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This March 7, 2012, file photo shows job seekers standing line during the Career Expo job fair, in Portland, Ore. (Rick Bowmer/AP)
This March 7, 2012, file photo shows job seekers standing line during the Career Expo job fair, in Portland, Ore. (Rick Bowmer/AP)

Small Business Briefing

Where the jobs are in the U.S. 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.

Big versus small

CNBC.com asks: Do U.S. small businesses deserve their prestigious standing? Are they really the key to driving economic growth?

Michael Santoli of Yahoo Finance has said companies with 500 or more employees accounted for 65 per cent of net job gains from 1990 to 2011. Eric Schurenberg of Inc. Magazine argues small businesses account for the majority of jobs created south of the border.

Who’s right? Have a look at Inc.’s Hire Power Awards, which rank the top 100 U.S. businesses by job growth from 2008 to 2011. About 30 companies on the list have 500 or fewer employees, the top end of what Report on Small Business considers a small to medium-sized business. Perhaps the truth lies somewhere in between.

Canada’s most powerful women

The Women’s Executive Network (WXN) has revealed its 10th annual list of Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards. The awards recognize professional achievements in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors. This year’s recipients range from corporate executives and entrepreneurs to trailblazers and trendsetters. In addition to an evening gala for the winners on Wednesday in Toronto, WXN is hosting a networking event that afternoon to inspire women in leadership roles and the next generation of female leaders. To date, the organization has honoured 653 women, 88 of whom have joined its Top 100 Hall of Fame.

It takes a village

India ranks 74th out of 79 nations in the Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index, making it one of the worst places in the world to start a business, according to a story in Business Standard. Entrepreneurs from India have done well in the United States – they have more tech-start-ups than any other immigrant group – but India itself has failed to create its own version of Silicon Valley. IT giant Infosys is aiming to change that with the creation of Startup Village, an office complex in the port city of Kochi. It wants to help engineers develop 1,000 Internet and mobile companies in the next 10 years by providing space and access to mentors and investors. The site will be completed in 2014, but it already houses 68 entrepreneurs and their staff in two buildings.


Exporting to Mexico

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade invites Canadian exporters to attend the information and communications technology (ICT) mission to Mexico from Feb. 11 to 15, including Mexico City with an option to cover Guadalajara and Monterrey. Interested in starting or expanding business activities in Mexico? If so, the trip will appeal to firms working in various sub-sectors, including vertical software, telecommunications, digital media, IT security and mobile technologies. A customized matchmaking program, briefing sessions, market intelligence, and face-to-face business counselling are included. Due date to register is Dec. 7.

Accelerate this

The Stratford Accelerator Centre in Stratford, Ont., is hosting an information and networking session with key stakeholders from the city and the surrounding areas. The accelerator program, created in partnership with the University of Waterloo, will nurture a growing ecosystem for business creation and economic development. Register to attend the University of Waterloo Stratford Campus on Dec. 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and to ask questions about how you can get involved.


Shiny doodads

Gadgets for the entrepreneur on your holiday gift list: From office doodads to tablets to toys, something for everyone.


Teddy bears

In 2010, we ran a story examining business-travel packing, looking for the stranger items people cart around the world to remind them of home. What popped from the findings – which included storied childhood pillows, stiff bottles of booze and those requisite gadgets – was hotel chain Travelodge’s survey of 6,000 British business travellers. The study found 25 per cent of male respondents said they pack teddy bears. Surely, we pondered aloud in the story, these numbers must be inflated by sentimental children, or partners, sneaking bears into the suitcases of these macho men? Our readers thought differently.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at smallbusiness@globeandmail.com.Join The Globe’s Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: http://linkd.in/jWWdzT

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