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Small Businses Briefing

Teen's fight over candy launches business Add to ...

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Teen’s fight over candy launches business

Nicky Bronner, 15, had a fight with his parents when they put the brakes on his Halloween candy pig out. After his parents threw out more than half his candy, the teen was left wondering if it was possible to have candy that was both healthy and delicious.

That fight lead to the launch of Unreal Brands Inc., a line of candy that isn’t quite as bad for you, made of all-natural ingredients.

Nicky has had a bit of an advantage -- and access to capital that most 15-year-old’s wouldn’t get from their allowance. His father and business partner is Michael Bronner, the millionaire founder of digital-ad firm Digitas Inc. Mr. Bronner hooked his son up with venture capitalists, retail executives and food scientists. The startup's 19 employees include former executives from Procter & Gamble Co., Kellogg Co., Google Inc. and Godiva Chocolatier Inc., reports The Wall Street Journal.

There were some challenges: finding a natural alternative to artificial dyes, and getting the word out.

Nicky isn’t the only youngster starting up a candy-based business. Six-year-old Mollie Price just opened her third store in the UK.

Dealing with long hours

Small-business owners are working harder and longer now than they were five years ago, says a Sage Small Business survey says of more than 250 small-business owners. the biggest trend was a dependence on mobile technology. Check out the infographic here.

Surge in immigrant-owned businesses

One in five small business owners in the U.S. is an immigrant, says a study released today . The surge in immigrantant business owners began in the 1980s, when the country experienced a large wave of newcomers from Latin America and Asia, says a Wall Street Journal article. Immigrants make up 13 per cent of the U.S. population, but accounted for18 per cent of the country's 4.9 million small-business owners in 2010, a six-percentage-point increase from two decades earlier.

Get your social media act together

With news electrifying across Twitter and Facebook within seconds, building a social media strategy for your business is a priority you can’t ignore. Entrepreneur.com’s Mikal Belicove offers five tips on creating a social media policy for your business in this video.

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

Take your digital fluency up a notch

General Assembley is hold a Digital Immersion Workshop focused on entrepreneurial thinking and best practices in mobile and UX (user experience) design and development. This two-day workshop is filled with interactive lectures, case studies, and exercises that will help participants apply learning to thei businsess problems. July 14 11:30 am - 3:30 pm and July 1510:00 am - 3:30 pm. http://www.zvents.com/toronto_on/events/show/265421486-digital-immersion-workshop

Technology up-and-comers

Sign up early for this one. Ryerson’s Ted Rogers School of Management is hosting Demoday: Powered by StartMeUp Ryerson, where 30 technology startups from the Toronto and Waterloo regions will showcase their entrepreneurial ventures to potential investors and mentors. Sept. 22 at 11 a.m.

Networking in Toronto

EntrepreneursDen and Toronto Entrepreneur’s group is hosting a networking event at Metro Hall. Meet up with other entrepreneurs for an evening of pitches, presentations and networking at 6:30 p.m. June 15. The event is free and open to the public.

EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

Ever wonder how other entrepreneurs made it big?

Check out success stories that started out small and blossomed into companies like Heather Reisman’s Indigo Books & Music Inc. and Ron Joyce, the man behind Timmies.

 

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

Why you need women on your team

Women work longer hours than men, and even work on vacation according to a survey of 5,250 full-time professionals by by theFit, a Boston-based website. Women might feel more pressure to prove themselves, says Jennifer Berdahl, a professor of organizational behaviour at Toronto’s Rotman School of Management . However, others say it isn't helpful to draw gender lines. “Whenever I see this still happening in 2012 – ‘women do this, women do that’ – I think it creates a negative impact because it continues the segmentation of the work force by gender,” says Ellen Auster, a professor of strategic management at York University’s Schulich School of Business.

 

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