surrey, B.C.-based seller of electric vehicles's  own sleuthing helped solve a theft from his store, as recounted in this report and this report.

Mark Moore, owner of Cit-E-Cycles, which opened only last November, sold two high-end electric scooters to two purchasers using stolen credit cards, the stories said.

"It was kind of hard to take," Mr. Moore told Global TV BC. "We're a brand new business;  $5,000 is a lot for a brand new business."

But Mr. Moore had installed video-surveillance cameras in his store, which caught images of the purchasers. He reported the situation  to police but also took his own steps, circulating the images to customers, and actually chasing down the suspects after he spotted their vehicle drive by. “Call it a fluke,” Global TV reports, but the car actually sped by a police cruiser and was pulled over.

It didn’t stop there for Mr. Moore. With a customer tip, he was also able to track down the address where one of the scooters was found, the reports said, and then later found an ad for the other scooter, which he also tracked down.

Two suspects now face charges, according to the reports. And while police commended Mr. Moore’s sleuthing, they also warned that it’s better to generally leaving policing to the police, the reports said.

Optimistic start to the new year

Canadian small businesses started the year off on a positive note, according to the latest business barometer index of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, which measures optimism among small businesses.

The index jumped three points in January to a level of 65.7 on a scale of 0 to 100, according to the CFIB. It says that index levels range between 65 and 70 when the economy is growing at its potential.

The release noted that full-time hiring plans “jumped to a post-recession high,” with 27 per cent of respondents expecting to hire in the next few months. And 44 per cent said their businesses were in “good” shape, the strongest score in the past four years, the release said. The survey was based on 1,005 responses from a random sample of CFIB members.

“After a lacklustre November and December, small business owners across Canada are starting to feel more optimistic about the future,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s chief economist and vice-president, in the release. “While it’s too soon to make any conclusions about 2013, the latest survey results are very encouraging.”

Incubator Hyperdrive picks second set of startups

Communitech’s Waterloo, Ont.-based incubator Hyperdrive has picked its second set of startups to take advantage of its $30-million program.

Eleven companies made the list. The incubator, less than one year old, noted in a release that five of the seven participants in its inaugural round obtained follow-up financing. The latest program will put more focus on generating revenue “to help companies get from seed to Series A [funding] as quickly as possible," said managing director Doug Cooper.

The program takes up to 30 companies annually, each getting a three-month start to move from concept to readiness for angel and venture capital funding. It includes a two-year mentoring program. Each company also receives an initial investment of $40,000 in exchange for 6.4-per-cent equity, according to this TechCrunchcoverage.

The 11 companies that made this round, according to Hyperdrive:

  • WellRead, a news gathering service
  • The Dandy Co., a community driven app developer
  • The Open Doors Network, a developer of web applications for homeowners
  • CreamHR, an employment assessment service.
  • PumpUp, a personalized fitness coach
  • GroupNotes, a collaborative tool to share, annotate, and comment on websites.
  • BeanEvo, a Web-based application offering customizable online accounts payable automation.
  • ViewsIQ, a medical technology company that makes microscope imaging solutions.
  • ESL Explorer, an online marketplace, catalogue of schools, niche social network and a ratings and review site for English language schools.
  • Inception Mobile, a multi-platform mobile application development tool.
  • Oikoi, a matchmaking platform for tenants, landlords and property managers.


Finalists for Small Business BC awards contest

Small Business BC has announced the finalists for its tenth annual Successful You awards contest. There are five finalists in each of six categories, culled from 172 nominees. Winners will be announced at a ceremony on Feb. 28. For the full list of finalists, click here.

EdTech Innovation

Registration is now open for EdTech Innovation, a national conference hosted by Athabasca University that will take place in Calgary from May 1 to May 3. The conference, which will profile innovative research being done at universities as well as  new technologies, products and services being developed by startups, will bring together new companies, researchers, venture capitalists and buyers of technology. For more information, click here .

 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award

The Business Development Bank of Canada has opened applications for its 2013 BDC Young Entrepreneur Award. The competition, open to entrepreneurs aged 18 to 35, offers a $100,000 grand prize and a second prize of $25,000 in consulting services. The application deadline is April 2. For more information on eligibility and applying, click here .



Ten ways to build a business with almost no money

There are many things you can do to build a company without having to spend significant amounts of cash up front.


Small businesses can score big with Pan Am Games

Opportunity knocks for small businesses for the upcoming Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games , as reported in this story published last May. There were also tips that any business can use for how to put together a winning proposal.

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