Skip to main content
small business briefing

This Dec. 8, 2012, photo provided by ThoughtWorks shows Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz, who hanged himself Jan. 11, 2013, in New York.Pernille Ironside/The Associated Press

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 . Download our app here .

Reddit co-founder's suicide has tech startup world soul-searching

The recent suicide of  Reddit co-founder and Internet rabble-rouser Aaron Swartz has caused a lot of reaction and soul-searching, including the tech startup world talking more about depression among entrepreneurs, reports this piece in Inc.

The piece notes that entrepreneurs are generally seen as having an upbeat outlook, but, it asks: "Could it be that everyone has it backwards, and entrepreneurs are, in fact, especially susceptible to depression? Some seem to think so."

The personality types drawn to entrepreneurship, the pressures associated with starting a business, and the hopes of success may all contribute, the piece suggests, adding that "rising above depression means, more than anything, conquering that fear of failure."

It's a topic that Foundry Group managing director and author Brad Feld also addresses here on Business Insider, raising the issues of depression and divorce among entrepreneurs. "I've been speaking from experience on each of these topics, as I've struggled with anxiety and depression my entire adult life," he writes.

This CNN story also notes the discussion about depression that's been sparked by Mr. Swartz, saying "Silicon Valley doesn't generally nurture the sick."

Perhaps there are some helpful hints in another Inc. piece that offers up 15 ways to be happier at work.

CFIB hands its Golden Scissors  Award to Gail Shea

Who's best at cutting through the red tape in Ottawa? National Revenue Minister Gail Shea, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, which handed her its 'Golden Scissors' Award for this year.

Wrapping up its fourth annual Red Tape Awareness Week, the CFIB recognized reforms she has made to improve the Canada Revenue Agency's service to small business. Those cited included improvements to the CRA's My Business Account online portal and more accountability for advice issued by the CRA, "even when it is found to be incorrect."

Honourable mentions went to: MP Rob Moore, Treasury Board president Tony Clement and Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism Maxime Bernier for leading the federal Red Tape Reduction Commission; Alison Redford, Brad Wall and Christy Clark, the premiers of Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, for creating common business licensing rules through the New West Partnership; and Nancy MacLellan, executive director for service delivery for Service Nova Scotia, for introducing BizPaL and improving service standards.

Other coverage of the week can be found here , here and here .


Innovation inspiration

For a sneak preview of Cause a Disturbance: If You Can Slice Melon or Make a Right-Hand Turn, You Can Be a Breakthrough Innovator, a book on innovation by Ken Tencer and John Paulo Cardoso slated to be released later this year, head to MaRs Discovery District in Toronto on Jan. 28. The event, co-presented by Spyder Works Inc., Farber Financial Group and Landmark Communications, will feature a keynote speech by Mr. Tencer, followed by a Q&A. For more information, click here.

Business venture competitions

There's still time to apply to two business venture competitions. The annual TiEQuest competition held in Toronto and aimed at encouraging entrepreneurship, will award more than $150,000 in prizes and an opportunity to win up to $1-million in investment from sponsoring funds. Its deadline for entry is Jan. 31.

The fifth annual Venture London business competition, recognizing new businesses in the region, is also accepting applications, offering a total of $50,000 in cash, prizes and business acceleration help. There are two categories in the competition: startups in their pre-launch or early phases, and existing businesses, which have been operating for one to three years. The application deadline is Feb. 7; winners will be announced at an awards presentation in April.


Elvis obsession fills two rooms of collector's home

The Splurge: Branko Kavcic, founder of Brado Precision Machines & Tool, has amassed an Elvis Presley memorabilia collection on which he's spent close to $100,000, not counting the cost of his crown jewel, the first prototype of the famed Stutz Blackhawk car that The King adored. For a closer look at his collection, check out this photo gallery .


I feel good in James Brown's PJs

That's what the Magen brothers could say after the twin owners of Magen Boys Entertainment purchased a collection of the legendary bad boy singer's clothing and keyboard at auction, we reported in this Splurge in May, 2011. Here are photos from their collection.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at Join The Globe's Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: Our free weekly newsletter is now available. Every Friday a team of editors selects the top picks from our blog posts, features, multimedia and columnists, and delivers them to your inbox. If you have registered for The Globe's website, you can sign up here . Click on the Small Business Briefing checkbox and hit 'save changes.' If you need to register for the site, click here .

Report an error

Editorial code of conduct