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A resident works at Google Inc.'s tech campus at East London's Tech City during the official opening in London, U.K., on March 29, 2012. Google officially opened its seven story Campus, a 'co-working space' for tech entrepreneurs and startups in East London. (Chris Ratcliffe/© 2012 Bloomberg Finance LP, All Right Reserved.)
A resident works at Google Inc.'s tech campus at East London's Tech City during the official opening in London, U.K., on March 29, 2012. Google officially opened its seven story Campus, a 'co-working space' for tech entrepreneurs and startups in East London. (Chris Ratcliffe/© 2012 Bloomberg Finance LP, All Right Reserved.)

Small Business Briefing

Women more active in social startups: study Add to ...

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Will it lead to policy changes?

A new study has found that when it comes to starting a company, women are more likely to consider individual responsibility and use business as a vehicle for change.

"We found that women are 1.17 times more likely than men to create social ventures than economic ventures, and women are 1.23 times more likely to pursue environmental ventures than economic focused ventures," says Diana Hechevarria, a doctoral candidate in management and entrepreneurship in the University of Cincinnati's Carl H. Lindner College of Business.

Ms. Hechevarria and co-authors Amy Ingram, Rachida Justo and Siri Terjesen examined data on different start-up types on more than 10,000 people from 52 counties. "Are women more likely to pursue social and environmental entrepreneurship?" pulled 2009 figures from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, an annual assessment of worldwide entrepreneurial activity.

It's the first research known of its kind to provide evidence that female entrepreneurs are more active in social and environmental start-ups than men. "Traditionally, men have always been more active in start-ups," Ms. Hechevarria says in a press release, "but that's because we typically have studied economic, social and environmental start-ups all together."

She adds she believes "we will likely see more policy to encourage women to continue to pursue these types of start ups."

Clean tech venture-capital fund launches

A new venture capital fund in Ontario will help clean tech companies grow and create jobs, according to a press release from the Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation. The $100 million fund is a joint venture of SAIL Venture Partners, part of California-based SAIL Capital Partners, and Stifel Nicolaus Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Stifel Financial. It will invest in companies with innovative, ready-for-market products across the clean-tech sector, including energy, water and green products. SAIL was attracted to Ontario and Canada because of what it sees as opportunities in the sector and a record of fostering innovation. Providing the right climate to attract investment and build business, the ministry says, is part of Premier Dalton McGuinty’s plan to ensure that families, businesses and international investors "continue to look to Ontario as a great place to live and work."

Old-money heirs leave their legacies behind

"The old money crowd has found the new, new thing," Evelyn Rusli writes in the Dealbook section of The New York Times. The children of some prominent U.S. dynasties are taking a different path after they complete their educations. Rather than following their legacy businesses in retailing, real estate and finance, they are opting for a future in technology. Justin A. Rockefeller, the 32-year-old fourth-generation descendant of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, is a partner at venture-capital firm Richmond Global and a director of business development at Addepar, a financial software start-up. Real-estate heir Joshua Kushner, 26, is a founder of Vostu, a large Brazilian online game company, and he recently raised $40 million (U.S.) for his technology investment firm, Thrive Capital. Like some of their peers, they have a powerful combination in the start-up scene: wealth, wits and a well-connected family. “They view this as the next great frontier,” says David Hornik, a partner at August Capital. “There’s not much money left to be made in timber or coal.”


Chinese Canadian entrepreneur awards

The 2012 ACCE Chinese Canadian entrepreneur awards gala takes place April 14 in Markham, Ont., near Toronto. The black-tie affair, ACCE’s premier event, starts at 6 pm. The annual honours outstanding entrepreneurs from across Canada in nine award categories. The objective is to promote entrepreneurship in the Chinese Canadian communty, to recognize the contribution of Chinese Canadian entrepreneurs, to encourage new business start-ups and to promote social responsibility. Tickets are $250.

The search is on for U.S.-based superstars

Entrepreneur magazine has put out its call for entries in the Entrepreneur of 2012 contest. For the fifth year running, the publication is searching across the United States for extraordinary entrepreneurs to share their stories on how they have revolutionized their industries and positively impacted their employees and communities. Nominees are being accepted until June 15, 2012. Businesses with no more than 100 employees and gross sales of at least $3 million in 2011 qualify, while the Emerging Entrepreneur of 2012 is open to companies with no more than 12 employees that posted at least $350,000 in revenue in 2011.


How to combat reduction in discretionary spending

Cash flow is always an issue for small companies, including those specializing in personal services. Almost a third – 28 per cent – of them cited it as a constraint to business performance, according to a recent Canadian Federation of Independent Business survey of its members. But when hard times hit, everyone from hairdressers to landscapers to dentists can find business tougher than ever as consumers start rethinking discretionary spending.


Is there a 'right' kind of business to start?

s there a “right” time for women to start businesses? Is there a “right” kind of business for women to start? How does the “gender barrier” impact the potential growth trajectory of female-owned businesses versus their male counterparts? What skills are required to grow those businesses? The answers can be elusive, Ruth Bastedo wrote in a guest column in May, 2011.

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